Thursday, July 18, 2013

PRESENTATION ABOUT CHEROKEE LAKE

Oh my - I left the front door open too long.  How was I going to get out of this one.
Shade got out before I did and positioned herself beside the truck all ready to take off with dad.  Man, what a heart grabber.  The dedication of that dog is amazing.  She just wants to be with me.  Nothing, not even the word treat, can move her from that spot.
She will lay there all day if I can't get her interested in something else.   I filled a bucket with water and walked out to the roses and watered them.  I never gave her a look or a word.  I acted totally disinterested in her or the need to get on the road.  On the way back I simply walked passed her and entered the house, calling Chestnut and Happy in for a "treat."  Then, I looked back at shade and said, "come on girl - treat."  She didn't move.  Inside the house, I gave Chestnut and Happy treats and Happy started barking.  The excitement caused Shade to get up and run to the kitchen.  A treat was given to her and I slipped out the door.  How I hate to fool her that way! 
I was asked if I'd be interested in giving a presentation at Granger County Park about Cherokee Lake.  I viewed this as an opportunity to not only add diversity to my daily routine, but to brush up on my public speaking - of which I consider myself capable.
I knew the audience would range in ages from 5 years to 12 years of age and figured it would be a snap.  I pulled the truck up to the pavilion and a sort of reality set in when I saw all the kids milling around inside.
I had an outline with me that I had prepared for this little gathering, but after actually laying eyes on these little tykes - I began to wonder if they would really want to hear about the total acreage and water capacity of Cherokee Dam, or that the total surface area of the dam was 29,000 acres.  Maybe they'd like to know that the 4 hydroelectric generating units at the dam can produce 148,000 megawatts of power.
I had to rethink this whole presentation.  Of course, I'm a quick thinker and a BS'er of a magnitude only equaled by one other person I know of and he taught me.  Simple, informative and to the point, embellished with just enough glamour to add the delightful flavor that would hold their attention.  That was what was needed.
They all were seated and the adult leader introduced me at which point I began.  The notes went into the hip pocket and I started by saying, "three centuries ago a great war raged across the Eastern Frontier that extended South to touch the Cherokee Indians and settlers that lived in this valley.  The French and the English were each struggling to gain control of the frontier and sought the aid of the Cherokee Indians.  A great warrior path lies under the waters of Cherokee Dam and was used by the Cherokee Indians to undertake raids on the French and sometimes the British during that great conflict called the French and Indian War  that preceded the Revolutionary War, which would come later.  Daniel Boone used this warrior's path many times during his travels.  The valley often flooded even in those days and in 1940, Cherokee Dam was built.  That lead into the Cherokee Dam and lake part of the talk.

Every eye on every face was riveted to my face.  Each kid was consumed in the information.  They even liked the information about Tennessee having 315 different species of fish and only 280 of them being native to the state.  I explained the roll of TWRA in Tennessee and they loved that information.   Anyway, the event was a total good time and the hour went by quickly.  I even threw in some bald eagle information and they loved that.
The funniest thing was a little girl of 6 years of age who put her hand up during the question and answer period.  She said,  "how did you grow that mustache?"
I told her, "Wyatt Earp was my great, great, great uncle and all the male kids related to that family history grow super long mustaches."  She said,  "prove it."  I bout died!
I told her, "I got documentation at home."   She said, "go get it."
Obviously it was too far to go home and return with the proper documentation and proof of my linage to this little 6 year old.  

The above is just a flavor of the morning and it was delightful and writing about it was also a delight.