4 November 2007 Visiting Ladue
I stopped here this afternoon for the latest in a recent long string of dnf's. I expect the cache was there, but I wasn't. The lake was low today probably a combination of this summer's drought and the draw-down in preparation for snowfall and run-off.
As long as I was here, I stopped and spent some time remembering. When I first bought my boat, Gangbusters, this lake was a really busy place. I would arrive about 6 on Sunday mornings with my brother-in-law and sometimes my brother. We would scoot under the low causeway and out to our favorite perch bed and grab a handful of perch. Later as the sun came out and the fish slowed down, we would move around the lake. I would mostly hang out and doze in the sun while my brother-in-law would work the shoreline for bass. He was always a good fisherman and could out fish me while sleeping. We would spend the whole day doing nothing useful except having fun.
When it was time to go in, we would scoot back under that low causeway and onto the dam side of the lake. We were always greeted by a flotilla of small sailboats. This was a time before big and horsepower ruled the land. Oftentimes more than 50 small sailboats would dot the dam side of the causeway. The horizon was filled with a rainbow of sails; sails with stripes, plain white sails, sails with patterns, sails with rainbows. The people with the sailboats would be a wide array ranging from young couples to empty nesters to older couples just looking to enjoy being on the water. Ladue never allowed any motor other than electric so it was always pleasantly quiet. The only sound you could hear on the lake was the sound of people having fun.
After I settled down and married Ali, my brother-in-law and I would occasionally head to Ladue for a little visit. We switched our time on the water to Saturday evenings. The little sailboats were long gone as were most of the people fishing, but we would stay until sunset grabbing a few fish, watching the graceful beauty of herons as they flew by, and enjoying the evening rise of the moon. We had both grown in different directions by then so these evenings did not last for long, but they were fun.
These days whenever I pass by Ladue in the nicer weather the lake is pretty much deserted. The houses that housed the sailboat owners and fishing boat owners of the past have been dwarfed by Mcmansions whose residents have eyes only for the biggest and fastest of anything. A quiet afternoon on a modest lake would do nothing to add to their prestige and image. Too bad for them. Ladue is still there waiting.