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When I walked into Larry Patrick’s giant jumble of a house in Kings Mountain, North Carolina, back in early April, summer was already palpable: the summers of 1969 all the way through 1980. Images of those twelve summers, the best of Larry’s life, filled the walls of the house that had been in his family since the 1920s, on land settled back in the 18th century, long before anyone could have conceived of such a strange and wonderful thing as a raft race.
Every third Saturday of May during the 1970s, Atlanta hosted a raft race on the Chattahoochee River. Sounds simple, and it sort of was, until the race took on dimensions that even its founder, Larry Patrick, never imagined.