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Blame It On The Moon

Right, you're bloody well right You know you got a right to say. Bloody Well Right - Supertramp

By Randall Grantham Community Columnist

I saw in the news that a younger person died Saturday on the lake I grew up on. Actually, I heard it first from my Mom, who still lives on the lake she and Dad moved onto in Lutz back in 1954. She saw the police and EMS activity in front of their house after the incident.

The last person I know to have died on that lake was Ol’ man Hixon, the brother of Curtis Hixon, the guy they named the old auditorium, Curtis Hixon Hall, and now river front park in Tampa after. He was Tampa’s mayor in the 40's and 50's. In fact, he was mayor when Mom and Dad bought out here, but I digress.

Back in the 60's, Ol’ man Hixon fell out of his boat while fishing in the part of the lake known as Little Lake Hobbs and drowned. The guy that died Saturday went out in quite a different manner - a jet ski accident.

He and a couple friends were riding them and apparently got a little reckless when one T-boned the other. Did I mention that this happened at around 3:00 in the morning?

Yeah, when I was younger, we used to ski and stuff at night. I can remember riding the skimboard, a painted disk of plywood we had made, under the full moon. When we fell off, as you inevitably do, it was quite a challenge for the boat to find and retrieve you without running you over.

But, judging by the lunar cycle, even Saturday night’s crescent moon was down over the horizon by the time those guys went out. Jet skis don’t have headlights now, do they? Ah, the foolishness of the young.

Of course being young gives you some inherent advantages. We were probably 14-16 years old at the time we did our night skiing. Not only was our good sense not fully formed at the time, our bones were still young and malleable. Plus, at that age, we couldn’t buy or easily get alcohol, a huge advantage when a stupid activity comes to your mind and you feel compelled to act on it.

So how old were the people involved in this stupid activity? Well, the dead guy was 30 years young. I’m not sure, but we can assume the other two people involved were around the same age. That’s right, three people, old enough to know better, were out, racing around on jet skis, in the middle of the night, in the middle of a dark lake, with no life jackets.

Oh! I didn’t mention no life jackets? Well that can also be assumed under that fact pattern, can’t it? And as far as alcohol, well you can make your own assumptions. ‘Cause I’m not saying there was, I’m just saying...

It is a tragedy that this happened. And I know I just wrote about getting out, taking risks, living life, but this is a bit beyond the pale. Any decent cost/benefit analysis has to include a bit of common sense.

I will update my algorithm accordingly.

(Randall C. Grantham is a lifelong resident of Lutz who practices law from his offices on Dale Mabry Highway. He can be reached at LutzLaw@aol.com. Copyright 2012 RCG)

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