Wed Apr 30 00:00:00 MDT 2008
Years ago, when my son was about six-years old, we went fishing near Helena at the York Bridge. He was casting near the boat launch, and typical of little boys, watching the launching of many different boats.
About mid-morning, an out-of-state two-wheel drive truck, towing a large pull camper and a small fishing boat attached to the camper, pulled in. The older driver and his buddy started backing down the boat ramp. They caught my son's attention and he laid his pole down and walked over to watch the action.
The driver of the truck got out to help his buddy in the water unhook the boat. About the time the driver shut the truck door, the whole caboodle started rolling down the ramp into the lake. There was yelling and scrambling by both men. The driver jumped back into the truck and hit the brakes, but by then even the large camper was already in deep water.
The buddy giving directions was standing next to my son by then. Suddenly, there was a loud snap as if metal had broken from metal. The camper slowly floated out away from the truck and ended up with its rear end over the top of the boat on the now sunken boat trailer. The camper looked like it was riding on the boat, and the whole thing was slowly sinking.
By this time both older men were standing next to my son with expressions that said they had no idea what to do next.
My son looked up in all innocence and said, "Your houseboat would have floated better with a larger boat or big pontoons."
Fearing for my son's life, I maneuvered him away from the red-faced men.
Soon several helpful anglers with four-wheel drive vehicles had pulled the camper, boat and trailer out of the water and everyone was back on shore.
After most of the excitement was over, the guy giving directions at the beginning of this ordeal walked over to my son, thanked him for his advice and winked at me.
"Your son's comment was the funniest thing to happen to me in a long time," he said, and walked away with a chuckle.