Fifty-three years ago last Thursday was my 15th birthday. I remember a childhood friend and I sneaking under the fence at Foster Lake to slip into the cool waters for a refreshing summertime swim.

The hot August sun on our bare backs and the cold, velvet-like water were a dazzling contrast.

I remember an osprey snagging a rainbow trout as it lept into the air and from everywhere, the tree frogs were in chorus.

It was a place where families could come and picnic, rent a pole and take the rainbows home for a barbecue.

It is on the wind that Idyllwild Water District sees this place as a tertiary lagoon — in contrast — a dead zone.

And it will be way past too late when the tertiary begins its seep into alpine aquifers, and daylight in Strawberry, Idyllwild and Lilly creeks.

Purple is not the new green. Rather, purple is an irreversible disaster in the making.

Chuck Stroud