A few scenes from a west coast beach life, swimming in fresh water and watching sunsets, these past few days.
… any time soon now.
Atlantic Beach, Fla. Three women with ten children between them were locked inside the Suwannee Springs Park near Live Oak, Fla. last Thursday evening.
They responded to the caretaker’s ‘twenty-minute warning’ when he wandered to the river’s edge and reminded all park guests of the 7:00pm closing time.
We spoke to one of them after the incident.
“We gathered up our things and proceeded to our vehicles,” said Jeanne Marie, who preferred not to give her last name. “We were managing the kids and packing the cars with our gear.”
Jeanne Marie remembers hurrying, and the other women doing the same. “We respected the closing time, like we would anywhere. We were doing our best to pack things up, change from wet bathing suits, and drive out of there.”
The park caretaker, an unidentified man, ambled about the area, muttering. One of the children from the group had gone into the temporary sanitary facilities to change into dry clothing.
“That man kicked at the door with his foot,” the boy’s mother, another of the women involved in the event remembered, “He yelled menacingly at my son, frightening him.”
Jeanne Marie was not aware of this. She recalls just hurrying everyone to get the car packed up in order to drive out by 7:00.
“He could see that we were in the process of leaving. There was no doubt we were on our way out of the park within a few minutes,” she said. She helped another friend toss things into the back of her mini-van, in an effort to comply with closing time.
It seems that their efforts were in vain. When the first of their three car caravan reached the gate at 7:04pm, they were greeted by this: