Ya, I know, we wouldn’t have places like the fabulous Central Park in New York City without the visionaries in past centuries. We do need visionaries and I didn’t moan and groan when a wealthy owner of a grocery store chain here in town spearheaded a project with a gift of $300,000 that bought up 42 miles of abandoned railroad beds and paved them for walking and hiking trails. That project was accomplished with 2.9 million dollars in federal and state grants. I welcomed that project because nearly everyone who could breathe can and does use those trails which just goes to show that most of us will get behind a visionary project if we see something in it for us personally. But my kayaking days are over---actually they never started but that's beside the point. I'm too old to want to learn how to shoot the rapids like they claim the Native Americans could do in that stretch of the river back before the dams were added to help the timber industry bring logs down river to the furniture factories that our city was once famous for world-wide.
‘Shoot the rapids’, by the way, is probably a 20th century idiom invented by people who don’t mind scaring themselves half to death while whitewater rafting out West. Try as I might I couldn’t find the origins of that phrase but it’s close to the 1920’s ‘Shoot-the-Chute’ which was the name of an amusement park ride in which boats went down a steep incline to a pool at the bottom. ©
|Our survival raft and two of our friends|