On her 60th birthday, nearly 17 years ago, Bev Macon sat on the edge of our dock on the tiny Gasconade River in south-central Missouri.
In her left hand was a plastic cup filled with a (trust me) very, very strong margarita. Dangling from the corner of her mouth was the ever-present Benson & Hedges Menthol. In her right hand was a bit of plastic and long rope.
And on her feet — two waterskis.
Her son Bill eased the throttle to full, and off she went on her customary Birthday Lap. Up to the first bend in the river, then back again to the dock.
All without ruining her cigarette or her drink.