I was learning to ski on Lake Wissota outside Chippewa Falls and it was the summer of 1986.

I was with some counselors from Luther Park Bible Camp and one of their grandpas. I had met some lengthy sturgeon, had ingested about a gallon of lake water, both from swallowing and nasal gavage, and hadn’t yet managed to ski. I was in the rocking chair position, I was always ready to go, but once the horsepower got added my limbs all went higgledy-piggledy. Had we been trolling for sharks I might have been an effective bait. All I remember was the disorienting amount of splashing and foaming and pulling all around me. My fellow counselor’s grandpa was kind of a lovable curmudgeon who had been quite quiet as my struggles ate up a good portion of the hour. I had been receiving encyclopedic amounts of advice from my fellow counselors but he had remained mum. He finally spoke: “Follow the boat!”

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