Have you ever spent time down at Huguenot Flatwater on the rope swing? For at least the past 20 years, that tree has been a constant source of fun and entertainment for thrill-seeking river rats on the James River.
I recently learned that the tree at Huguenot Flatwater had fallen. I later learned that the tree had fallen in spring of 2010. Regardless, my first thought was that I immediately got a little older. I never swung from the tree, but I’ve watched many knuckleheads swing away. The tree was a rite of passage for many river-goers.
The tree was not innocent. Lives have been lost at that rope swing. The last person was 36-year-old David Gonzalez-Baldizon, 36, of Richmond in May 31, 2009. He was swinging from the rope, dropped in the river, re-surfaced for a few seconds and then went under in water 6.5 feet deep. Rescuers recovered his body about a half-mile down the road at the Z-Dam at Williams Island along Riverside Drive.
Do you have any memories to share of the rope swing or the old tree?