The Weekly Vista - - Opinion -

Turns out I’d rather be golf­ing

Af­ter some 60 years of pretty de­cent golf my golf game has gone into a steady de­cline, so I thought I might try some­thing else and maybe I’d rather be fish­ing.

For my first 17 years I loved to fish, so I thought why not give that a try and maybe I will give up golf. I went out and bought a 12-foot-long boat and al­most new five­horse mo­tor and gath­ered up some of my old fish­ing gear and was ready to jour­ney back into the fish­ing game. I got my­self a com­fort­able seat, bolted it down on the seat and tried it out on dry land, and it was per­fect.

I took it to Loch Lomond at a per­fect time be­cause there were no boaters or fish­er­men around to see what a novice I was try­ing to launch the boat, get in the boat with­out falling down and fig­ur­ing out how to start the mo­tor.

Af­ter about 20 min­utes I was on my way and was head­ing across the lake to the shady side. I was about a good wedge away from the other side when I de­cided to turn partly around and lean back on my new chair and en­joy the beau­ti­ful lake. Trou­ble was, when I leaned back, I heard a loud crack and the seat bolts broke loose and the boat tipped al­most com­pletely over. I grabbed at the top side — only to make mat­ters worse: It came rolling down on top of me.

I was in a near panic mode, but not quite as bad when I sur­faced. I looked around, but there was no one around to holler at for help. A good swim­mer I am not, but I can do a side stroke some­what. My life jacket had been by me, but not on — dumb move. With the shore about a 100 yards away I didn’t think I could leave the boat and make it that far with­out go­ing down, so I de­cided to stay with the boat and hold on to it and try to side stroke and pull it with me.

I thought about the woman that had just drowned on the lake and did not want that to be me. Af­ter about 50 yards I was com­pletely ex­hausted and lost my grip and went un­der for a sec­ond time: It crossed my mind to give up be­cause I had no more en­ergy, and then I thought about my wife, fam­ily, friends, church and pets. I needed them and hope­fully they needed me, so I gained some strength from some­where and sur­faced and found a place to grip on the boat and swim with one hand and even­tu­ally make it to shore.

Feel­ing ground was a to­tal re­lief and I re­mem­ber say­ing “Thank God.” I don’t know if it was a prayer or a state­ment.

I tried to pull the boat on the shore and turn it over, but it was too heavy and I was com­pletely out of gas and there was no one around, so I just laid over the boat wait­ing and pray­ing for some­one to come around.

Here comes my an­gels; I heard two voices as they were trolling and com­ing around the bend. I hollered “help” and I could hear one of the men say “Did you hear some­one holler help?” Turns out I couldn’t have found two bet­ter an­gels as the younger one jumped out of his boat and into the wa­ter and said “we will get you out of this mess” and helped get the boat turned over and bailed out the wa­ter. The other fella picked up my be­long­ings as they floated to­ward shore. It turned out that these two men were the for­mer prin­ci­pal and foot­ball coach from Rogers High School. I didn’t get their names, sorry.

Know­ing that I had

taught for 38 years, he said I am go­ing to give one last lec­ture as a prin­ci­pal: “Wear that —— - —— life jacket when you are alone out here.” I didn’t tell him that wasn’t the first lec­ture I have had from a prin­ci­pal. They towed me back, and made sure I got loaded up and was on my way.

Who said there aren’t any good peo­ple left in this world, they were two of the best.

Again, “Thank you, thank you and my wife also says ‘Thank you.’ ”

Any­one want to buy a good boat, mo­tor and trailer? I think mine will be for sale.

I guess I’d rather be golf­ing. Robert Prazak Bella Vista

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