Letters, Lifestyle

As I Remember … Stranded on the Ice

I answered the phone.  It was a member of the Livesey family informing me that kids were stranded on the ice. My dad and I drove to the lake.  There was a crowd and the Fire Department.

I asked a friend, “What’s the story?” and he said, “They have three of them.”

I then asked a policeman, who said that there were four of them at Dr. Bruner’s office.

When driving back on Division Street my dad said, “They won’t find the other one until spring.”

I said, “Dad, the four of them are at Dr. Bruner’s.”

He decided to stop at the house and tell Mom. She was standing at the top of the stairs, and when my dad said, “They have three and they will not find the other one until spring,” my mom fainted and landed at my feet. I was shocked.

At Dr. Bruner’s there were three pair of skates in the foyer, a red flag for me. Down a hallway sat one of the boys. At the T, my dad went left and I went right. We both turned and wondered — where was my brother?

A nurse then said, “Oh, the other one is here.” She opened a door and there was Jim.

Patrons at the Lakeshore Terrace Hotel had had difficulty deciding if what they viewed were geese or people. I do not know who called the Fire Department. Clarence Ware and a co-worker were near the lake. They took a rowboat and rescued the kids.

I was told that because my brother stayed on the ice, he was able to help the three back onto the ice. When the split was small, they went into the water. I learned that their clothing froze to the side of the boat.

Ken Livesey, Ellis Cowell, Jim and Lois Perkins. Four lucky kids. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

Richard Perkins
Redmond, Oregon

Image by Ed Zilch from Pixabay

One Comment

  1. Avatar Robert Carlson

    All four, very good friends of mine, as is the author Richard Perkins; I remember the incident like it was yesterday. Clarence Ware was a former school mate as well, and a member of the Kingsville-Gosfield Volunteer Fire Department. As I recall, Ken Livesey tried to swim an increasingly widening gap between the ice and the shore to seek help for the others trapped on the ice. He turned back not quite half way across and was very lucky to return safely to his friends. Of the four, Ken suffered the worst from the effects of hypothermia, and was weeks recovering from the ordeal.

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