Letter to the Editor

Williams: Local man wants 'little slice of heaven' saved

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Dear editor:

I've been in the Missouri National Guard for over 30 years now deploying to Iraq twice, and I am currently in Afghanistan.

My wife sent me this news of Viney Creek closing, and it really made me sad and kind of angry.

I was born in 1963 and grew up in Missouri. My mother and father started taking me to Viney Creek when I was big enough to walk. I can remember learning how to swim and ski there.

Back then, it cost nothing to camp or swim, you just picked out a spot and that was where you set your tent up. Those were some of the best memories I had growing up.

I got married in 1982 and started a family of my own. It wasn't long before I had all three of my boys there learning how to swim and jumping off the bluffs with all their friends.

I taught most of them how to wake board, and a lot of tubing took place from there. My sons have told me many times how much fun and good memories they have there.

They mentioned Golden as being small and unincorporated, but I know Viola and Eagle Rock can't, if even, be much bigger? Also, Big M camp area that is across from Viney doesn't even have a town so how is this a factor at all?

It looks like the intake fell a little short last year, but instead of closing the park, I'm sure there are many campers that would be willing to pay a little more each night just to keep this wonderful place open. I know I would.

Or, we could go back to the way most of us growing up remember and stop spending so much money like four inches asphalt on roads to keep it going?

After all, like my dad always commented, "Our Tax Money built the lake." I'm sure our taxes paid for all the new electrical and water sites also.

But, now it is going to be closed just as my grandchildren are ready to learn how to swim and hear all grandpa's camping stories; and they tell me that if I even set foot on it, I will be charged for trespassing.

Something about this just don't seem right. Like my grandpa told me there at Viney Creek a long time ago, "Sounds kind of fishy."

God Bless America!

James Williams

Monett, formerly of Washburn, and currently deployed in Afghanistan with the Army

National Guard