Away from it all

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 2, 2008

DEMOPOLIS &8212; It is tucked away neatly on the north side of the city, nestled snugly between the railroad tracks and river. The railroad overpass plays the role of greeter and guardian as it stands firm in the mid-day sun, casting its shadow over the edge of a community that is as quaint as it is simplistic.

While it is noted on city maps, many lifelong Demopolis residents are unaware of River Road, subsequently remaining oblivious to the riverfront acreage that more closely resembles a village than it does a neighborhood.

However, that absence of awareness seems on many levels to be reciprocated by a number of the individuals who either temporarily or permanently inhabit the lots along River Road.

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For a few the community is a place to call home. Still for others, it is a retreat, allowing for the occasional rendezvous with an often-evasive simpler way of life.

The couple, still newlyweds, joined family and friends at the site for a three-day stretch that was to culminate Wednesday, when they would have to return to their home in Meridian.

She and her family first learned of the camps from relatives who frequent some of the area fishing tournaments.

Since receiving the revelation of the camp&8217;s existence, her family has frequented the River Road site. This particular trip included long-time friends Shannon and Ashley Salter as well as Jewel Stewart, the woman April refers to as &8220;Nana.&8221;

The community&8217;s dirt roads are frequented by golf carts as visitors and residents alike leave their cars and other gasoline-powered vehicles parked, relying on more efficient forms of transportation to traverse the area. It is merely another dimension of the unassuming charm that continues to draw families such as this one to the River Road area.

But, according to April, Joey and Shannon, the rental cost of the camp sites will increase considerably in the coming year, indicating that while the community on River Road is largely tucked away from society, it is not immune from the economic constrictions that permeate it.

While each member of the trio was obviously less than thrilled with such a prospect, the moment of gravity proved as brief and fleeting as a summer afternoon breeze. On this day, there was little time for such unpleasant thoughts.

April, satisfied with her ammunition load and weary of waiting for revenge, again turned on Shannon, hurling a water balloon at him and showering bystanders in the process. Her strike prompted Joey&8217;s return to the fray as the group sought to seize the remains of the day and enjoy its time on the lot that sits perfectly between Stewart&8217;s Corner and Dufus and Pickle Drive. `