Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Gone But Not Forgotten


Some of you may recall one of the first watercolours (pictured above) I painted almost 20 years ago: "Cooling Off", later reproduced in a limited quantity, is of the dock and logs at Mason's Beach. Well, if you haven't driven past Mason's Beach in a while, you may notice something missing when you do. I am not alone in leaving Shawnigan Lake.

A little over a week ago, I decided to take Molly back to the lake for a swim; she liked to walk the logs in an attempt to catch a big fish living under the dock. Imagine my surprise upon arrival to see two men (who I soon found out where from the CVRD) in separate boats removing the last log from the beach... and the dock was no where to be found. Why? Insurance. Because too many people were suing the CVRD if their kid happened to fall off a log and knock out a tooth or break something. Why? Because today there are no accidents and no one is responsible for their own actions. Back in my day (I am that old!) if anyone hurt themselves jumping off cliffs, walking logs, diving off docks other than their own, no one was responsible but themselves. The excitement was worth the risk. Now we have people suing their friends if they get a splinter in their butt from a hot tub...and why not, the friends don't pay, the insurance company does. And don't even get me going on the vandals, which is another reason the dock had to go. For many years not a single board went missing in action, but recently the ripping, smashing and general mayhem is increasing at a ridiculous rate. So, don't call the CVRD to whine about the loss of yet another Shawnigan pastime (no more right of passage walking the logs... oh and bye bye Quarry, too).

It was serendipitous that I just happened to have my camera with me that day and I am not ashamed to admit I actually got a tear in my eye as I photographed the last log sailing out of sight.

1 comment:

Chris said...

When I was in grade 4, a long, long time ago - I was walking along those logs when I fell. I grabbed one of the upright poles, the big ones the size of a telephone pole. I slide down and tore open the skin just about my right knee on a railroad spike sticking out of the pole. I screamed so loud that the 2 B.C. Hdro Company guys having lunch at the beach came running and "rescued" me. The drove me and my mother to the old hospital in Duncan where they sewed me up with a dozen big old stitches and gave me a bandage any football player would be proud of. The scar is still large, no plastic surgeons back then. My parents didn't sue anyone, just told me to be more careful.

I loved that beach, walked those logs a million times. I noticed on my visit to my parents last week that the logs were gone. How sad.

Are we that old? Is it the end of an era? They can remove the logs but they can never take away your memories. Chris Davies-Reeves