By Andy Petro

This is the full text of the article. A condensed version was published in VS issue 25#1 

1. Foreword

andypetro.jpgIt is the summer of 1955 and a few days before my graduation at Redford Union High School in Redford Township, Michigan, that I experience an unusual, frightening, and incredible event. This event always lives in my memory. The memory of this event is not only crystal clear, but it remains intact, exactly as it happened, to this very moment. Every thought, every word, every image, every action and every feeling is unchanged, and it abides in my body and memory unchanged. I have spent years trying to forget it, but I always remember it, and I always remember it as if it actually happened today. I’ve never experienced any other event with the clarity, exactness or emotional impact as my drowning and my death…

2. Death by Drowning: The Story

My classmates and I are so happy because the end is in sight. In a few days we will finally graduate from high school and get on with our lives. I have a scholarship to an engineering university in Northern Michigan. I am filled with joy and excitement. June is exceptionally warm this year and our class decides to have a picnic at a near by lake. It is our final class gathering before graduation, and we are all anxious to go. .

My mother doesn’t want me to go. She says that the water is still too cold and she specifically doesn’t want me to go swimming. Since I am one of the class officers, I know that I have to go and that I have to go swimming with my friends. So I hide my swimming trunks in my lunch bag and I leave for a good time. .