West Irvine to Drowning Creek
By Gortimer T. Spotts
We’d agreed to rally at dawn and attack the river before the unseasonably scalding June sun had a chance to fully preheat the western hemisphere. But a very small window is the dawn. I awoke at noon and hustled to Mayer Manor on the north side of Lex, well, just north of center, to rendezvous with the General and Northrupp, who were both convalescing with the Mayer family on a kind of sympathetic and extended maternity leave. General Dallas, bare-chested and unshaven, greeted me at the kitchen door holding baby Josie just like a nursing mother, a delicate white towel draped over the shoulder, a corncob pipe clenched in the jaw, unlit. “Good morning, young Gortimer. We’re just wrapping up the morning feed.” And just then Northrupp appeared at the foot of the stairs with two loaded dry bags and two collapsible coolers slung over his arm. “Ah, Gorty, you’re early. Think we’re all ready.” With quiet goodbyes to the semi-roused parents, we made our break, the General plugging baby Josie back into her vintage General Electric Slumbersling and turning the dial to eleven, heavy drool mode.