2008-08-21 / Letters to the Editor

Does community share responsibility for injured Bud Bash participant?

What is happening to Houghton Lake and to its reputation? We used to be known as the "blue collar" vacation destination, and now if Houghton Lake is mentioned at all it's "Oh yes...that's where they have the Bud Bash". (Tip-Up Town has lost out, I fear.)

Perhaps we should call the Bud Bash what it really is; an open invitation to a gigantic drinking party. And it's directed right at the teen to 40 age group, male and female.

In the Resorter issue immediately following the "Bud Brawl" mention was made of a man who injured himself while diving from a pontoon boat.

Did you notice it, and did you give it any further thought?

Let me tell you about "the man" and his condition. (Mrs.Tuck knows the family personally-editor.)

He was "drinking heavily." There seems to be no question about that. He was on a pontoon boat in about 4 feet of water and dove off, fracturing his neck, he was having trouble breathing. He was taken to a down state hospital and has been unable to breathe on his own since. His family has been told there is a 1% chance that he will ever walk again. He has blood clots in both legs and is suffering some sort of infection, they aren't sure where or what just yet. He is from West Branch, he's 38 years old, he and his wife have three children under the age of 19.

The fact that he was "drinking heavily" at the "Bud Bash" doesn't come as a surprise, does it?

Does the fact that someone would be so drunk that they would dive head first into four feet of water surprise you? It doesn't surprise me.

I took a video of the hundreds of boats that were gathered near the shoreline. If you hadn't bothered to take a look for yourself at the spectacle of hundreds of "heavily drinking" people - men outnumbering women about 80%- 20% (that's a guess on my part) then I invite you to visit my channel on YouTube.

So far, 2,500 people have looked at it. I'm sure they thought they'd see some scantily clad women on my videos. They didn't. The title is "Bud Bash". But all they saw were the hundreds of boats on the shoreline with hundreds of people milling around on the boats and in the water drinking. I would venture a guess that it was almost twice as large a gathering as last year's Bud Bash, which I also videoed.

In the police report in the Resorter the week following the "Bud Bash" it was reported that a woman was arrested for indecent exposure (for baring her breasts) and resisting arrest. While looking to see if anyone else had put videos on YouTube about the Bud Bash, I saw a video of two young girls in the parking lot at the high school, baring their bottoms and their breasts for whoever it was that was video taping them.

This is not the Houghton Lake I've lived in for most of my life. I hope it doesn't remain in the shadow of this mess.

This drunken spectacle reflects on the Houghton Lake community of people as well as the Houghton Lake business community.

As a community, we invited the man from West Branch to come here to a big party and get drunk. As a community, are we in any way responsible for his inability to make rational decisions after he'd made good on our invitation?

I wonder. Mary Anne Tuck Houghton Lake

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