Lake Mitchell comes to life for Memorial Day

Published 3:59 pm Tuesday, June 10, 2014

By Peggy Bullard

Memorial Day weekend is the official beginning of summer here on Lake Mitchell, and the lake was definitely alive with the sounds of many boat motors and squeals of joy as adults and children alike rode tubes, skied and rode wake boards.

The weather was beautiful for all the fun and celebration. Many families and friends got together for the first time since last summer. Dale and Patty Vann are among the many who host an annual event. Their family and neighbors in Walnut Creek have been getting together for about 10 years now on the Saturday before Memorial Day.

The Vanns are area representatives for Lake Mitchell Home Owners Boat Owners, and they host a brunch each year for their neighbors. This is a perfect way for lake neighbors to get acquainted since many do not live here full time. Dale said they have not only built a relationship among the people on Walnut Creek and Walnut peninsula but have accomplished many things by meeting and working together that would not have otherwise been done.

Meet and greet: Dale and Patty Vann, area reps for Lake Mitchell HOBO, host neighbors at an annual event before Memorial Day.

Meet and greet: Dale and Patty Vann, area reps for Lake Mitchell HOBO, host neighbors at an annual event before Memorial Day.

They have been successful in getting their road paved and county water. At one meeting a neighbor simply mentioned, “Is there any way we can get water in here—I’m really tired of pumping water and trying to filter it?”

Dale and others jumped on this project and began meeting and contacting those who could help make this a reality. It took about two years, but it was finally accomplished.

Scott Phillips, chairman of the environmental committee for HOBO, came to speak to them about lake sediments and aquatic plants and how to identify the invasive ones and report them. Dale still says the camaraderie among the neighbors is the greatest accomplishment of all.

Joel Elam said he appreciates these meetings as they keep everyone informed about what is happening around the lake. He said there is something about being on the water that is therapeutic.

Others at the gathering echoed this same statement. Many of the 20 families that were represented said they enjoy the meetings because it is such a great way to get to know their lake neighbors. HOBO has divided the lake into 16 areas, with a representative over each one. Many other representatives have had meetings like Dale and Patty Vann. Sam and Nancy Piccolo, on the Coosa side, have met with their neighbors for many years and developed many long-term friendships. Water to their area and the road being paved was two of their accomplishments as well.

With the leadership of area reps, much has been accomplished around the entire lake. We are proud to be a part of this great group of people who work together for a common cause.

We don’t forget the reason we have the long Memorial Day weekend and proudly fly the American Flag in remembrance of those who served their country well. Freedom is not free as it cost many lives.

May we never be so caught up in our meetings and parties that we forget those who made our freedom to do so possible. To all those who have served and are serving in our military and to the families who lost loved ones we sound out a big “thank you” for your sacrifice.

–Peggy Bullard is a community columnist for the Lake Mitchell area.