This is the first in a series of short essays on the theme of “Invasions”
I’ll be posting. See backstory here… -Sarah White

By Kathryn Bush

In the mid-1950s, the United States Army Corp of Engineers built a dam on the White River to create Table Rock Lake. As the water rose, it covered the valleys of the Ozark Mountains. Towns, villages, eventually the eccentric “Coin” Harvey’s Monte Ne resort and settlement, roads and trees disappeared into the murky waters. The shoreline was long and winding as the water embraced the hills and dells of the foothills. Only the naked crown of drowned trees peeked out along the water’s edge.

Our family was only one of thousands who quickly snatched up the shoreline property. We, along with the children and grandchildren of neighboring vacationers, dove off the new boat dock to swim among the eerie trees. We thought nothing of fish nibbling at our swimming toes, nor repeatedly, the venomous Water Moccasin whose thick body, in waves, crawled its way across the surface of the water to raise its large triangular head to stare suspiciously through its vertical slits more closely at the invaders.

November 2010

About first person productions

My blog "True Stories Well Told" is a place for people who read and write about real life. I’ve been leading life writing groups since 2004. I teach, coach memoir writers 1:1, and help people publish and share their life stories.
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1 Response to Intruders

  1. Kathryn’s story struck a chord with me because a a dammed river holds a place in my family’s history, too. Farms owned by relatives of my mother went under when the Salamonie Reservoir was created in the 1960s. I have no memories of “before”–I guess we didn’t visit those relatives–but I remember the “after” vividly–tromping after my brother as he sought the lost family graveyard, rumored to have survived the flooding of the valley because of its position on a hilltop. (Yes, we did find it–story for another day.)

    I’m haunted by the thought of farmhouses, yards, children’s private paradises lost under the water… sometimes I “see” life still going on there, in my dreams… Kathryn’s writing about swimming over the “eerie trees” sent me back into my own memories.


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