Goat Island: There are good people in the world!

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On Saturday, my sister, brother-in-law, husband, and I crossed from the Canadian side of Niagara Falls back to the U.S. to visit Goat Island.  It was difficult getting to the park because of traffic and one-way streets. We breathed a sigh of relief when we finally found a parking spot and walked to the Horseshoe Falls on the American side.

It was breath-taking! We were right at the point where the river spilled over the cliff. The air was filled with mist on this bright, sunny day. It was wonderful to enjoy temperatures in the low eighties instead of the heat we left behind us in Dresher, Pennsylvania. My husband Ralph took many pictures as well as my brother-in-law. They are both crazy about taking photos. Willie has even won photography contests, especially for his black and white photos of citiscapes and everyday objects.

Willie and Ralph walked over to the ticket area as we planned to visit the Hurricane Deck below the American falls. To everyone’s dismay, it was a very long line, so Willie gave his camera to my sister and left us with his prized possession. “We’ll put it here between us so it will be safe,” my sister said as she sat the camera with its neck strap on the flat rock where we were sitting and enjoying the view. We started to grow impatient, even with the falls thundering and splashing glorious sprays into the air.

After what seemed like  a very long while, Diane got up and motioned for me to follow her to a shady spot much closer to where our husbands still stood in line.  I was already lobster red and without any sunblock lotion. We were lucky to find seats on large rocks beneath a tall shade tree. Finally, with tickets in hand, Willie and Ralph started to walk over to us.

As we stood up, Willie asked from across the roadway, “And where is the camera?”  We both froze. My sister’s mouth opened, but no words came out. We both turned without a word and ran back to the rocks near the Welcome Center where we had been seated. On the way Diane asked, “Didn’t Willie take his camera?”  I shook my head. We were in big trouble, but I remained hopeful that we’d find it. I was wrong.  No camera.

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Almost in tears, my sister said, “That’s it. I’m finished. We are going back to the hotel.” But I urged her to think positively – that someone probably found it and returned it to the Welcome Center.  My brother-in-law and husband had had the same idea. They emerged from the  building, and Willie was smiling from ear to ear, holding his prized possession.

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Diane then lost her ticket to the Hurricane Deck as we hurried to the line. We had to go back and search for it. “We’re jinxed!” she exclaimed.”We should just go back before something really awful happens!” But Willie spied the pass in the grass, and we proceeded to the Hurricane Deck to feel the fury of the falls and get soaked in the process. “When Ralph gives me his camera to hold, he always places the strap around my neck first,” I said. Willie replied, “And after today, he will never hand you the camera without putting the strap around your neck – in fact, he may reconsider ever giving you his camera to hold. You and your sister are peas in a pod!”

I may be exaggerating, but I think I saw my husband grasp his camera a little tighter.  Thank goodness we made it through our trip and back home again without losing anything else!  It was good to know that there still are honest, good people in the world. Although we will never know who did this good deed, we all whispered a prayer of thanks and gratitude into the winds of Niagara Falls.

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