Sunday, September 16, 2012

Down By the River

Half a continent apart, my son and I both spent a day by the water. For me, it was the Red River, where people were paddling for a purpose at the dragon boat races.

The Dragon Boat Festival is a major event presented to the community by The Rotary Club of Shreveport. As a good Rotarian, I do what I can to participate. And since my abilities are so limited, I volunteer to do something I know how to do: talk. Standing around all day making announcements and calling races...that's pretty easy.

It was a family affair, because my ever-the-good-sport wife worked a shift at the registration tent. It was fun, except when one disgruntled paddler, a loud-mouth with crooked teeth and whole lot of tattoos, angrily confronted me for making what he considered to be a misleading announcement. The trouble was, I hadn't done it. I still don't know what happened or what he thinks he heard, but the encounter was unpleasant. I can make my own mistakes; I certainly don't need anyone accusing me of something I didn't do. It didn't ruin my day, but it put a blemish on things.
I bring this up not to diminish the dragon boat festival (with that lone exception, it really was a fun day), but merely to magnify the contrasting waterside experiences in play here. From the banks of the Red River being yelled at by a roid-raged, orthodontically challenged tat freak to the sandy shores of Southern California, where my son was spotted cavorting with his buddies.
Is there anything more to say? I mean, that photo looks like an ad for clothing store in the mall or something. They appear to be very relaxed. I think he won the day.

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