These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Thursday, August 11, 2005


i attended my first drowning as a reporter last night at the state park. it was eerie
to see it transpire.

call came in after 7 p.m. to get dive team out there. i knew it was bad. instinct. dennis and i drove out there. the beach was flocked with people watching the horizon, hands shielding the sun from their vision, all staring at the water. a helicopter circled the area, while boats floated on the water watching for traces of the boy.

a nine-year-old boy had trouble as he was swimming back to shor near the breakwater when his two companions saw a wave hit him. a man tried to save him but came back empty. another man through in a life ring, nothing.

rumors spread that the kid had jumped off the breakwater rocks and into the lake as many crazy kids will attempt. others said it was his uncle who tried to save him. but the facts were he was only trying to swim back to shore and the man that tried to save him was a tourist from indiana.

as the sun set (and dennis took a great shot of the helicopter hoovering with a man hanging inside a basket, the sun setting behind them), the crowds remained, the news crews fell upon the beach. one stupid cameraman even waved off dennis as he tried telling him where the action was. hopefully he missed the action, just for being stupid.

as of last night, the search was called off due to darkness. but the boy was identified as living in the area. his family wasn't with him at the beach. he was with friends.

there is something ominous about lake michigan. it's beautiful and expansive and such great sunsets. but when its in a bad mood, it takes its vengeance.


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