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Commentary: ‘Hang on’ through summer [Repost]

With the nice weather arriving here in Georgia, I thought about this commentary that I wrote nearly a decade ago. Sadly, my father and his friend Mel, whom I wrote about in several articles, have passed on from this world. But the many lessons they gave me in manhood remain. How so very lucky I was to have them in my life.

eartheditor

A friend of my father whom I have known since I was a child, I’ll call him “M” here,gave me my first safety lesson when I was about 10 years old.

I was standing short and skinny, in 1978, above a Class III river section with a helmet, a life jacket, and a big, black truck tire inner-tube, and he said, jokingly, “Hang on, Kid.”

It was my first run-in with danger, so I took this best friend of my father’s words very seriously.

“If you fall off, remember, keep your feet up, don’t drag them on the rocks, or you could get them caught in a crevasse and be pulled under,” he said. “You will be fine.”

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By Eartheditor

Hello. I am a prior U.S. Navy sailor and photojournalist serving on active duty with the National Guard – combined, for more than 24 years. This blog features my more memorable stories and photos from that news pile as well as creative writing. All images and stories are by me unless otherwise credited. I hope to backlog more as well as write new stories. Thank you so much.
- Mike R. Smith

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