His mind was reeling as he floated in the icy water above the ruins.
The place was flooded in the ’70s to manufacture a lake and recreation area. The government made the decision; residents weren’t asked, they were told.
“Plans for our new lake and recreation area are underway. You have 6 months to negotiate a sale with this office for all personal property and land.
“Cordially Yours, GOVERNMENT.”
And screw you. (The letter didn’t say that, but it may as well have.)
Everything in the town was sold by the owners to the government for unreasonably low prices. Some people managed to have whole houses moved to new locations, but the time, trouble and expense was just too much for most of the town’s residents.
The cemetery was relocated at government expense.
Everyone was told whatever else was left behind would be demolished and hauled away before the flooding began.
Residents, for the most part, took the money and ran. A few moved to the next town over, but the majority went further.
No one wanted to watch the valley be flooded. No one wanted to see the home of generations drown. Had they cared to witness the deluge pouring into the place, covering fertile farmland and old streets, it wouldn’t be allowed; roads were closed for days while filling the artificial lake was accomplished.
Years later, the lake is vast, the campgrounds and picnic areas lovely. Greg’s parents and grandparents had brought him here often.
But they had never seen this!
Newly certified to scuba dive, Greg decided to make the lake one of his first solo treks. Now he wished for a camera, because Grandpa would never believe this.
The church, the school, streets, houses, fences–all still here! Nothing demolished. Nothing moved.
Imagine that: they lied!