Suskie River Man~Wrightville, PA 4th of July 2013

I love the randomness of my life and the places it takes me.

Dale and I stopped at his parent’s house, Steve and Susie, and surprised them with a visit.  They were preparing to leave for their friend Butch’s house, a Susquehanna river man since 1969.  He broke the rules by tearing down the majority of ratty trees on his property causing the fur of neighbors to rise.  The neighbors got over, moved away or have died.  Butch is a tough old man with a heart of gold and a soft spot for his family.  Within his family are members of no blood relation, just great friends.

We enjoyed a night of fishing, laughing and at some points, annoying the hell out of Dale’s mom.  She gave me a warning (about 5 times) to stop messing with her, but I just couldn’t help myself.  When Dale’s brother Jon showed up with his girlfriend Jill, it was an all out verbal memoir of their childhood that I greatly encouraged.  Susie wasn’t as amused as the rest of us.  Fortunately for her, there was a huge distraction when someone threw a box of fireworks into the bonfire.  Missiles of fire headed right at us with incredible explosions that should never be viewed at close distance.

I yelled for the mom of two kids to run them up the hill.  The little girl Bailey was nearly in tears.  Tempers flared briefly;  it was a stupid move, made by someone drinking cheap beer.  Butch later set off his fireworks (completely legal, I’m sure) and shortly after, Wrightsville began their display.  The fish were biting, the people were happy, the kids were hilarious (I let them take some pictures of me) and the fireworks gave us many ooooo and aaaaaah moments.  The fireworks ended and the sky went dark, minus the moon and some stars.  We heard a voice coming from the river, “Butch, Butch!  We ran out of gas!”

Two men were drifting down a swift Susqhuehanna River in a fishing boat with no fuel for their motor.

“What do you want me to do?” Butch yelled.

“Help!” the unknown boatist yelled.

“There’s nothing I can do.  I can’t reach a rope out to you.”

“They’ll hit the dam.” I stated.

“Yes, they will.” Butch confirmed.

“The current will drag the boat under and drown them.”

“Yes, it will.” He replied.

“Should I call the police?” I asked.


He yelled out to the boat which was quickly passing and nearly out of sight.  “You want us to call for help?”

Both yelled back, “No!” and Butch said, “they have beer on the boat and don’t want caught.  Not worth dying over.”

I pulled out my phone; it was dead.  The entire group began discussing if 911 should be called.  At one point I thought for sure, someone, anyone who had a charged phone, would call for help.  In less than five minutes, the boat and men were gone.  We couldn’t hear them and they wouldn’t have been able to hear us.  I felt sick, and a little faint to be honest.  I had dread that I would read of a drowning at the dam in the morning news.  (I checked, no drownings last night, thank you Jesus for watching over drunks in boats.)

Butch said they would most likely be able to direct the boat to shore or at least get to one of the islands and call for someone to bring them gas.  No police involved.  Got ya, Butch.  Glad it worked out for them.

Butch said, “I’m a fixture here, a legend.  When I die, I want to be buried in my wall.”

I asked him how long it took him to build that impressive wall in front of his massive home.

“No one’s ever asked me that before.  A long time, like 9 years, and a lotta money.”

I have no doubt about that.  Beautiful living, down by the river.

Enjoy the pictures by clicking on the first and opening the gallery.


Go ahead...take a swing. I'll duck and listen.

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