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Near Drowning

by Brad Horrocks,
When I first was introduced to Wally years ago by my wife Julie, he knew my last name right away. This brought back childhood memories from where he grew up in Canning, Ontario. The story starts when he was maybe around 10 or 11 years old. My father also grew up in Canning not too far from Walter's. My father Russ and his buddies had a rope swing set up in a tree on the Nith River in Canning. They had the rope secured in the tree. One day Wally made a trip down to the river and decided he would get that rope out of the tree and give it a try. He was all by himself at the time. He went for it, swung out and dropped in the middle of the river. Wally was in a bad situation as he could not swim taking in water. My father just happened to be walking on the bridge over the Nith when he seen Walter struggling in the river. My father ran down the river bank into the water and dragged Walter out as he was going down probably for the last time. So everytime I ran into Wally he mentioned the story amidst others. Later in life my father's name was mentioned in the movie " The Walter Gretzky Story".
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