I have just a couple of more fun adventures to share with you from Sargent Beach! One of the highlights, from the trips when everyone went to the beach house on the Canal, was the water skiing exhibitions! I had several cousins who liked to water ski and about once a year my uncle would get his boat out from the boat basin, which was right across the road from our beach house. He would drive the boat around the path from the basin to the canal in front of our property’s pier and the cousins, one by one, would get their skis, and my uncle would hitch up the rope to the back of the boat and off they would go, much to the delight of the excited family members watching from the pier, cheering them on.
One of my cousins was so good that she could even ski slalom (that’s with both feet on only 1 ski). My uncle would drive her around the “official” beach house canal route, and as she was coming in to finish her “performance”, she would throw the rope up in the air as her grand finale…very fancy and dramatic! You may be wondering, “Did I ever go water skiing?” Actually, no I didn’t. I was young and fragile because of my heart condition, which I shared a little bit about in an earlier post. I was the baby of the family until I was 13 years old, when another cousin’s daughter was born. Sometimes I would get frustrated when my parents, or other elder relatives would say that I was too little to do certain things and I felt like I was missing out. There was a time, however, when my uncle invited me to ride in the boat and be the spotter during the water skiing party. WOW! I was thrilled. My uncle helped me into the boat, got me into a secure position, and off we went with each of the skiers in tow. On one occasion, I was wearing a hat which the wind blew off. I got all excited and upset, but the skier cousin was able to retrieve it, brought it to me as I sat in the boat, and all was well.
There was also the time when my uncle and grandfather were going to drive the boat down to the bait and tackle shop at the old rickety bridge to get some shrimp for us to fish with. They would get the boat out of its “parking place” in the boat basin and pull it around by the pier. They invited me to ride in the boat with them and of course I was thrilled to accept. I loved to ride with them in that boat. It was not only fun, but I think it also made me feel important.
Speaking of the boat basin, my mom, along with this same cousin (who could water ski slalom), used to love to get inner tubes, go down into the boat basin and float with their inner tubes in the water as they hummed the “Over the Waves Waltz”. They had a great time, just floating along, humming, laughing and talking. I think that one time, they were actually able to get me to go in there with them and it was fun! I was originally afraid to get into the boat basin because, along the shore you could see “fiddler crabs” crawling along there and I was always afraid that one of them would get on me, but when I finally did get into the water with my mom and my cousin, the crabs left us alone and we just had a great time.
As the end of each of our trips drew to a close, we would be all hot, sweaty and covered with sand, but happy, knowing that we had experienced a fabulous time. We would pack up, back out of the driveway, drive away from the beach house, down the road and over those 13 little “hills” to the old rickety bridge, through Sargent, through Bailey’s Prairie, through Angleton and on into Houston. Our family would have to stop at the 7-11 store where Daddy purchased his box of Shredded Wheat biscuits, which were about 29 cents in those days. We would finish our trip as we drove into our driveway, usually around 6p.m. We would take our baths, get the sand off and get all cleaned up. Daddy would have his Shredded Wheat and we would have whatever we wanted to eat, usually cereal or a scrambled egg, etc. We would be tired and ready for a good night’s sleep as the excitement of that wonderful trip to the beach house saturated our minds and we would begin to settle down. We would get ready for the next day’s activities which usually included going to school and work, but the wonderful memories of the trip to the beach house stayed with us and we always looked forward to the next special time with the family at our little get-away at Sargent Beach.