I moved from Vandalia to Springfield in the fall of 1970. It was about this time that I found out we Vandalians, or at least this particular one, are considered "River Rats" by some of the "flatlanders" up north.
The first time I heard the phrase, I protested! My folks lived on North First Street, and the Kaskaskia River flowed a short distance from our back yard, but I didn’t think much about it. I knew the river was behind our house somewhere, hidden by the trees, but did not spend time looking for it. A river rat, indeed!