Alan Clark

One of Franklin County’s main attractions is Tims Ford Lake, created by TVA around 1972 when the agency dammed up the Elk River to control flooding and encourage recreation and development.

Folks come from all around to fish and ski and just exercise their boating skills on these waters.

We lease a slip at Holiday Marina for our bowrider to get the most out of family visits and just take a ride now and then to soak up the scenery (no pun intended).

Once Robert at Tracker Boats finished fine-tuning all the idiosyncrasies needed to replace worn-out parts this year, we were ready for a summer of Franklin County fun.

(Robert and I share a military background as well as a penchant for boating, so our conversations always include both).

Since our slip is in D Dock at the Marina, we have to pass through all the houseboats, cabin cruisers, and motor yachts lined up along the plank.

It is there that one can catch a glimpse of the unique philosophies of boat owners just by the names given to their crafts.

For instance, we can figure out there are plenty of sports fans on the water just by observing the school banners hanging from the infrastructure and decorating the boats.

UK, UT, and Vandy are the most prominent, and I’m sure there’s an Alabama fan or two represented. What the owners call their boats hints at their relationships and even occupations.

One houseboat name I like is “Yes Dear,” which are the first words I utter every morning just to set the record straight.

“Comfortably Numb” is a state of mind lakers enjoy, and “Noah Agenda” is along the same lines.

“Knot my problem” may be a mindset, but it also might allude to the complicated knots boaters like to use tying up their craft.

“Hydro Therapy” is definitely a positive feeling out on the water.

Guys like to honor their significant others by naming their boat after them, such as “Proud Mary,” “Lady K,” and “Lucky Lady.”

One cabin cruiser sports the name of “Single Barrel Cyn,” and features a prominent Jack Daniel’s welcome mat on the transom.

Of course, you can’t mix boats, water, music and adult beverages without mention of Jimmy Buffett, so the crafts named “Come Monday” and “5 O’clock Somewhere” are no surprise.

Banners expressing definite lake tendencies also abound, such as “Life is better at the lake,” “Go jump in the lake,” and “No place like home except the lake.”

There’s even a couple of houseboats called “Crash Course” and “Boatel 6.”

On our last outing, the water was as smooth as glass, and the sky was blue with only small white clouds overhead. A beautiful morning.

It reminded me of a song I wrote several years ago about a college professor who packed away his books and his MBA and went looking for a new life along the coast near the water.

I recalled a couple of lines from the song, which include “In tee shirt and shorts under a sky of blue, living like a stranger in paradise.”

And that’s the way it oughtta be.

Alan Clark of Estill Springs is an award-winning columnist whose auditorials are available as podcasts on Apple Music. His philosophies are summed up in “You Oughtta Know: Volume One, 2017-2018,” published by Lakeway Publishers, Inc.