These photos are from Bob Good Photography, taken at Lawrence Lake near La Crosse.
I look at these, walk down the dock and I can smell the scent of the water and fish, feel the slap-slap movement of the boards, know the calls of the birds skimming the water. For so many years summer life centered on the water and the boathouses there. Beer was kept by being dropped into the cold of the river. (Fish nets put to good use.) Many a beer, many a fish fry. Diving off docks, swimming against the current.
It’s where we lived, it’s where we played and slept. Then you could keep boathouses directly on the river and ours were docked just past and under the big Mississippi bridge that crossed over to Minnesota. When those were gone we were not allowed to replace them. Time moved on, faster than the current and quicker than a walleye jumping for a June bug.
Now these photos below of the lake are for a different story. The one that will be told of lakes and eddies where it’s still okay for the parking of the boats and boathouses. They’re not on the Mississippi; they’re not in the way of the main lane for the big boats, the new business of summer, the new Riverboat Queen.
And so it goes—another bridge built, another song. And I wonder how they keep their beer cold?