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June 1997: What were you doing?

What were you doing with your friends in June of 1997?

I was hanging out with my two best friends, Jeff and Keith, my dog Sam and Jeff’s dog Chinook (yes, a dog, not a salmon). Thanks to Gary (Jeff’s dad), for the on-going use of their ski boat back then, because we had a blast hanging out on the lakes and river spending our time wakeboarding and knee boarding. The 3 of us often joke about how safe-and-sane we were back then compared to our options at the time. I suspect we were clueless, but we’re no different now (maybe we’re still clueless?).

Parents might call this “good parenting”, we might call this “good judgment”, but we call it “good fun.” We’re still just trying to just have fun, but maybe now with a little bit of good judgment thrown in (to make us sound smart).

But back in June of 1997, Keith, Jeff and I were all single and had quite a bit of fun on the water and often in the mountains on the snow (technically, that’s also on the water). This time, we were wake boarding on the Columbia River, near the (now destroyed) Trojan nuclear power plant. Yes. Really, despite, what you might think: Jeff has a really cool and normal (non-toxic-waste-deformed) daughter, and he even learned to windsurf in the cooling pond of the power plant! Anyway…

I usually remember things through my photos, but I clearly remember something I don’t have a photo of. Sam, my dog, was running along the beach with Chinook, because we figured they might want some time on the land to do their business and be out of the boat. Plus, as you can see in the photos, we all knew Sam, the lighter brown one, didn’t really enjoy riding in the boat. (Gary: No, he never got sick in the boat. Everyone else: Sam is the one who clearly doesn’t want to be on the boat.)

… The dogs were running on the beach and we were in the boat, listening to our music, as “kids” are prone to do. I very clearly remember looking at the beach; there were only 2 humans on the beach. They were having a nice little picnic. Unfortunately for them, Sam was the most loyal dog I’ve ever experienced. As we went upriver in the boat, he ran upriver on the beach. So, when we turned and went downriver, he turned too. He ran right over the picnic blanket with the picnic food. The couple reacted as Sam was about 5 feet past them, as Chinook wisely went around them. Did I mention Sam barked the entire time he was running up and down the beach? I doubt this couple has such fond memories of that day.

However, I smile when I remember hanging out with my friends, wakeboarding, and having our dogs with us. For those who know me, you know I value experiences in life. This is one of many experiences that isn’t overly exciting, dangerous, or adventurous. But, it’s an experience I cherish because my friends and my dog were with me doing something fun.

There must be a life lesson in there somewhere!

  1. Dad
    June 6, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    Thanks. Good story and haven’t seen those pictures before.

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