Forty years from now, as we are enjoying a cold beverage on our boat docked in Springs Lake, we will look back at the Great Drought of 2011-12 as a footnote to history.
When I start regaling my grandchildren with stories about the plush Anne Springs Close Greenway that once took up the area now known as Nation Ford Marina, they will think I’m just an addled old man exaggerating the past. When I tell them that if they dive deep enough they might find the remnants of peach trees, they will think I’m fully off my rocker.
It will have been such a long time since the deluge changed Fort Mill, local youths won’t be able to imagine it any differently. They think the Summer Splash Carnival has been around forever. I don’t dare bring up the memories of the Strawberry Festival, lest they want to have me committed to a nursing home.
As I continue to peer into the future, I see they’ve even changed the old saying we had back in the day: “April showers mean May showers, which lead to a summer of fun in the water!”
It is all fun and games to the kids of 2053. Every now and then, some group of teens will swim over the retaining wall and climb 30 feet to the dilapidated seats they call “Lookout Point.” Little do they know, that is where the Windseeker permanently froze in the summer of 2015, a combination of terrible design and rust.
So much history they missed. They can’t even recall when the rising water led Tega Cay’s septic system to overflow, causing the entire area to be evacuated and condemned. They just know not to stray into Stinkyville these days.
Those of us living here in 2053 can’t remember when the lifeguard class didn’t exist or when Steve’s Restaurant only had a single floor instead of being a three-story mega-complex offering lakeside dining.
The only time the word “drought” has been mentioned in these parts is when talking about how long it has been since the high schools were competitive in land sports. But you should see the way the lads and lasses dominate water polo, swimming, diving and sailing. When I talk about the days of walking uphill in a foot of snow to school, they take me to the shed and show me their kayak and the calloused hands they’ve gotten from rowing to class each day.
Sort of puts me right in my place.
The times, they are a changin’.
You can reach Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org.