{August 27, 2012}   Lake Spivey

On hot days near the end of second grade, I got to leave school early so we could drive to Lake Spivey. I loved going to Lake Spivey. It seemed like a long ride, but once we got there, it was fun. I knew we were close when I saw the big sign of a girl with her bathing suit bottom pulled down by a black dog. I hoped that wouldn’t happen to me.

When we got to Lake Spivey, some funny cars were in the parking lot. They had WSB-TV on the side. Mother asked the man at the gate what was going on. He said that WSB-TV was doing a story from Lake Spivey that was going to be on the news tonight. He said they were going to pick people to ask how they liked it here. Some of them would be on TV. Mother said she wanted to be on TV. She said she was going try to get them to pick her.

I wore red sunglasses and flip flops to the white beach. We laid down towels and folding chairs. The water was brown but there were floats in every color. Near the beach were cement picnic tables under shade trees where Mother spread a red-checkered plastic tablecloth. She put plates of ham sandwiches and Coca Colas on it. I didn’t want to eat because then I would have to wait twenty minutes before I could go in the water. Daddy said if I didn’t, I could get cramps and drown. I liked to ride on the merry-go-round while I waited. I’d climb up on a horse or elephant and hold onto the pole. I waved to my parents as it turned in a circle. There were other rides near the snack counter where they sold Nutty Buddy’s.

After we ate, Mother said she had to go to the bathroom for a mirror so she could put on lipstick.  She had to look good in case she was on TV.  Daddy said we would walk with her since we couldn’t swim for twenty minutes. I followed them across the hot sand, holding my little brother’s hand. When we passed the merry-go-round, I wanted to ride it. Mother said I would have to wait. She said she had to find a mirror before the TV people started asking questions.

When Mother finished, we started walking back to our picnic table. Mother told me to hold my brother’s hand. But he didn’t want to hold my hand. He fought me when I tried to grab it. He screamed, “No!” and pulled away. I gave up and ran to catch up with Mother and Daddy.

When we got to our picnic table, Daddy asked me where my brother was. I said I don’t know.  Mother screamed, “I thought you were holding his hand!” I said that he wouldn’t let me. Daddy said he would walk back to the bathrooms to look for him. Mother went to talk to a lifeguard. I waited at the picnic table. Daddy came back in a few minutes and said he couldn’t find him.

I walked to the edge of the picnic area and saw Mother talking to the lifeguard. The lifeguard climbed down from his chair. He looked worried. He talked to another lifeguard. Then, all the lifeguards blew their whistles. They waved their arms to tell everybody to get out of the lake. Daddy told me that my brother might have walked in the lake and drowned. I was scared. I started crying. I didn’t want my little brother to drown!

Everybody got out of the lake. I watched the lifeguards line up side by side locking arms. Daddy and some other men joined in to make a long line. Then they walked slowly into the lake. Mother said they were doing this so they could feel my brother’s body if it was underwater. The men walked deep in the water. They did not feel a body. After a while, they walked slowly back to the beach.

Then an announcement came over the loud speakers. The announcement said that a little boy was spotted wandering alone in the carousel area. Somebody found him and took him to the office. Mother ran to the office.

A few minutes later, Mother was holding my brother’s hand, walking across the beach back to our table. The lifeguards blew their whistles to tell people they could go back in the water. Mother told my brother to sit down at the table and not to move. I was happy to see my brother. I asked Mother if she was going to be on TV. She said no, that the TV people were leaving. She said they decided not to put Lake Spivey on the news because of what happened with my brother. Mother packed up the food and folded the red checkered table cloth. Daddy carried our towels and chairs to the car. He said he had enough excitement for one day. I asked if I could ride the merry-go-round. Daddy said no. On the ride home, nobody said anything. I fell asleep in the back seat.


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