Ozark Orgy

The naked truth about Missouri's backwater Sodom and Gomorrah

"We've had families go in there, and they were just appalled," echoes Sergeant Ralph Bledsoe, information officer for the Missouri Water Patrol. "They call wanting us to do something about the drinking and the nudity, but there are no laws against getting drunk -- as long as you're not driving. As for the nudity, well, Missouri state law defines nudity as exposed genitalia. Our officers will arrest them if they're bottomless, but topless? We can't do a thing."

So widespread is the unruly behavior at the cove that Bledsoe says his agency lets the party go on unabated for the most part, responding only in cases of emergency.

"We've had officers go back in there, and people have thrown beer bottles at them!" says Bledsoe. "It's not safe."


Tim McNitt prepares for another underwater treasure 
hunt.
Jennifer Silverberg
Tim McNitt prepares for another underwater treasure hunt.
Tim McNitt shows off a bikini thong pulled from the 
bottom of Party Cove. Other discoveries include 
drugs, guns and lots and lots of dildos.
Jennifer Silverberg
Tim McNitt shows off a bikini thong pulled from the bottom of Party Cove. Other discoveries include drugs, guns and lots and lots of dildos.

It's not quite 1 p.m. on a recent Saturday, and already the bacchanal inside Party Cove is in full force. On the bow of a houseboat, a 250-pound woman shakes her tremendous derriere to the Boston classic "More Than a Feeling." Behind her a stick-figure of a man with the blackened smile of a meth addict thrusts his pelvis into her tremendous rolls of flesh.

Hundreds of boats -- from $1,500 pontoon junkers to million-dollar yachts -- float side-by-side, forming three zigzagging barges that stretch nearly the entire length of the cove. In total, some 800 boats and personal watercraft (JetSkis, WaveRunners and the like) will enter the cove this afternoon. On holiday weekends that number can more than double.

Navigating his way through the cove's notorious "gauntlet" -- a narrow stretch of water through which all passersby are subject to catcalls and water-gun spray -- a three-foot-tall midget on a WaveRunner proves an elusive target to the frat boys shooting water cannons at him. When the little person fails to give into women's screams that he show his penis, the crowd switches its attention to the next vessel floating through the gauntlet: a pontoon boat full of Hell's Angels.

Two of the gang members -- a character resembling Telly Savalas and his burly friend -- take objection to the squirt-gun assault and stand up to shout obscenities at their attackers.

"Do that again, you little fucker!" the Kojak look-alike yells to one of the frat boys. "You're fucking dead!"

Soon another stream of water -- this one coming from behind -- pelts the biker, leaving a wet ribbon running down the back of his leather vest and onto his jeans. When he turns to confront this new gunman, more drunks open fire, shooting him now from all sides. As he disappears out into the cove, all the soggy biker can do is crack a smile and address his attackers with a one-finger salute.

Off to the side, a foursome of women in their 30s are reliving their halcyon high school days, shaking their mom-hips and pumping their fists to the sound of Duran Duran's "Hungry Like the Wolf."

Songs in Party Cove never grow old. Quiet Riot fades into C&C Music Factory. Def Leppard melds into Garth Brooks. The B-52's give way to Lynyrd Skynyrd. Then, rising above the din, there's the ever-present sound of Jimmy Buffet, whose "Why Don't We Get Drunk and Screw" may as well serve as the siren song of Party Cove.

Legend has it Party Cove is frequented by celebrities and athletes -- the likes of Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, John Cusack, Mel Gibson, Cedric the Entertainer and Marshall Faulk. In reality, the cove belongs solely to the redneck, albeit an offshoot of the species wealthy enough to afford vacation homes and luxury boats. As one Web site puts it: "Party Cove is to rednecks what Mecca is to Muslims."

While their hillbilly predecessors were content to entertain themselves in the Skee-Ball arcades, salt-water-taffy shops and bumper-car rinks that early on earned the lake the nickname "Lake of the Go Karts," this new breed of hoosier arrived in the early 1980s with money to burn. Sioux City car dealers, south St. Louis contractors and Omaha insurance brokers built million-dollar lakefront homes and thought nothing of dropping $500,000 on ocean-worthy speedboats.

In need of a place to show off their vessels, the rednecks congregated in the lake's "Millionaire Cove," so named for the mansions lining its shore. When property owners protested the cocaine- and alcohol-fueled benders taking place outside their homes, the party moved to another cove before earning the ire of homeowners there as well.

For the past ten years Party Cove has tethered its tawdry tit city in Anderson Hollow Cove, alongside Lake of the Ozarks State Park. (To find Party Cove, just follow the armada of boats streaming past the Grand Glaize Bridge on any weekend afternoon.) That the weekly revelry takes place on the doorstep of one of the state's largest nature preserves is a paradox that does not escape Sue Holst, deputy director of Missouri State Parks.

"Party Cove is one of the more frustrating management issues we face," says Holst, who claims the cove's litter and boat traffic have gravely impaired the park's shoreline. "But our control stops at the shoreline. Unless we get the cooperation of boaters to move it someplace else, there's little we can do."

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1 comments
onedotson
onedotson

Nobody wants to comment on this lol-- I've actually never heard of such and I live on a prostitute set lol. But these same people troll the city crime stories to tell us how bad we are. Romans.

 
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