Posted by: guinness222 | January 20, 2014

Ok,….what’s your problem??

I spend a whole bunch of time thinking every day. I spend an “adequate” amount of time doing “work stuff”, but one of my regrets in life is not spending enough time dreaming.
Not about the girl I “could have had”, nor the “career I could have had”, not even the “great physique I could have” had if I exercised when I was younger, and believe it or not I don’t dream about dying anymore! Why, because death will come when it is time, the other stuff is “water under the dam”, and in my memories and the remaining brain cells, are the things I really wish I had had the courage to do,….then, not now.
Thought I’d ‘muse’ on a few of them with you,….if you have a minute, and in the recesses of your own mind have that little “secret desire” known only to you.
1. I LOVE to sail. Am I good at it, NO, do I have a boat , NO, can I afford a boat, NO, ……so WHY is it an ‘unrequited passion’ in me? What, after 69 years has still left it’s indelible mark on my psyche? Let’s talk about some truths first. I can’t really swim, even though I spent four years in the U.S.Navy, and time ‘at sea’. I’ve owned a couple of sailboats, a 19′ classic wooden hull class boat called a “Lightning” , and a 28′ fiberglass “production hull” Balboa swing keel sloop. I bought the “Lightning” on the cheap, oit had been out of the water for SIX years, took my entire two weeks vacation, (amidst understandable spousal consternation” working from sun up to sun set on her hull, mast and hardware. (Ooops! ignorance protected me from understanding six years out of water, stored inland, and in a barn = dry rot, separation of lathes and overall watertight integrity, and ,….what else could go wrong?)
Finally, after all my love and caressing, I got a ‘slip’ for her in Gloucester, Massachusetts for the day after Labor Day. (Dummy me,…everyone else is ‘pulling’ their boats and I’m launching mine!) The launch area to the slip was about 90 feet. No surprise by the time I FINALLY got to the slip I had four inches of water in the boat, had to “ground her” to keep from sinking, go buy a ‘bilge pump’, and hand pump all the water out,….well, a lot of it. Because the stern was still in the water, and there were two tides a day I spentthe next several weeks with “my mistress” pumping her out twice a day, and trying to find solutions.
I’m a businessman, and there IS a solution for every problem! After several hours of discussions with friends, acquaintances, and anyone else with an opinion, I finally went to the local pub in Gloucester for a “frustration beer” and started talking with ‘the old salt’s’, the guys who have been on the water for their entire life, know boats from the old fishing schooners to todays ‘yuppy’ week end boats. They were unanimous in their conclusions!!!
I was screwed! NEVER buy a wood boat that has been out of water for more than three months, the entire boat has ‘shrunk’ according to all of them. “….’less you got time and money to rebuild the entire boat from the keel up,….ah well,…dumb move!”
So I sold it for a hundred bucks to two kids who knew boats, had the time, and eventually restored her and sold her for over $5,000 dollars. (Damn,….I knew she was a classic ‘one-design’, a low numbered “Lars Olsen” wood boat, and a former champion,….but stupidity, ignorance, and the “lust” for a good sailboat prevailed.
After several years of “apologies” missing my two infants become kindergardeners, the house needing painting, not enough rooms, and a two room and underground garage expansion/addition to the house, (you frame it, I’ll finsh it), a new 80 foot deck and an above ground four foot pool,…well we were on talking terms again. The wife and I that is.
Some guys buy and hide “Playboy, and Hustler” magazines,…..I kept my “Sail” magazines in my briefcase undera half dozen spreadsheets and boring work memos, for the next ten years.
Then I bought a failing business up in the State of Maine, turned it around in a year and a half, was growing like a weed, tasked the wife with building her “dreamhouse” on six acres of land with no restrictions, putting the kids all in private schools, (the youngest went to a school where their original charter was signed by John Hancock,…personally, I’ve seen it!!.)
Life is good, time to come out of the closet and buy another sailboat!
Won a brand spanking new Datsun 300X with all the bells and whistles in ’84, took the wife and four year old to visit friends in Baltimore as an “inaugural” trip. Well four year old left a dozen crayons on the back deck and ,….you got it they all melted on the carpet!!! (I was not upset, because it gave credibility to the argument,”…I don’t think we’re ready for a sports car yet.” Sold that puppy for $11,000, then went to the local marina and found a 28′ Balboa, swing keel cruiser for (duh!) $11,000. It’s gotta be destined,…right?)

Stay tuned for part two,…..Even I’m feeling ill thinking of the alternatives for $11,000 in 1985!!! (….if I put it in Apple Computer,….well, don’t cry over spilt milk,….but wait for the next chapter!!)


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