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(EXCERPT) SKIPPING STONES

PUBLISHED IN Sheriff Nottingham 11 Collect Rocks

 I know that at some point in my life, I must have skipped stones over some body of water somewhere. I know I have, but when I think back to when and where, the memory just isn’t there. I think, When did I skip rocks? Was I with my dad? Was it at the beach? We lived near the beach when I was a kid. A lake somewhere on a family vacation? We didn’t take a lot of vacations. Maybe I saw it in a movie once.

If it happened, if would have gone something like this: Dad would have sent us out to find smooth rocks, the best kind for skipping. We would have scoured the land collecting handfuls of rocks, my siblings and me, racing each other to get the best ones. Wherever we were, there wouldn’t have been a lot of good, smooth rocks. Finding them would have been a challenge.

While we scavenged, Dad would have smoked a cigarette and looked out over the water. After a while, we’d all run up to him with our pockets full of rocks. Dad would then inspect each one, throw out the bad ones and pitch one out like a Frisbee. It would really fly, man! We’d watch the smooth stone dance across the water. We’d marvel at Dad’s almost supernatural power to make the stone soar, just barely grazing the surface. It would have gone into infinity. He’d try another and it wouldn’t go as far. He’d blame the rock. And then he’d let us try…

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