The quarries north of Bloomington during the summer in the 1970s were sort of like a Hoosier variation of Woodstock. My recollection of how we got there, and the route we took and the destination—did we crawl over a fence near 17th Street?—is vague. Ultimately we walked down a dirt lane, along which a guy sold Coors beer—the real stuff that one could not purchase in Indiana legally and it was maintained cold all the way from Colorado, or at least that was what anyone who asked was told—from the tailgate of what I gauged to be a 1948 pickup of American make.
The movie “Breaking Away” caught a lot about the quarries. I was scared as hell going out there. The quarries were deep and I could not swim. I was 20 or so and possessed all the common sense of a male my age in that time.
The days always were beautiful and sunny but not too warm. The water was cool.
I hung onto an inner tube for a while. At one point I let go and dog-paddled a bit. I was struck by the sense of nothingness beneath me. I was an entity afloat in a body of water the size of which was much larger than I cared to consider.
I survived. I dog-paddled back to the inner tube then made my way back to the stone ledge. I dragged myself back up, happy to be alive.
Today I am afloat again, but metaphorically. I survived the quarries back there forty years ago. Challenges lie ahead. Life is a challenge.
“Civil Discourse Now” resumes after the first of the year. New People will be aboard and a couple of the old crew as well.
“Life is change.” Jefferson Airplane sang that line. It is as true today as it was nearly 50 years ago. I wish everyone a happy holiday and a great Winter Solstice.