Kentucky Lake Boating

Fifty years ago I was a resident of Western Kentucky. During the nine months from September through May we lived in Paducah. In the summer, we lived at Kentucky Lake near Murray. It was about this time that I had the first of several coming of age experiences.

My father had a small fishing boat with an outboard motor. We would go fishing every night just before sunset. The water would get very calm at six o’clock. This made the fly fishing conditions very favorable. I wasn’t very interested in fishing but I was keen to learn how to operate the boat.

First my father let me operate the electric trolling motor. It quietly propelled the boat along the shore while my father used his fly rod to catch bass. My mother enjoyed fishing as well.

After several weeks of operating the trolling motor while they fished, my dad gave me a shot operating the big outboard motor when it was time to come home. By the end of the summer, dad was letting me go to the boat dock at the end of the inlet where our cabin was located and fill up the gas tank for the boat by myself.

The real measure of trust though was when he let me take my cousin swimming on the other side of the lake in the boat with just the two of us. That was one of my first adventures in the world on my own.

Sweet dreams, don’t forget to tell the ones you love that you love them, and most important of all, be kind.