That boat had a little motor just big enough to get us all over the lake. Mom said she would look out the window and see that boat so full of kids it was a wonder that it didn't sink. The last thing dad usually told us was to make sure that we had enough gas.
As the kids in the neighborhood were mostly boys, I was usually the only girl in the boat. The boys were great I never had to put bait on my hook and someone was always willing to take my fish off the hook…yuck!
Inevitably we would run out of gas… then it was taking turns on the oars to get us back to the dock, luckily the lake was small. One of the boys would standing like George Washington crossing the Delaware calling out stroke, stroke to time the rowers.
One of the boys in that boat was Steve Johnson. It's forty years later and he still loves fishing, is an avid hunter and an all around outdoors man. He is a loving husband and father of three kids. But now Steve is the one running out of gas.
This spring Steve was diagnosed with not one but two very rare cancers of the saliva glands, Myoepithelial Carcinoma with clear cell features and Hyalinizing Clear Cell Carcinoma (HCCC). At the University of Minnesota hospital he has undergone two surgeries to remove the tumors. After about three weeks of recovery he will be undergoing about eight weeks of radiation. He will be on a feeding tube for the next few months.
Steve has been unable to work since May and his wife Kim has taken a leave of absence to be with him in Minneapolis while he undergoes treatment. They are staying at the American Cancer Society's Hope Lodge, which offers free lodging for cancer patients and their caregivers. They also provide shuttle service to and from the hospital. But the family has used up most of their savings.
There will be a Benefit for the Johnson's on Saturday Sept 14th at the Wadena Elks Lodge in Wadena, Minnesota from 4 to 7:30 pm. There has also been an account set up for them at the Wadena State Bank 341 1st St SE, C/O Steve P Johnson Benefit, Wadena, MN 56482.
That old boat lasted many years before it finally sank, but not because it was overloaded with kids, but because it had just gotten so old.
Mol an latha math mu oidhche.
Praise the good day at the close of it