to tell you all about my trip but anyone that knows my father is dying to know the story behind the picture I posted yesterday with him hanging onto the side of the boat for dear life, so I’ll tell that story first.
I’ll start with the setting. It’s around 7:00pm and we are in a
v-hull boat just down the road from the cabin. My husband is seated in the rear of the boat, I am in the middle and my dad is at the front in the driver’s seat. The lake is picturesque, smooth as glass with the sun peeking out from between the trees with the sound of frogs croaking in the distance. My father has just hooked a beautiful bass. It jumped gracefully out of the water twice as he was reeling it in, a scene similar to one you would see in a National Geographic picture.
I tell him to pose with the fish so I can get a picture. He stands in the boat and adjusts his glasses as I snap the first picture. He tells me to take another as he gets the fish in position. I snap another picture and then set the camera down beside me. That’s when all hell broke loose. He lost his footing and fell backwards out of the boat into the water creating a splash similar to one achieved by doing a cannon ball. The force of the fall shot me out of my seat and onto the floor of the boat and I laid there and watched in horror. His legs were still inside the boat and he was struggling to get back in. As he did this the boat was filling with water and I thought we were all going to die. My husband spoke, “Can he swim?” I couldn’t speak so I just shook my head no.
Finally dad realized that he was going to sink the boat if he didn’t get his legs out and as he unhooked them the boat began floating away from him. My husband wanted to dive in to assist but from the bottom of the
boat I demanded that everyone just remain calm. Dad flailed around in the water a bit and finally grabbed hold of the side. My husband helped me back onto my seat and handed me my camera which was on the bottom of the boat in the water. I figured there was no way in hell it was ever going to work again so I tested it by pointing and clicking and I managed to capture a picture of a lifetime! I was amazed that the camera still worked and I stuck it in my bra because that was the only area on me that wasn’t wet.
I kept turning my head trying not to look at my Dad in the water as I now felt he was safe and I wanted to laugh out loud but I feared his
reaction. He managed to keep his glasses on during the fall but his hat was now several feet away from the boat and was sinking fast. Finally he busted out laughing and so did the rest of us. My dad’s laugh is similar to Anderson Cooper’s laugh, a high-pitched giggly sort of laugh. I laughed so hard I thought I would pee my shorts.
We then discovered that we couldn’t get my dad back into the boat
so it was time for plan B. My husband jumped out of the boat and began pushing it towards a dock with my dad sort of trolling off the side. My Dad then remembered he had his wallet in his pocket and handed it to me. Good thing I have a lot of room in my bra I was thinking as I stuck it beside the camera. Finally when my dad could touch bottom he asked my husband to stop pushing, “just stand still for a minute” he said. I could see his wet shirt moving with each beat of his heart and I feared he was having a heart attack. “Dad, are you okay?” He paused for a moment, adjusted his glasses and said, “I’m fine, I’m just peeing.” I wanted to bash him in the head with an oar! Once again we roared with laughter.
As the boys pushed the boat I began trying to bail out the water which was over my ankles. All I had was an empty plastic container that the
leaches were in so I wasn’t making much progress. Our tackle box had flipped over during the chaos so there were bobbers, lures and sinkers all over the place. It was then that I discovered that by the grace of God my dad managed to throw the bass into the boat before his epic fall into the water. So the bass was swimming in the boat too!
The boys waded through lily pads and piles of sticks and gunk on the way to a vacant boat dock. I then noticed that T.J’s pole was bending and I thought it was snagged. When he pulled up the line he had a cute little bluegill hooked. He had caught a fish without even being in the boat. He proudly held the fish up for my father to see but dad was not at all impressed and insisted that he get back to pushing the boat.
After reaching the dock everyone was reseated in the boat and we
pushed off with oars, got the boat started and made it safely to shore where we bailed out the boat. It took around an hour from start to finish and the drive home was soggy at best. It was then that I fished the camera out of my bra and showed the picture to my dad. He couldn’t believe it, he claimed he could have died and I was just sitting there taking pictures of him.
It was then that it occurred to me that I had taken an“epic” picture, one that would never grace the cover of a magazine but one that would
go down in the history books and one that would earn its right to hang proudly on the wall at the Schuster cabin with the title: The One That Got Away!