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Mack Williams: Reflections on reflections

No, this does not concern some type of confusing, concentric Matryoshka doll-like reflections nestled one within another, nor that horrific fun house mirror shootout scene from “The Lady from Shanghai” (1947).

This week’s column concerns happy times which involved something of which I have always been afraid: water ( swimming in it, not its drinking or use for washing). I learned to deal with swimming (of sorts) in high school and as an adult, but am still, basically a “land lubber.”

An early memory of outdoor water was the little temporary snow melt ponds in the woods behind my childhood home on the Old Concord Road (and that road’s ditch, sometimes filled with water and  tadpoles).

In the early 1960s, I heard the sound of “pouring”(not fast enough to be called “rushing”) water while exploring the woods behind W.A. Cline’s cow pasture as a great snowfall was melting. Following that sound, I came to one of those temporary melt pools which was draining into a hole, the source of the sound. As I looked down, I saw my reflection in the water, but neither my reflection nor I disappeared into that hole (no “Alice” for me).

Later reading read about sinkholes and cave formation, I wondered if there might be a “Cline’s Cave” being formed somewhere down there.

The course of water traversed by me most while growing up would have been that of Town Creek, riding with my father, Bernard Williams over the little Dixonville bridge to pick up my mother, Lorraine Williams, from her work at W.T.Grants. I always include their names, because it is said that in mentioning the names of the dead, they live again ( maybe it’s the same with the reader’s silent reading of them). I guess the same goes for mentioning W.T. Grants. In the same vein, our family traveled over a number creeks and streams on the way to visit my grandparents (John and Lelia Williams) in North Wilkesboro.

But being in a car, I myself wasn’t reflected in the water; so you might say I saw the water, but it didn’t “see” me.

About that time, I saw my father and me reflected in a “liquid picture” while fishing beneath the Saint Matthews’ bridge.

I finally got into the water for recreational (dating) purposes with my high school girlfriend at Blue Waters Pool. Immersed in blue water reflecting the blue sky, a kind of “blue out” was sort of possible.

One time, I took another girl to Happy Lake (but if you mistakenly conclude from this statement that I was some sort of high school “stud,” a quick checking with any of my former East Rowan classmates will set you straight).

To quote the Ghost of Christmas past: “Bear but a touch of my hand there, and you shall be upheld in more than this.”

Well, at both Blue waters Pool and Happy Lake, my “upholding” was achieved by means of an inflated  inner tube.

Years later, my young family spent Sunday’s at Hyco Lake, enjoying hamburgers, hot dogs, my mother-in-law’s potato salad, and of course, the lake, by means of boat and swimming (me with inner tube).

Looking back on then brings good feelings and now the occasional thought about the effectiveness of “hydro-therapy” for arthritis.

There are photographs snapped by me of some of those times; and thankfully, there are also my recalled mind’s eye aquatic reflections in which the “picture taker,” himself, was included.

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