Splish, splashI was taking a bath By Cal Bryant 10/12/2006 If you#8217;re hands feel damp while reading this column, don#8217;t fret.it#8217;s just me still drying out from a wet weekend. From Friday
If you’re hands feel damp while reading this column, don’t fret….it’s just me still drying out from a wet weekend.
From Friday morning through Saturday evening, I had more than my fair share of “soaking” adventures.
On Friday morning (Oct. 6), I covered a ribbon-cutting for E-Z Page/US Cellular on Main Street here in Ahoskie.
The business, operated by Donna and Bill Burden, is less than one block west of the News-Herald office. I could have very easily covered that distance on foot, but I didn’t for two reasons. One, I left home too late to stop by work before making my 10 a.m. assignment and, two, it looked like the bottom was going to fall out at any minute.
Just a few minutes after getting the business info from Donna, the raindrops began to fall. Thank goodness we were indoors.
Of course, the rain intensified just as I was about to wrap-up my assignment. I got drenched running to my truck. However, I didn’t face the same fate as Tim Britton, the head honcho of the Ahoskie branch of Southern Bank. Tim’s branch is located directly across Main Street from the Burden’s business. He walked over to offer his congratulations to his new business neighbor, but was faced with a wet walk in order to return to work. I feared that Tim couldn’t swim (it was raining that hard) so I gave him a ride to the bank. Tim, my friend, there’s no service charge for that.
On Friday evening, I made my way to cover the Northeast Academy homecoming football game in beautiful downtown Lasker. En route (on the St. Johns-Menola Road), it rained so hard that I could have sworn I saw a catfish swim across the highway.
The deluge did slack off a bit by the time I reached Lasker, but the game was played in a persistent light rain. Thankfully, Northeast Academy officials moved the homecoming festivities inside the gym.
I shouldn’t reveal this bit of information, but I left the school immediately following the crowning of the Homecoming queen. I did take a few photos, but I wasn’t about to go back out on the field and endure the rain. I was later told I didn’t miss much as Northeast was beaten by two touchdowns.
Saturday morning was overcast, but at least it wasn’t raining. However, it was on the cool side.
My assignment was to cover Ahoskie Heritage Day and Indian Summer Days. I photographed the parade, the pumpkin decorating contest, the art show, the craft show, the Health Expo and the Battle of the Bands. Nary a raindrop fell during that time frame, but yet I was doomed to get wet.
In my never-ending quest to be a nice guy, I had earlier volunteered to spend an hour in the Heritage Day dunking booth. I have seen others take part in this type of activity and it appeared to be fun. Those other times, of course, were in warmer weather conditions.
Approximately 20 minutes before my appointed hour was scheduled to begin, I changed into swim trunks and a t-shirt. I made my way to the dunking booth where Ahoskie Town Manager Tony Hammond briefed me on how things worked. Basically, you simply sit on a spring-levered seat that collapses upon a ball making contact with a target located to the left of your perch.
So, there I sat….a sitting duck (a plump mallard in my particular case), waiting for a strong-armed thrower to make an accurate toss at the target, thus causing all the mechanical wizardry to occur under the seat and thusly dropping the volunteer participant (me) into the water.
All of that would have been great in July or August. But it was October. It was a weekend that saw one of the earliest nor’easters strike our area. It was cold and damp, and I wasn’t even in the water.
That all changed.
My prayers for wimpy armed contestants were unanswered. Instead, it seemed like everyone had the arm of Nolan Ryan. Even little kids were popping that target faster than a machine gun. I spent more time in the water than on the seat.
Did I mention how cold the water was? It was like falling into a bucket of ice.
Thankfully, Tony cut my time in-half. I only spent 30 minutes in the tub. Anymore than that and I swear they would have to get an ice pick and chip me out.
But, all in all, it was fun. The kids were really enjoying themselves. Even a few adults got in on the action, particularly one unknown man who seemed to take a liking to seeing me shiver. I bet he spent $8 (3 chances for a $1). I must have written something bad about him or his family.
Congratulations to all those behind the scenes that made Ahoskie Heritage Day and Indian Summer Days a huge success. You all made a big splash, and so did I.