829 Southdrive

829 Southdrive

A New Jersey state of mind

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thursday, July 15, 2004

My Dad, with his Dad Earl, and older brothers
Pierson and Gordon. Nice knickers, Uncle Gordy!

At 829 South Drive with unidentified dog.

  As far as I know, Earl was not at all a sailor,
but a fisherman. He had a great motorboat,
Mike II, for which  he had arranged a friend as 
 captain so he and the rest of his friends could fish 
and drink.  My Dad preferred sailing.
Earl died when Dad was 11.   

 2 minutes before the gun.  This was
  Lightning "Vision",  #5805.
It's definitely honking there. 

La Salle College Crew, Varsity Heavyweight 8.
Dad Vail Regatta Champions, 1957.
Schuylkill River, Philadelphia, Pa.
Way before Rocky.  And the steps.
Dad got to stand next to legendary coach
"Bear" Curran.  Coach left his houndstooth
hat at home that day.

Hell's Bells, Jet 14, #475.
Beautiful varnished wooden hull.
It always blew hard on the Metedeconk River.

Tough as nails, they had worms for breakfast and
dirt for dinner.  And they politely asked for more.

Probably Easter, 1964, Jenkintown, Pa.
To this day I wear shorts every day of the year.
I don't plan to ever change that habit.

1966.  Hans is really getting a kick out of the kite. 
A boxkite,  always a boxkite.  
That raft to the left floated up during a storm
and spent the entire summer there.  It was
another imaginary ship for our cousins and
us to play on.  We rarely had nothing to do.

Penguin  #5158, "Vapor".  She preceded "Wassail",
#8839, a Christmas punch-red boat in which
I first started to crew for my dad.

Dad and I did well in Wassail, and I still have lots
of crew mugs to show for it.  34 years later, this silver bowl
was filled with beer and we drank from it
 before sifting his ashes into the Barnegat Bay.
The banner is hanging over the workbench in my garage.

I suspect he spent hundreds of hours at the Sultana
Shipyard in Chestertown, Md.  It really was great
therapy for him in that very difficult time of his life.

Customized business card.

Master Gunner Emeritus

 He was aware of his mortality.  And it was
a huge plus that the guy who was to arrange 
his cremation not only sailed, but raced a J-24
at Havre de Grace. 

Sultana's tribute.  If you have a minute,
it's worth a read. Thanks to Dave and Lucian.
And every other soul at Sultana.

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

Crossing The Bar
Alfred Lord Tennyson

My Uncle Gordon's funeral program included 
this poem, and Dad's did as well.
  I fully believe they have both seen their pilot.

Dad, you were never as content as when you were
sailing.  And if it weren't for you,
I may never have had my love for sailing like I do.
  We all miss you as much now as we
did six years ago, which is a whole hell of a lot.
Sail on, Sailor.  We love you.


  1. This is a wonderful post.

    And not just for the photos of some great old boats.

    And not just because your dad helped to build a schooner.

    And not just because your dad taught you how to sail.

    And not just because you realize how lucky you were for that.

    And not just because you've shown in a very few words what your dad meant to you.

    And not just because you know how to spell Schuylkill.

  2. GR8 Post, Baydog. I'm still cryin.... There are so many similarities.... We share a universe... Still cryin....

  3. A beautiful tribute to a delightful man, now you went and made me cry at work. May your fond memories always bring a smile to your face.
    Much Love,

  4. Beautiful tribute my love!

  5. Doc: Sozadee must mean the state of being comfortable and content with the life that has been afforded you. If so, I am there. And the universe is big enough for the two of us.

  6. Fantastic tribute. Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts on your Dad.

  7. Braveheart has tears running through the blue paint.

  8. Very nice post. I'm sitting here remembering how nice Sultana looked sailing down the Bay during the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race. Your Dad left his mark in the world with both Sultana and his family.


  9. What a wonderful post. The love is very evident and nothing more needs to be said.