By Linda Lovett
Editor’s Note: Buckhead News is written by Linda Lovett this week in place of Betty Moore’s news.
It’s summertime on Lake Oconee. Two young brothers are celebrating their birthdays. Whatever shall their grandparents, Linda and Jason Lovett give them? How about a Huckleberry Finn water park?
Last Saturday, July 13 Cooper Smallwood celebrated his ninth birthday along with his brother Cade Smallwood who turned five. The event was held at the home of their great grandmother Hallie Wood Hickman on Wood Road in Morgan County. Miss Hallie’s lakefront property was skillfully transformed into a water park consisting of an eight-foot high dive platform on the dock and a 100-foot “lazy river” slip-n-slide that washed passengers directly into the lake.
The project was the brainchild of the boys’ grandfather Jason Lovett, a skilled fabricator and inventor. Along with over 100 feet of 10-foot wide poly plastic and 200 feet of eight-inch plastic drain pipe Lovett constructed the lazy river slip-n-slide so that it flowed down the hill in front of Miss Hallie’s house while utilizing a wooden platform constructed over the sea wall so that the travelers were projected into the warm waters of Lake Oconee. Hay bales were placed along the sides of the slide to deter any premature departures while baby oil, baby shampoos and Crisco were sprayed and rubbed onto “rafts” (inner tubes) and bodies to promote added slippage with increased speeds. The 10-foot width of the slide allowed three to five participants simultaneous travel down the river ending abruptly in a splash that would have captured the envy of Huck Finn himself.
Cannon balls, back flips and belly flops were seen off the high dive accompanied by laughter and shouts of “watch this” throughout the day.
The party began around 11 a.m. with over 25 hamburgers and two-dozen hot dogs skillfully grilled by the boys’ Uncle Tony while their Aunt Laura supervised the serving of the meal and ice-cold watermelon out under the trees. Gifts were opened later in the day, and everyone delighted in the 2-foot-by-3-foot chocolate chip birthday cookie.
Of the 31 adults and 20 children attending this Huckleberry Finn Adventure, relatives of the boys included their parents, Bo and Marie Houston Smallwood of Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, Aunt Jamie Smallwood Cumming and Brett Cummings with their children Madison 7 and infant son Jackson of Covington, Aunt Laura Smallwood Turner and Tony Turner with their sons Will 8 and Grayson 5 of Locust Grove, Great Uncle Eddie Frazier and wife Donna and their son Matthew of Wood Road, Buckhead, Uncle John Lovett and wife Kim with their children John 10 and Sarah 8 of Roberta, Grandmother Sandi Hipsag Lovett of Hampton, Grandfather Keith Houston and wife Christy with their sons Dennis 13 and Ronnie 10 of Macon, Aunt Denise Brantley and Angie Brantley of Macon and Katy Wilson and her daughter Madison 3 of Ivey.
Out-of-town friends included Tiffany Creamer with her son Hayden 3 of Haddock and Ron and Wendy Cowart with their children Danielle 16 and Chandler 10 of Statesboro. Wood Road neighbors attending the celebration were Mr. and Mrs. Reese Freyer with their children, Reese IV, 7, and Susie, 10 months, Fred Taylor and Pete and Elaine Southerland.
Although Saturday’s weather was cool and cloudy the rain held off allowing everyone to enjoy a full day of laughter and fun. Jason and Linda thank everyone who attended the party and extend a special thank you to Hallie Hickman for the use of her home and beautiful property.
“You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft.”