Crossing the wake in summer water-skiing in a warm Michigan lake.

by James K. Sayre

This was in the late 1950s; my family and I had driven up from Pittsburgh, PA to stay in a cottage on a small warm lake in lower Michigan. I was about 17 or so and younger brother and sister were both in their teens, so we were all champing at the bit to try our hands at water skiing. With my father at the helm and steering the tow boat with a powerful engine, we each got many turns at water skiing. It was really great fun. The water was warm enough to not bother us when we lost our balance and then dumped in. Crossing the boat's wake on water skiis was really magical, especially when the tow boat was driven very slowly, with just enough speed to keep me on the skiis.

Unfortunately, soon after this summer vacation I wa off to college and holding summer jobs and then moving out to California. In later summers, I heard how my sister and my father even learned to water ski on one ski; a neat trick. Somehow, I have never had the urge to try to water ski in the icy cold water of the Sacramento Delta or on some of the large artificial dammed up Caifornia lakes. Now water skiing is just a pleasant childhood memory...




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