I haven’t done much for sharing any of the stupid stories lately. I have been thinking a lot about one that may be my favorite memory from childhood. We have a bad situation, so naturally, Scott was there. We had a lot of fun.
I was no more than 10 at the time. The only indicator of age is I remember eating pizza when we got home in Clarksville, TN. It was a good end to what was one of the best worst trips we could have asked for. It’s the bad ones? that stick with you after all.
My dad, 2 uncles, Scott and me all went to Alabama for a fishing trip. Another uncle let us borrow his boat. My uncle Denny had his 8 foot aluminum Jon Boat that he carried in the bed of his truck. It was 5 of us on this trip, so it wasn’t anything major. Just a fun day.
The first several hours of the day were great. We fished, we caught fish, we stopped for lunch. Denny played a joke on my dad and Uncle Bill that the waitress at the counter had asked him to come back when she got off work. We ate lunch and left.
I know, at this point its a pretty boring story. Stay with me.
We decided it was time to find a new place to fish. My dad remembered the fishing being good down by the old gas station he knew from growing up. We loaded up the boats and took off. Off in the distance we saw some clouds rolling in, but we knew we still had a while before the storm came. When we got to the boat launch by the gas station we unloaded and went back to fishing.
We explored the area a little bit. My dad showed us some places he remembered from growing up. After about an hour we saw the clouds were closer and figured we should go up closer to the boat launch. We got up close to the bank and fished along.
The water was starting to get rough as the wind picked up. That’s when the first flash of lightning hit. It hit the water maybe 200 feet from us. Then it hit the trees on the shore. The wind had picked up more and the storm was really getting good.
My dad decided it was time to go back to the shore and let the storm pass. The boat wouldn’t start. The motor had gotten jammed up. With all the bravery of an 10 year old, I started crying when i could hear trees falling on the shore. My dad responded lovingly with a, “oh knock it off. It’s only rain. Quit your crying.” I have said the exact same thing to my son.
After messing with the motor for a few minutes the boat was running and we made a mad dash back to the boat launch. Scott and Denny had made it back already and were finishing up unloading the rods and reels from Denny’s boat. Denny ran and pulled the truck and trailer down to get the boat loaded. His was just pulled up on the bank.
When he got the trailer in the water, my dad and Bill started loading the boat up. Bill was just out of the water getting the winch hooked up. Dad was at the back of the boat in the water, trying to get the boat lined up. In the rush it wasn’t the best loading job.
Just then, lightning hit the water. My dad was in the water. I can say that 2 people have walked on water. My dad is 6’2″ tall. When the lightning hit the water he cleared the 16 foot boat in about 3 seconds and never touched bottom. All we saw was legs flailing around as he ran out of the water.
All he had to say was, “Damn, that hurt.”
We got in the truck and rode out the rest of the storm. Scott and I were in the bed of the truck under the camper shell. It did little good at keeping us dry. A few weeks earlier Denny came to a hard stop and one of his dogs had hit the front window and broke it. So we had rain running in the broken window.
Powdered donuts and DR. Pepper were close by. We joked about the storm while the adults smoked in the cab. When the stormed passed we got out to finish loading up.
Denny’s boat had started to sink from the rain it caught. His trolling motor and battery were completely submerged. But it still worked. We loaded everything up and got out of there before the day got any worse.
This is seriously my favorite memory from childhood. I have no idea why. It was an awesome day. I completely understand where i get my parenting style. I look forward to the day Ricky gets to have a stupid story with me to share.