I don’t trust my memories any more.
I have memories of things that didn’t happen.
I don’t remember things that did.
And I don’t know which is which.
It was cold last night, or I was cold last night. That might be why I started thinking about this as I drifted in and out of sleep.
We (a bunch of teenage boys- Hod, Rob, Pete, Benny, Jerry, Dave, Craig and a bunch of others- add your name here) decided to take a canoe trip down the Ohio river. The scout master drove Pete’s power boat. Dad drove the supply truck and was to meet us at Dam 50.
The day started out fine. We packed lunch and pushed off early in the morning. By the time our muscles started losening up the sun came out and it was a warm beautiful day. After paddling all morning we stopped for lunch and stripped to our bathing suits. From then on, until nearly dark, we spent as much time with horseplay as paddling and we were nowhere near Dam 50. Pete threw a ski rope out of the power boat and began towing us. Occasionally someone would lose hold of the rope and we would have to wait for them to catch up. It started to get cold, or we started to get cold.
Well after dark we saw the lights of the dam and went ashore. Who planned this trip? Probably no one. Saying we would meet Dad at Dam 50 was like saying we would meet him in Evansville. He could be most anywhere.
We started a fire and tried to get some sleep. Someone found a tarp (we didn’t ask where) and those lucky enough or with sharp elbows covered up. Benny began to snore and we took turns trying to hit his open mouth with pea sized mud balls. Craig, being the oldest and the one with the most sense wandered off looking for dad. I don’t remember if he found him before dawn, but as the sky began to brighten Dad pulled up.
Breakfast never tasted so good or a sleeping bag so warm.
We had many canoe trips over the years, but this was one of the best.