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One of The Ones That Got Away

1950 54'

Booking my room late for the Port Townsend show put me into the Sportsman Lodge in Port Angeles. Actually, a quaint little mom and pop motor lodge. Other than the distance from the show, it suited me perfectly. As I'm sure you readers do as well, any stop to a new town makes a trip to the waterfront a necessity.

On my approach, there she was, just a walkin’ down the street (up on jack stands, actually). Do you ever get that? You see a boat. You KNOW she needs a new owner by the coat of neglect upon her. And you say to yourself, “how cheaply am I getting out of this one”. As we all know, cheap never shows up.

Then, magically, all the tumblers start falling into place. Owner, approaching his 90th. Wife, a decade or more his senior. “The maintenance is starting to get away from me” (ya THINK?).

Dropping my phone number and intent to purchase with the yard manager, I drive out with one last look before I hit cocktail hour. Naturally, my phone rings.

“Wanna see her?”

“Oh hell yes”

I’ve already fondled every inch of the exterior so let’s not waste any time getting inside. I’ve seen worse. Typical forgotten yacht clutter. Aroma of mold, spilt milk, and forgotten coffee cake invade the nostrils. Don’t you DARE open the fridge.

In a rare moment of good judgement, I realize that ever inch of this once fine motor yacht needs repair, or replacement, or incineration.

My offer reflects it and the owner rejects it…and me.

Of course, it’s Cleopatra's Barge (to him) and it’s worth every penny of ten times my offer.

One day, I will be old. I'm half way there (more than). I pray that I will realize when it’s time to pass the torch. Unlike the sports announcer, the politician, the rock & roll singer, who can’t stand the thought of letting the next generation have their chance. Everyone, including myself, needs a reality check now and then. In this case, a fine yacht suffers from lack of it. But, time is the salve that heals all. The owner will realize his plight of paying for storage. A buyer with more love and more disposable income will drive by as I did. And I expect, with no surprise, to see her and the proud next owner showing her off when I return to Port Townsend.


Submitted by SDTangler on

Enjoyed your story!