The most wonderful things in life make no sense.

For some it may be jewelry, shoes, or handbags. For others, it may be hunting gear or tricked-out oversized pickup trucks. We humans all have our illogical, impossible dreams.

For me—it’s boats.

Let me admit, right off the bat, I do not have the time or the money for a boat. After all, a boat is a hole in the water into which you pour money. However, logic not only does not have a vote, it is persona non-grata.

My father was an aviation electricians mate who came of age at the end of World War II. He enlisted, but never deployed to sea. I was a dirt Sailor (and proud of it, thank you), working with the expeditionary logistics forces—boots on the ground in theater. Over 28 and ½ years I begged to be assigned to sea duty, but the Navy had better use for me, and they were smarter than me.

My oldest son is the first in our family who has actually served on a United States ship-of-the-line at sea.

But I digress (as usual).

There is something about boats; I grew up near Lake Erie. I now live on the Atlantic Coast. I have this totally illogical, stupid, indefensible thing for boats. Let me explain:

Mark Harmon (who is my age—or to be precise, six days older than me) as Leroy Jethro Gibbs on NCIS is known for building boats in his basement; only Abby has figured out how he gets them out of the basement, but hasn’t disclosed that.

My father on the other hand built a boat on our front porch with one inch clearance (really!) to remove her from the porch. It was so unusual that the Toledo Blade had a story on it. That boat (incidentally, never named) imprinted something on me at a very elemental level. Boats would forever be part of my soul.

Being made of wood, the boat my father built didn’t last long; it wasn’t the water—it was the winters. Eventually, no longer seaworthy, she was broken up.

I rarely saw my father cry except when the love of his life—my mother—died. Nevertheless, I suspect that he was deeply affected by the end of that boat’s life. As you would expect, my father had a number of other small craft after her. However, although he owned other boats, they were just boats—useful, fun, functional—but just boats.

Like some who dream of winning the lottery, I dream of “the” boat. I dream of a totally impossible, impractical boat that I could pilot, but which has a galley, head, shower, sleeping areas, heated and air conditioned, with all the latest technology. The whole family—my children, grandchildren, plus a few of their friends could enjoy being there.

It’s a nice dream—and dreams should always be nice.

One response to “Dreams

  1. Hola Steve! Everything in life makes sense–especially dads, boats and dreams. It’s when we realize that life gives us everything right— that we know we’ve been wrong all along.

    When I was young and working at Children’s Hospital here in Los Angeles, there were a bunch of us entering the hospital. A lady fell while getting out of her car–and so I decided to turn back and assist her. I didn’t know it, but she just happened to be Gabriele Duque, the Chairman of the Donations Committee and a rather important and bucks-up lady. Well I was giving a tour of the out-patient clinics to some new Residents and Mrs. Duque at some point came along. Later, I was called to her office–where she invited me on her boat. Heck, I had never been on a boat and I didn’t even know what to wear or if I should take a fishing pole.

    Her boat turned out to be 57 foot Chris-Craft, and it was magnificent. It had an engine and sails…plus a captain and a crew…and sandwiches and booze. It was a dream come true. But a Mexican on such a ship? I truly was like a fish out of water. There was something remarkable that–and about dreaming and dreams come true: We become divinely content to face the unexplored and inquire into the values and ideal possibilities of life–and to see not that we think less of ourselves, rather that we think of ourselves less.

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