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Mister Chris Meets Mister Craft

Posted by djingodjango on Sunday, July 31, 2011

When I was a young wart's from the Lion King. Let me start again.

When I was a young thats' Bambi.

My life is a Disney cartoon?

But, I digress.

As a young man, I went through jobs like nickel candy in a fat kids hand.  To say I was irresponsible is to put it mildly. I thought the world was a giant platter of sweet and tender ice cold oysters.

Boy, I have food on my mind.

It was all beer and skittles for me from the age of fifteen, through high-school, through the Army, up to and including a few years of my first marriage.


No wait, that's Princess Bride.


One of my jobs involved a large marina full of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of boats. Big boats. Fast boats. Slow boats. Tiny boats. Extremely expensive boats. And gasoline. And a young man who could bluff his way with wit and charm into almost any job he wanted. 

And so it was one summer day in the mid 1960's that I literally rolled out of bed and walked less then 100 feet down Walnut St. hill in Lakeport NH and into the front door of Irwin Marine, where such water vessels as I mentioned were docked. And began work.

I shmoozed and ran the marine supply store, I gassed up boats, I washed down boats.  I counted the money in the till each day and locked the place up at night, as I lived almost a stones' throw from this marina.

This marina is a state, New England and nationally known company that sells and services Chris Craft barrel backs and runabouts, capris and triple decks. Garwoods, Playboys, Grady-White, Sportslines and so many other motor boats. All the goodies that thrum with power and roar out of the "no-wake" zone like a flaming ape.

And one day, a man tossed the keys of a late model Chris Criaft run-a-bout and asked me to back it out of its mooring and bring it over to the pump and gas it up.

One thing I forgot to mention. I had never piloted a boat in my life, with the exception of a row-boat at my uncles house on a small lake nearby.

This fact might explain what happened next.

With a phenomenal thrust of my head and bounce to my step, I grabbed the keys, jumped in the run-a-bout, cleared the bilge first (that is one thing I picked up while listening to the sailors chatting about their boats. Gas fumes sometimes clog the bilge and when the motor is cranked, the boat explodes in a marvelous plume of flame and smoke, tiny wood chips and twisted metal).

Then I backed it out and promptly drove it stern first into the side of a 29' foot Pro-line fishing boat.

The owner of the Pro-line had seen me coming and was trying to fend me off with a hook and pole. 

I was putting my foot to the floor, looking for a brake.

Note:  Boats don't have brakes.

And the pole didn't work either. Several thousand dollars of damage was incurred, and I rolled out of bed the next morning looking for another job.

See, I thought if I believed I could do it hard enough, that eventually I would. That is the think system. It was invented by Professor Harold Hill.

That is also a movie.

Oh the insolence and bravado of youth.

(C) 2011 George Locke

1 comment on “Mister Chris Meets Mister Craft”

Karen Kruske Says:
Sunday, July 31, 2011 @7:16:52 PM

Very interesting. I'll think about that tomorrow!

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