Tuesday, July 09, 2013
The Musselshell's "Dead Man's Bend"
Suddenly we heard a cry for help...in the middle of the river. It was Pam Harper..about age 7. It was a blur but my mom threw off her robe and jumped into the river with her cat-eye glasses on. I recall that...like I was worried about her losing her glasses.. at first. We watched her swim toward Pam and then the current which had taken Pam quickly, took them both downstream. We watched them bob up and down...Pam was screaming but I never heard my mom yell.
All of us kids ran along the banks of the river...we were crying for mommy is all I know. It was about 2 blocks down that mom finally drug Pam up on the shore...falling next to her amid tall grass. Pam was blue and mom's lips were blue..but she had those glasses on...that I loved so much. I will never forget.
Mom turned her over and hit her on the back...Pam threw up..a lot! She was breathing and wasn't blue for much longer. My mom was shivering. I don't recall much more..except going to Dairy Queen after.
We drove up...mom asked everyone what they wanted. When Pam did not get what she wanted she said.."I wish I would have drowned"...and my mom's arm came around from the front seat in a rush and her hand smacked Pam across the face. Not another sound was heard as we took the Harper family back to their house.
The story ended up in the local newspaper...Mrs. Harper called it in. When we showed up on Sunday (at church) everyone was telling my mom she was a saint...and her cheeks turned the same red as her lipstick, but she remained very humble. That's when I knew..no matter what my mom ever did, she'd always be my hero. (and we all learned to swim..very well).