Born and raised in Compton-Lynwood, I found great adventure within those willowy, "natural" banks of the mid-1940s. Homemade rafts, BB-gun fights on the railroad bridge, hiding on the bridge piers while a Red Car train passed four to six feet overhead. . . . One boy would climb a slender willow at Willard's dump adjacent to the river while the other boy would chop down the tree. What a ride.