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Monologue by Terry Lorenz

Lorenz, Terry
Lorenz, Phillip
Date of Interview: 
Overcoming Obstacles; Relationships with People and Places; Stories and Storytellers; Cultural Identification
Terry Lorenz talks about being rescued by Peyute Indians during a storm while on a fishing trip.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Phillip Lorenz interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Interview Audio: 
TL (Terry Lorenz): My name is Terry Lorenz. I was born in 1951 in Chicago, Illinois, to Betty and Clyde Lorenz. I've lived in Charlotte for ten years, since 1991. I want to tell you a little story about what happened when I lived out west in Reno, Nevada. I went sailing with my son, who was about six years old at the time, and a person I worked with, Ragnar. We went sailing at Pyramid Lake, which is about 40 miles west of Reno, Nevada, in the High Sierra desert. It's a mountain lake which oftentimes can be treacherous. Ragnar had sailed all his life, and, in fact, was born in East Germany before 1940, ah, in WWII, and had some great stories to tell. And we listened to his stories on the sailboat, it was his sailboat, probably about a 25-footer. We got the sailboat in the water and it was a pretty calm day the first day. And, ah, sailed around for a few hours, and the first mishaps of it to occur had to do with the trolling motor. 'Course it broke. Ragnar, being an industrious person, pulled the motor out and was in the process of fixing it, so we just, uh, floated for, uh, uh, probably 45 minutes to an hour. Ah, he was in the process of, ah, trying to fix the motor and it looks like there's a storm coming up. And this lake, Pyramid Lake is very treacherous for storms to arise. Anyway, uh, Ragnarfelt that we should get in close to shore which we did, and, unfortunately, the storm did occur and was banging us with waves onto the mud, sand and shoreline. We really weren't in any danger, however, it was very uncomfortable, and, uh, banged us about pretty good. Uh, Ragnar, by that time, had set the motor alright, however, being a sailboat, and the long keel underneath, we were stuck in the shoreline, in the sand and the mud, uh, being pounded by waves after waves. Uh, the rain was not bad, but, ah, ah, fierce winds and heavy waves, probably in about three foot of water. Um, it was dark by this time and we could see above us on some short cliffs that we saw some flashlights, and lo and behold it was a group of Peyute Indians who was, uh, Pyramid Lake was actually on their reservation. Uh, they lowered a rope to us and we had to climb up on this rope on the cliff, uh, mostly mud cliff, wasn't too many rocks, and, uh, probably up about six, eight, ten feet, maybe, and they actually rescued us from the waves beating against the boat. Um, we get in their Blazers and Broncos and they took us to a, uh, little camp probably, within five to ten miles away, ah, who put us up for the night. The next day brought new disasters. Ah, the sun came out and it was clear, however, when we got to the boat it was, uh, in the mud pretty good and, uh, we tried to work it out ourselves, being only in three to four foot water, ah, but we weren't successful. However, uh, a Peyute Indian sheriff from the reservation had a beautiful Boston Whaler and he came to rescue us. Unfortunately, um, his radio was broke and Ragnarproceeded to help him fix his radio, and as soon as he got his radio working, uh, he got a call where another boat in the lake, uh, turned over during the night in the storm and apparently there were several people killed. So, he left us to go find, uh, that position, and, uh, did put in a call, uh, for some help and other people come and help us. So, we waited around for a couple hours. And, um, a rescue team from Reno was called out, 'cause apparently there had been, uh, several, uh, boating accidents and, uh, oversized crafts, um, in the storm that night with, uh, several people missing and boats missing, so the Reno rescue team, uh, came out and this was a sight, really a sight to see. Uh, they were all dressed in like Alaska parkas and had beautiful gear and probably a 25-foot boat. Um, um, unfortunately, the boat was so big it couldn't get into shore. So, what we had to do was, uh, Ragnarwaded into the water and they gave him ropes and he came out and tied the ropes onto, uh, his boat, and, uh, then they proceeded to try and pull us off the, uh, sand and the mud bottom. Well, what happened was that, um, they were having a terrible time and they couldn't do it, so what they needed to do was call another sheriff's boat, and they showed up probably about 15 or 20 minutes later and we hooked up another rope, a couple of ropes, from their boat onto Ragnar'ssailboat, and, uh, with the two boats trying to pull us out, this finally worked. Uh, we got the boat out and it didn't appear to have any, uh, serious damage to it, uh, it was not taken on any water or anything and, uh, seemed to be OK, so what we did was, uh, I got onto shore and got to the, uh, vehicle and drove that and, Ragnaruh, sailed the boat to, uh, back to the docks and we promptly put it back on, and instead of staying a weekend at the lake, we basically just stayed that one night, got beat up real good, and, uh, had all sorts of stories to tell. So, thus is the story where we were rescued by the Peyute Indians and we appreciate their help, and I don't think I'll ever go sailing in that type of atmosphere anymore. End of story.