A Sierra Sun Times Special Edition





AddThis Social Bookmark Button


Lake Don Pedro

Harry Cordellos - Water Skier

On a hot summer day on August 17, 1958  a young man was out on Lake Don Pedro determined to learn how to water ski. Two days before, a Friday, Harry Cordellos failed to get up on the skis and wanted to be able to go back to the Bay area and tell everyone he had waterskied, not almost waterskied. Then on the Saturday the boat had problems and would not start. But on that Sunday fifty years ago he accomplished the feat and a whole new chapter opened up into his life as Harry learned to trust in the Lord and his team that watched over him. One thing you should know about Mr. Cordellos is he's blind.

Now fifty years later on Sunday August 17, 2008 Harry Cordellos was back at Lake Don Pedro accompanied by friends and well wishers to recreate the moment that changed his life forever. We all waited as the minutes ticked by, since Harry was waiting for exactly 10:00AM, the same time many years ago that a boat tightened up the rope and pulled him up out of the water.

10:00AM: Harry shouts" Hit It" and the boat motor roars, the rope gets tight, Harry is holding on tighter as the boat surges forward pulling him up higher and higher out of the water, seconds later he is up on the skis with a beaming smile for all to see. Big circles are made on the choppy water with the boat bouncing and Harry behind us waterskiing and waving. Later, he tries one ski and makes it look easy as his friends on the shore clap and shout, but the show is not over with yet. After a moment in the boat, Harry is back in the water with an Air Chair and he is sitting on it  about three feet out of the water being towed around the lake. Suddenly the boat hits a huge wave, my camera is jarred and Harry flies out of the water with the bottom of the air chair foil four feet out of the water and he lands it perfectly!

Back on shore, hugs and pats on the back are given all around as Mr. Cordellos accomplished what he set out to do, proving that you can accomplish many things in life if you just try and have faith.

Harry Cordellos is a motivational speaker from Novato, California and enjoys photography and roller coasters. He has ran marathons with a team mate and has even operated power tools without guards on. Harry says "You have to trust in the Lord."

Driving back to Mariposa later that afternoon, I thought about Harry, what I witnessed and realized that our fears can be overcome. Hang Gliding over Lake McClure here I come.

To learn more about Harry Cordellos:

Harry Cordellos - Legendary Blind Marathoner and Motivational Speaker

Honorary Team Ambassador




<previous next play stop

Slideshow image

Sierra Sun Times