Friday, August 28, 2009

ABC 20-20 covers "morality play" with water rescue


Tonight ABC 20-20 featured several stories, but the most important to me was the morality play in a runoff pool in the western Colorado canyonlands, where college kids were trying dangerous dives (because of cold and shallowness) from cliffs. A girl dived into the spring runoff water and got into trouble. Above her, Steve Burns, having resisted the temptation to dive 65 feet, dove in to rescue her and did, only to be swept clear by a current and die of hypothermia.

The news story by Jay Schadler and Howie Masters is “In Moment of Crisis, River Hero Took the Plunge: Stevie Burns Watched From Cliff as Friend Gasped for Air Below. Then He Jumped.”. The link is here.

The news story sounds like a tragic add-on to TheWB’s “Everwood” series, which ended in 2005.

As a teen myself, I would have been afraid to go close to the edge. I was the opposite of a daredevil, but in 1950s culture (where men had to be "men") I was perceived as a bit of a physical coward, willing to leave the risk taking and fighting to others. I was both a nerd and a "sissy" and in that culture this was seen as a "moral" problem. A story like this puts a two-way perspective on the "morality" of physical risk taking, normally part of growing up. It's linked to the "teen brain growth" issue.

In tenth grade, I wrote a short story in English class about a lifeguard who loses his life saving another person because a nuclear attack happens.

I liked the report that followed, about a helicopter Mom, well versed in online skills with Facebook and Twitter, and her two college boys. She shouldn’t proofread her kids’ term papers.

I remember a 20-20 of another tragic story of a hiker who died in New Mexico and his companion was suspected of foul play, in a real life story that somewhat resembled the movie "Gerry".

Attribution link for Wikipedia Grand Junction area picture. My last visit was in 1994. It looks a little like Mars.

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