If you could go back in time long ago to a certain date at a specific time, you would see me playing along the banks of the upper part of this decrepit dam. The specific day I am thinking about my friends and I were doing kid stuff, throwing rocks in the water, exploring the woods, going upstream a bit, and that’s where we found a floating oil drum, you know, the kind that can be found in a basement of a home that utilizes home heating oil, but on this one, someone had capped the ends and it floated perfectly.
The tank was stuck on rocks in the middle of the creek and that specific day the water was flowing pretty quickly due to recent heavy rains. Regardless, it appeared it was stuck firmly in place, and so my friends left, all except one kid that I didn’t know at all but who was friends of one of my friends. We sat there throwing rocks at the tank, listening to the loud reverberating metallic sound it would make when our rocks found their marks, and suddenly, the tank shifted and as luck would have it, starting floating right towards us.
“You get on first,” he said to me. I was hesitant, my parents voices playing over and over in my mind not to do things in life that might be dangerous, to make good choices.
I leaped onto the top of the tank, it bobbed and dipped, and that’s about when this kid put his sneaker on the side of the it and pushed as hard as he could, sending me and the tank out towards the middle of the creek.
“Later,” he shouted, as he turned and disappeared into the woods and down the trail to the right of that picture.
The tank moved quickly and touched the rocks at the edge of the dam, at the area where you see the dam has now fallen away, to the left of those two protruding pipes.
I was panicking, scared to death, screaming for that kid to come back, and he never did.
The metal of the oil tank scraped against the rocks, I could look right over the edge and see the rocks below, and in my mind, I was done for, going to die right then and there, and as kids would think, after I’d die, my parents were going to kill me again for not listening to what they told me about being safe.
I called aloud, no one answered. I shouted for what seemed like hours, because it was hours, now it was turning dark and I was still out there stuck, the grinding sound keeping me company as I lay as low as possible so as to not tilt the tank.
And sometime after dark I heard a mans voice calling my name, it was my father, he had come looking for me. I don’t recall telling my parents where I was. I don’t know how he found me. But when he showed up he was angry at first, and then sympathetic seeing how scared I was.
He had a flashlight, found a branch long enough and continuously tried standing it upright to drop it to me, which he finally did, I held tight as he gently pulled the branch I held, and the tank and I made it to shore where my father began to yell at me for me getting myself into that predicament.
I miss my dad. He died seventeen years ago from cancer, I held his hand as he left us. That’s a story for another time, but today when I awoke and started looking through some shots, found this one and I thought of that moment and of him, and am very thankful that as long as we keep the memories alive of those we loved, well, don’t they kind of live forever within us that way?
Hug the ones you love, people. Life is short.
Thank you for reading!
Get out there and have a great day!