LETTER EDITOR TO THE
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