The Boats

Since it is summer how about a tale about our family’s boats? It will be in “Notes About Growing Up”.

Have you heard the saying “What are the best two days of a boat owner’s life? The day he gets the boat and the day he gets rid of it”. I never owned a boat myself but Dad and Mom owned two and while there were some hassles with them I can say we had much more fun with them than we had water-born troubles.

I was about nine or so and Dad and Mom bought a ski boat. It wasn’t big but it was quite adequate for all of us, a big ice chest, and Dad’s fishing poles. Plus the life jackets and water skis too. A trip to the lake usually entailed skiing, eating some lunch, and doing a little fishing. My favorite parts were the food and skiing but not the fishing at all. Most of the time we went to Lake Lewisville, Lake Texoma, or Moss Lake but Texoma was my favorite since it is a huge lake and once was the biggest man-made in the world whose construction started in 1944 using German POWs in fact.
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Regardless of the lake we sped or skied across we did it as a family and it became a big part of our lives. Many memories were built by the Lake Lewisville Dam, the sandy beaches at Texoma, or in the middle of Moss Lake casting a line for a fish on a warm sunny day.

We had a few terrible trips too like when the outboard motor stopped working and we had to be towed into shore or the time we ran out of gas and again had to be towed. Like a car the boat had to be washed but that was not so bad since we could put on our swim suits and play in the water too. And one time on Texoma a storm came up suddenly and the waves were huge. It wasn’t quite like the ones in “The Perfect Storm” but they were big enough to scare us to shore.

This cycle continued on until my Dad died and Mom sold the second boat which was a larger craft with an inboard V-8 and a little cabin at its front. Now that was a real boat! It was powerful and would pull you up out of the water on a slalom ski in no time at all. And of course it could hold more stuff than the old boat could which came in handy when the whole Couch clan went camping on Texoma’s islands or the sandy beaches by Willis Bridge on the Okie side of the lake.

And Roger and Jane were there too when they arrived in this world. We put on their little life jackets and took them for a swim. At Texoma where the new boat was there were ducks swimming about and we would feed them with the kids in tow. And of course we played in the sand making castles and drawing pictures in the countless damp grains as the sun beamed down on us all. Thus the boats were a happy part of life for three generations of our family and it seemed like this state of affairs would not end

But as I said above Mom sold the boat after Dad died so the happy times at the lake ended. He had always done the fixing and upkeep and Mom already had enough to do with the house on California Street. We went up to it one last day to clean out our life jackets and skis. The ducks were still there swimming & quacking around and my sister Terry got the skis since her and Mike had a small bass boat but that last day of owning that dear boat was not happy like the trite saying above said it should be. Without Dad it just wasn’t same. While I never wanted to own a boat myself – I’m not into fixing or maintaining a bunch of stuff – sometimes I’m still speeding around on the waves on one of those old boats in the always calm lake of remembrance in my mind, on which you won’t ever run out of gas.

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