I had a full circle moment last week.
I was on vacation in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, which is the breathtakingly beautiful area that inspired my town of Alwyn in Crossing the Pressure Line. While I was there, I was invited by the Min-Aqua Bats Water Ski Club to be their special guest at an evening performance. This meant they gave me (and my book) a lovely introduction and allowed me to sell copies during the show. Friends, I nearly sold out.
There were numerous times during the night when I had to catch my breath, because it felt like I actually living out one of the chapters in Crossing the Pressure Line.
See, I modeled the Al-Skis Water Ski Club in my book directly after the Min-Aqua Bats. The Al-Skis perform in the "Fish Bowl"; the Min-Aqua Bats perform in the "Aqua Bowl." They both have cute little snack shacks that sell snow cones, nachos, and the like. They both feature courageous kiddos who do flips, turns, and pyramids in the water at speeds of nearly 45 miles per hour. They both have crowds that watch, mesmerized, while exclaiming ooh and aah.
The Min-Aqua Bats embrace a 50+-year history, which means they're one of the oldest amateur water ski clubs in the country. They hold team auditions each spring before, and they perform three times a week during summer to adoring crowds. To me, their shows offer a delightful slice of Americana along with a sweet respite from the stress of life.
I gratefully borrowed much of the Min-Aqua Bats' vibe and history for my Al-Skis, so you can imagine how surreal it was to be standing in a place that's been so vivid in my mind. As I stood next to the snack shack, I could practically feel Clare, Grandma Lulu, Helen, Theo, and Lola creep up behind me and whisper in my ear, "Thanks for bringing this all to life in our story. We know it was a lot of work, but it was worth it, wasn't it?"
Yes, it sure was.