(Editor's note: Cherokee native Dave Tallman, a long-time resident at Koser Spring Lake Park, recalls here a few unique and entertaining incidents that have occurred during his time living in the Park.)
The four houses that were originally built on the east side of Spring Lake, were owned by the Golden family. The last house I lived in as a renter out there was the little white cottage on the north end of the east side of the lake. Violet Golden's house sat immediately south of that house, where the beautiful new Carey home is now.
In the last years of Violet's house's existence, the Dugans lived there. They had a Cocker Spaniel that was kept on about a 20-foot leash in their back yard.
At the time, Spring Lake Park had two Black Foxes that were penned up on the other side of the lake. The foxes didn't like being penned up, and would often make good their escape from their pen, though they would remain in and around the Park and ultimately return to their pen.
One day while I was sitting on my enclosed porch in my little cottage, I noticed that one of the Black Foxes was having some fun with the Dugan's dog. The fox knew just how long the dog's leash was, and when the dog wasn't paying any attention, the Fox would run up to it and nip it. Then it would run and sit down just outside the length of the dog's leash.
The dog would take off running after the fox, and was ready to pounce on the fox when his leash came up short, causing the dog to flip violently up off its' feet and flat on its' back. The fox would then trott off and hide in the weeds until the dog wasn't paying any attention any more. And then the fox would again run up and nip the dog. The dog never figured out that he was being duped each time.
The fox had great fun at the dog's expense!
One time I was grilling some steaks in an old stone fireplace on the north side of the white cottage. I accidently dropped one of the steaks into the hot coals, coating it in ash, ruining it, in my eyes, so I was going to throw it in the trash.
However, as I lifted the steak from the wood fire, I spied one of the Park's Black Foxes (which had escaped again.) peering at me from behind my garage obviously lured there by the smell of the delicious steaks I was grilling.
So, being the nice guy I was, and seeing that the steak would be enjoyed, I threw the steak to the hiding fox. He quickly grabbed the steak and ran off into the woods to enjoy his steak dinner.
In 2002, I was trying to develop a healthy exercise routine, and had taken up walking around the asphalt walking trail at Spring Lake Park. One day as I was walking along the east side of the lake on the trail near where the Boy Scouts used to have a Boat House, I heard a jogger running up behind me. The jogger had a faster foot pace than my slower plodding walk due to me being such a big guy. I walked to the far edge of the trail so the jogger could pass me without running in the grass to do that.
But he/she failed to pass me. Finally, I walked completely off the trail and turned back to see why they weren't passing me, and there was no one there.
I thought, "Was I being followed by a Ghost?"
I thought that was kind of odd, and it kind of creeped me out a bit. But I stocked it up to being some type of phenomenon due to echoes created by the high slopes along the Lake trail on the east side of the Lake.
Only I had the same experience when I was walking along the upper "lookout spot" on the west side of Spring Lake. So now I'm wondering if its' the Ghost of a long lost classmate who had drowned at Spring Lake in the early 70's?
I have heard that other walkers along the Spring Lake Walking Trail have also experienced the same phenomenon.
So, head out to Spring Lake and take a walk around it, and let me know if you too, encounter Spring Lake's Ghostly Jogger."