I wrote an earlier post about how my family didn’t know horses, even though we had a couple for awhile. Well, believe it or not, we didn’t know boats, either. We went to the lake occasionally, after I became an adult, but we didn’t have a lot of experience with boats. One Sunday afternoon my parents coaxed me into going boating with them and my sister, even though I had an obligation later that day. Everything went fairly well until we met a couple stranded in the middle of the lake. “Will you take us to a gas station?” they said. “It’s not far.”
We obliged, and my father tied a rope between the two boats. We pulled them over Lake Keowee for awhile, then we asked exactly where the station was.
“Just around the bend,” they called.
We towed them a little longer, with no idea where this station was, and my father finally grew impatient with them and ordered, “Cut the line, Dale!”
I hated to leave them dead in the water, so I hesitated.
Again he said, “Cut the line!”
One of us finally untied the rope, explaining to the couple that we couldn’t take them any farther, and their blank faces grew smaller as we motored away. I felt badly about leaving them, but they seemed to be taking us on a wild goose chase. My sister even commented that she thought they’d been drinking and were out of it.
We started toward the dock, but our motor soon sputtered and died. We had pulled the couple’s boat so far, we were out of gas! My sister and I decided flagging down a boat was the answer to our dilemma, while my father thought we should paddle, using skis we had on board.
Not long after he complained that no one was helping him, a small craft slowed down and a woman asked, “Do you need help?”
“Yes, we’re out of gas.”
Her husband said, “We thought you were doing okay with your paddling, but we decided to stop, since you were waving.”
Learning we were from the same town, we chatted with the couple while they towed us the short distance to shore. Just before we passed under a bridge, my sister said, “I’m glad Johnny can’t see us now.”
She’d barely gotten these words out when we glanced upward. My six-foot-five brother was strolling across the bridge, staring down at us!”