Monday, July 14, 2008


Hi all.

I am writing to you from the Colony in Longboat key on the west coast of Florida.
We got here last night just in enough time to go to the beach for an hour or two and go for a swim in the pool.
It is perfect for the kids.

I was going to have my associate write you a blog today but something happen that I have to tell you about. I will be putting in Dr. Michelle's blog on Wednesday.

I finished my first book of the trip. I finished the last 100 pages or so of Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamont. I told you I didn't like the other book I read of hers but I have to say that this book was pretty good.

I am starting Black Hawk Down. I am on this military kick now because of the Lone Survivor book I just read (that was awesome).

Now back to my story.
This morning we get up about 8am and after eating breakfast we head on down to the beach.
We are there and there isn't a soul around.
The west is very windy and choppy this week. There are waves (for those of you who do not know Florida, the west, the Gulf of Mexico, side is very calm. The east is all about waves, surf contests and jetties). So it is not like the west coast to have chop and waves.
It is so choppy out their and the under current is so strong I have my radar on high alert. (I am a freak about my kids and water).
In this resort there is a concrete dock that jets out into the water. Now usually on the west coast this would be great. People could fish off of it, people could swim around it.
But it was so choppy I ordered my children not to go around it.

But there are people from all around staying at this resort. I met some people from New Jersey and I met people from Europe. That don't know the dangers of a concrete structures and water.

After me and the kids built a sand castle and went in the water it was time to mosey on over to the pool.
There were more people out and about. There were kids on the dock. I was going to walk to the dock before we were going to go to the pool when I saw two kids jump off of the dock.
Now the right side of the dock was the danger side. The waves continued to crash against it and the left side was easy because the current would take you away from the dock.
The kids being kids jumped in on the right. I saw all this happening while I was in the area.
I began to pick up my pace toward the dock.
The parents (I think a mom and aunt where to the left of the dock and had no idea that her kid has just jumped into a very dangerous situation).
One of the kids, who was probably 10, realize the waves kept pushing him closer and closer to this dock so he swam to shore. Shore was about 10 yards in.
But being that the waves crashed against the dock it became very deep around the dock.
So this kid (who turned out to be 8 years old) couldn't stand and the waves were pinning him against the dock.
The other kids on the dock were into their own thing and didn't realize there cousin and brother was literally drowning in the water 3 feet from them.
So of course they were not yelling or running around.
I had moved much faster now. He was bobbing so he wasn't full on drowning but he was in trouble. By the time I got there he wasn't responding to me yelling. I could reach down and he could of grabbed my arm but at this point he was in big trouble. I didn't want to jump in but I was about to if I didn't get him on the dock in about 5 seconds or less (I would be putting myself in the same dangerous situation he was presently in). I was calling for him and he wasn't looking up at me to reach his arm up.
I yelled at the kids to tell me his name. "POTTER". I was yelling at him, "Potter, grab my arm".
The next wave went over his head but it also brought his body up enough so I could grab his swim shirt.
I pulled him up in one motion. He was fine but a mess. He was standing but not really with it. I was talking to him as he was walking around but he was not looking at me or talking.
His brothers and cousins brought him back to his parents (which never even knew any of this went on).
I went on to the pool with my kids.
It started to sink in that maybe that last wave that went over his head might of been the last one.
We went on swimming.
Later on these two guys came up to me and said they watch the whole thing. One of them knew the kid was in trouble and said he was ready to jump up.
"Great save" they said over and over.

The mom eventually did make there way over to the pool and Potter pointed me out to her. She was very thankful.
I was really hoping she was going to be the wife of a prince or a sister of a major CEO in a major European business. You know like thank you for saving my son's life please take this castle in the French Riveria as a small token of my appreciation. Or I would love for you to be my guest in my VIP box at the World Series.

Just another day in the life of me. Crazy I tell you.

Well we came in the suite for an afternoon nap and plan on going back out there now.
Just to swim but you never know what is going to happen next.

Look for Dr. Michell on Wednesday and I will see you all (or maybe one of you) on Thursday 3:20pm on the exhibit floor. Be there it could save your life.

Talk to you soon,


Anonymous said...

Lone Survivor was a pretty amazing story. Have you read Endurance? Even more incredible stroy of survival. I'd also suggest Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen. Not about survival, just a good read.

Buckeyedental said...

Dear John

Hope you enjoyed the weekend. Your story reminds me of the old song "I want to be a lifeguard".

I and my family were on Siesta Key Beach Saturady (about 15 miles south of Longboat) we had no waves at all.

See you in Orlando.

Kim Shaw


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