DEAD MAN’S CURVE AT BUTTONS BAY
The road proceeds north, as your vehicle travels northerly in the eastern lane. The road is called South Lake Shore Drive. It drops down a hill, passing the Geneva Inn on the left, and heads into a blind “Dead Man’s” curve. There is no opportunity to see what lies around the coming corner, with the winding road ahead invisible until well inside the curve, lost to sight as your moving vehicle descends down the hill while decreasing speed from thirty-five miles per hour to twenty-five. Attention is demanded to change speeds, to negotiate the hill while doing so, and then to speculate about what might lie just around the curve while beginning to negotiate it.
What’s around that curve and what’s being built into the outside of that curve, heading north, that is likely to result in deadly force being applied by moving vehicles against unprotected pedestrians? What’s the likely result, following that first deadly encounter, as the size of the crowds bussed is driven in from Symphony Bay. They fill that curve to the brimming, the innocent unknowing people crossing South Lake Shore Drive naturally, and with impunity. South Lake Shore Drive itself will be the ultimate fatality of such an encounter.
Developers have been hungrily salivating over that wonderful stretch of road for many years. They want it. They want it, and the nearby Maytag Lagoon, for a yacht basin. They want the road gone and privatization to occur…ostensibly so more people can enjoy the beach. But not those bothersome free-loading brown people. Pay to play. The last free beach on Lake Geneva is resented deeply by those who can afford to pay with uncaring ease. The developing forces moving into the curve, and intending to squeeze every dollar out of Geneva Lake access, have sold the county of Walworth on the idea that a “clubhouse” can be built into the curve, right next to the Boat House, also inside the curve, and then a parking lot of only a hundred and twenty cars, or so, and that this influx of part-time boat owners (you get a piece of a boat at one of the piers as a portion of your ownership of a condo located out on Highway 120) and club revelers will not be a pedestrian problem for traffic passing back and forth on South Lake Shore Drive.
That whole concept is just terminally stupid. To ignore the coming influx of pedestrians, in all states of sobriety and inebriation, is to take one’s head, dig a hole in that inadequate Buttons Bay Beach sand, and stick your head right into it. Don’t leave the remainder of your body anywhere out near the road inside that curve though, or your head may find out (nearly instantly) all about being alone. Symphony Bay was approved many months ago, and it wasn’t even quietly discussed back then that there would be lake access and time-share boat ownerships involved. That came later. The owner of the development has indicated that, although the condo owners will have boat and pier privileges, almost none of them will be using those privileges.
What kind of fiction did the town board of Linn buy into? That one. What kind of fiction did the county board buy into? The same one. Mr. Pollard is the wonderful man who’s going to convert a stretch of South Lake Shore Drive into Dead Man’s Curve. He’s quite a nice man. His family has been a part of the lake for generations. Mr. Pollard lives inside a huge lakeside home on the water. His wonderfulness isn’t even subject to question. So, is Mr. Pollard a conscious competent or unconscious incompetent? He’s a nice man though. Don’t forget that when you hit the brakes, steer left as you head north on that stretch of road, and then make believe you’re a bowling ball hoping not to hit any of the pins running wildly along that surface of the road in front of you. Dead Man’s Curve.