Well it's happened, yet again. Summer has actually shown up! I was looking through some old photo albums this weekend and started remembering all the great years I spent at the Mississippi River with my family. So, let's take a trip back to around 1986.
I'm the kid at the beach wearing the yellow life-jacket. This life-jacket is pretty much an extension of me, I wear it the entire time I'm at the river, except at lunchtime when I'm eating my ham sandwich with ketchup and a handful of Bugles.
Musically, it could be the mid 1970s if you listen closely to my dad's 8-track player on the Cobalt. The Beach Boys are the most played selection, and really the best music for the adults to stand around and drink their stubby beers to.
If you hop into the boat and grab that white hot latch to the built-in floor cooler you'd find the kid's drinks: Sunkist Orange pop (bought at the vending machine at the Savanna Marina), Grape pop,and a bunch of Capri Suns with their yellow straws dislodged somewhere down deeper in the ice.
For the adult's drinks, you'd find the styrofoam cooler just at the edge of the river with a little sand and mud anchoring it down into the edge of the water. The contents of the cooler hold about 8 Diet Rite's and about a dozen or so stubby beers. I think they're either the Michelob Stubby's or the Budweiser Stubby's.
Since the stage is set with the food, drinks, and music let's take a look at what the kids are up to (that would be me and my brother and whoever else went boating to the same sandbar we chose). If you peal back the seat on the left side of the boat(my side where I sit right in front of Mom) you'll find a frisbee, a plastic sand castle making set, a red ski-rope (good for skiing and tubing), and a beach ball that needs to be blown up.
If it's a perfectly sunny and hot day, my brother and I are probably floating in the river parallel to the sandbar. We'll walk up to the northern most point in the sand, float out about 10 feet, and then let the lazy current float us back to all of the boats with adults standing around them. We do this for about an hour before taking a break for ham sandwiches, drinks, and chips.
If one of the more daring adults has shown up at the sandbar, there's a good chance that he's strung up a ski rope to a far leaning tree over the river. This is definitely my favorite activity...swiniging out on the rope and then falling into the river. I don't get so many turns on the rope because I'm one of the younger ones. And could you believe that it's actually fun to wait my turn at the rope because my brother and the big kids do fancy flips and turns right before they splash in the water? This is pretty much the only time in my life that waiting my turn is actually entertaining!
I guess I'll stop this lil' memory for tonight. Part II includes the major and minor characters at the sandbar, the restaurants in the area after boating and cleanup, and an insider's look at how to select the right friend to join the crew on the water!
29 June 2010
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