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High Rock Lake a gift for the writer in anyone

Gifts come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Some gifts you secretly want to hand back to the giver and say politely “No thank you.”
Recently I was gifted the opportunity to provide as part of my job , a weekly story or column for the readers of the Salisbury Post. Since I avoid writing like it’s the plague, I found myself earnestly trying to come up with any reason possible to not accept the gift.
Much like Cpl. Max Klinger bucking for a Section 8 to get out of the Army during the Korean War (fictional character from the M*A*S*H television series), I came up with many reasons why I was not the right person for this assignment. Lack of available time, lack of skills, time, low self-esteem, time and most of all “What am I supposed to write about?”
I half-jokingly suggested to my co-worker, Mark Wineka, that if he would ghost write for me in exchange he could put his name under some of my pictures. Seemed like a reasonable arrangment, until he pointed out that he was already an award-winning photographer and had the certificate to prove it.
I went to my family members to pour out my fears for what was about to be inflicted upon the readers of the paper but was only meet with encouragement and excitement. I still have a bad feeling about letting my father know about my new undertaking because let’s face it, James Lakey is an active user of a popular social networking site. It is not outside the realm of possibility that my father leaned over to friends in church this very day and said “You know my son is a writer.”
All joking aside, I have decided that this offering of space in the Sunday’s paper is indeed a gift. But that brought me back to the question, “What am I going to write about?”
I went back to editor Elizabeth Cook looking for some guidance partly because she is the head honcho on the third floor and was also the one that handed me “the gift.”
Together, we decided that High Rock Lake would be suitable topic for reoccurring Sunday columns. It seemed to fit and the more I thought about it, the more confident I was about accepting the gift. Besides I do have childhood recollections of taking trips down from the North to the lake on the weekends (northern Davidson County of course).
Not long after coming to work at the Post in 1998, I think it was Mark that gave me the nickname High Rock because it fit well with my last name, Lakey. And that is where I come to the point of what I want this column to be about. High Rock Lake has been the gathering place for several generations of folks that have been drawn to the water for many different reasons. A person I have known for years recently told the story about riding his bicycle as a kid from Faith down to lake on the weekends to fish. Today, he wakes every morning with the sun reflecting off the waters on Dutch Creek just around the corner from Tamarac Marina. Well, welcome to the family, my friend, because you are a Lakey too.
The goal is to find interesting stories about people and their connection to High Rock Lake.
This is not a place for information about coal ash, mercury levels, Alcoa or who caught the biggest fish. Don’t plop your huge catfish in the truck and drive it up to the Post for a photo. But feel free to drop me a line at jlakey@salisburypost.com or find me on twitter @highrocklakeys with story ideas. Now like Cpl. Radar O’Reilly, I need to requisition a boat.

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