That was the week that was.

Three tragic deaths at the lake over the weekend — all of which could have been avoided.

That was the week that was.

Three tragic deaths at the lake over the weekend — all of which could have been avoided.

Two drownings that involved alcohol, and a gruesome traffic accident that was caused by inattention and pure misfortune.

No pontification from this corner, no armchair quarterbacking. Fate has an unfriendly way of rearing its ugly head sometimes.

Three unnecessary deaths. Let there please be lessons learned.

On a more promising note, the Lake Race is this weekend and thousands of people will be bringing new money to the lake.

Pardon my moment of subtle greed, but we’re more than happy to help our friends the tourists and visitors leave a little hard, cold cash behind.

It’s Capitalism 101.

Hats off to the organizers and volunteers who have worked arduously the past year to bring the Offshore Powerboat Association-sanctioned event to the lake once again.

The lake is now home to two major boating events — the west side’s Lake Shootout and the east side’s Lake Race.

Gotta love it.

We have this marvelous place we full-timers call our paradise, and what our visitors call their play land.

It can be the best of worlds, it can be the worst of worlds.

Depends on your perspective, the depth of your wallet and your fate.

But what a neat, neat thing going on with the Lake Race. Sure, not everyone is on board.

The world is full of naysayers and critics, like those who will bash the Water Patrol for the young man’s death and forget that the young man was in that boat for breaking the law.

The Lake Race event — and the Shootout — is successful only because of the volunteers who step forward.

It’s that spirit of wanting to help, wanting to make a difference that is the driving force behind the success of the events. Hundreds of hours are spent organizing and then putting on the events.

Hats off to the volunteers.

What I find most intriguing about the Lake Race and Shootout is that they bring a different perspective to the lake.

We locals sometimes lose sight of what’s happing outside our comfortable little circle of existence.

We get up, go to work, go home. We read and watch the news, and that’s our snippet of the world.

Yet, these people who stroll in here for the boat races are far more worldly than most of us.

That doesn’t make them better, for sure.

As my dad often told me: Remember, Dan, they put their pants on one leg at a time just like we do. Boat race people have traveled all over the country, and possibly the world.

They have experiences most of us do not, and that’s what makes them an anomaly. Conversely, we are the experts at the lake.

This is our home.

We can share our experiences and our love for the lake. We are the ambassadors.

These are moments we should embrace. There are curmudgeons among us who oppose change. It’s inevitable. The challenge is to manage the change to benefit the masses. Part of change is letting the outside world in. The Lake Race and similar major events help do just that.

So, when traffic backs up this weekend, when the stores are pregnant with visitors, when the roar of million-dollar boats interrupts your outside time, never forget that what we enjoy on a daily basis at the Lake of the Ozarks is because of those who have discovered our slice of paradise.