A large white statue of John F. Kennedy sits in front of a wood building with a metal roof and red door.
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An oversized statue of President John F. Kennedy sits off State Route 165 in Hollister, Mo. Photographed May 18, 2020. 

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An oversized statue of President John F. Kennedy sits off State Route 165 in Hollister, Mo. Photographed May 18, 2020. 

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One The Creeping Edge


The Friday sun rises in the early morning. 


The marina sits on the creeping edge of Table Rock Lake. It is a refuge, a hideaway from the outside world for those with the money to afford it. It is a playground, bathed in sunscreen and alcohol, for the middle and upper middle class who have appropriated its waters for their own use. Come hell or high water, they will enjoy their weekend. 


The Saturday sun sits in the midday sky.


Women dip their feet in the water. They chat as they sip mimosas and compare suntans, large sunglasses and larger hats shielding their faces from burns. Men revert to fraternity ideals, their days dictated by beer and cigars and the stories they tell among themselves. Dock workers scurry, servicing the marina's full-timers  and day-trippers alike. You can always tell the full-timers from the day-trippers. 


The lake is a place of weekend warriors. It is a place defined by leisure and escapism and, yes, the money it requires to do both. I grew up going to the lake. My family was one that, although hit hard by the 2008 financial crisis, managed to recover to the point of joining the middle class in their aquatic playground. My parents maintain a boat at the marina, but I have rarely visited since I was a child. 


I am as much an offspring of this lake as I am a stranger to it. 


Boats return to their docks. The marina is almost empty. A handful of hardcore stragglers have stayed behind alongside the dock crew that goes around closing gate after gate. 


The Sunday sun is nowhere to be seen. 

A young boy in red swim trunks looks at the camera. The sky is tinted a dark blue. Behind the boy is a lit-up building and a ship's mast.
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Kai Reid at State Park Marina, May 22, 2020.

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Kai Reid at State Park Marina, May 22, 2020.

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A pair of legs walk out of frame. The legs and wood boards they walk on are tinted red.
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Dave Earnhardt walks down the dock bridge, lit by a red bulb, May 22, 2020 at State Park Marina in Hollister, Mo.

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Dave Earnhardt walks down the dock bridge, lit by a red bulb, May 22, 2020 at State Park Marina in Hollister, Mo.

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A man sits on a couch and looks at the camera. He is shirtless and wearing teal swim trunks. To the left of him is a small plant, to the right of him is a yellow lamp.
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Don Boone aboard his boat “Boonedocks,” June 5, 2020. 

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Don Boone aboard his boat “Boonedocks,” June 5, 2020. 

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A woman in an orange swimsuit dives into the water. To her right, a couple watches her. One of them is blowing smoke from a cigar. Below them is an orange float pad.
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A woman dives off the back of her boat, May 23, 2020.

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A woman dives off the back of her boat, May 23, 2020.

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A sunburned woman in a black swimsuit looks at the camera, clasping her hands in front of her. Behind her is water and a horizon of trees.
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Mitzi Ross at State Park Marina, June 6, 2020.

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Mitzi Ross at State Park Marina, June 6, 2020.

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A close-up of a man holding a cigar to his mouth. The cigar's end is bright orange. He is wearing a wedding ring and a red shirt.
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Troy Leinan enjoys a cigar May 21, 2020 at State Park Marina in Hollister, Mo.

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Troy Leinan enjoys a cigar May 21, 2020 at State Park Marina in Hollister, Mo.

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Rain falls at the end of a dock. To the left and right are a pair of houseboats.
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A storm tore through the Hollister, Mo. area the morning of May 22, 2020, ripping off a piece of the dock’s metal roof and plunging it into the water.

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A storm tore through the Hollister, Mo. area the morning of May 22, 2020, ripping off a piece of the dock’s metal roof and plunging it into the water.

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Two young women look into the camera. They are wet and holding a blue, green and pink towel around each other. One wears a hat. In the background are boats at a dock.
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Haley van Horn, left, and Nataly Dunka at State Park Marina, May 24, 2020.

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Haley van Horn, left, and Nataly Dunka at State Park Marina, May 24, 2020.

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Rain hits water.
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A burst of rain pelts the water around State Park Marina in Hollister, Mo., May 21, 2020.

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A burst of rain pelts the water around State Park Marina in Hollister, Mo., May 21, 2020.

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A young man rests on a dock floatation device. He is in the water and wearing sunglasses. To his right is the midsection of another young man, holding his hands to his hips.
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Blair Cox, left, and Ty Werling at State Park Marina, May 25, 2020.

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Blair Cox, left, and Ty Werling at State Park Marina, May 25, 2020.

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A Band-Aid sticks to the ground.
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A Band-Aid, likely stripped from the skin by moisture and the movement of muscle, lies stuck to the ground at the State Park Marina boathouse. Photographed May 25, 2020.

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A Band-Aid, likely stripped from the skin by moisture and the movement of muscle, lies stuck to the ground at the State Park Marina boathouse. Photographed May 25, 2020.

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A bearded man sits on a pink and blue couch. The man is wearing a yellow shirt and only has one arm. Behind him, a painting of a bearded ship captain is on the wall.
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Shane Hill aboard his boat, the “Luna Sea III,” docked at State Park Marina, May 22, 2020.

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Shane Hill aboard his boat, the “Luna Sea III,” docked at State Park Marina, May 22, 2020.

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Two young girls look at the camera. One is taller, wearing a blue sweatshirt and a patterned hat. She has pink hair. The other is shorter, wearing a pink dress with oversized pink heart sunglasses. They are both wearing crocs.
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Georgia Remy, 6, and Belle Remy, 13, at State Park Marina, June 4, 2020.

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Georgia Remy, 6, and Belle Remy, 13, at State Park Marina, June 4, 2020.

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A telephone pole is reflected in the water. Behind the pole is a series of docks with boats. The water and sky are both tinted a deep blue.
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State Park Marina in Hollister, Mo., the evening of May 22, 2020.

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State Park Marina in Hollister, Mo., the evening of May 22, 2020.

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