In the Cheap Seats on White Rock Lake

Last night I joined my cover-story-mate Ed Spencer and his daughter, Amy Hammer, at White Rock Lake, where we poached on the Asleep at The Wheel concert at the Dallas Arboretum from our kayaks. First time we had ever done it, but a regular group gathers on the lake in boats, mostly kayaks, every Thursday evening to listen for free to the Arboretum's Cool Thursdays concerts, which would otherwise cost $18 a pop at the gate.

It's an eclectic scene. Along with every kind of kayak imaginable, we saw a wonderful wooden electric-powered runabout and an amphibious automobile. One of my favorite sights was a gentleman lying perfectly flat on his back the length of his very narrow kayak with his hands under his head and his eyes closed taking in every note. I thought of floating over there quietly and giving his boat a little sideways poke with my paddle, but I repressed that thought.

Spencer got into a chit-chat with the guy in the amphib car. Turns out Spencer knows another guy with an amphib car. Wouldn't you know it? And here the first time I saw the guy out there in the middle of the lake I thought he was just a drunk driver.

At one point people turned away from the concert and gazed westward to watch a cranberry-red sun setting behind the skyline of downtown.

Dallas can be pretty cool sometimes. White Rock is a treasure.

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Jim Schutze has been the city columnist for the Dallas Observer since 1998. He has been a recipient of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies’ national award for best commentary and Lincoln University’s national Unity Award for writing on civil rights and racial issues. In 2011 he was admitted to the Texas Institute of Letters.
Contact: Jim Schutze