Himming 3

Himming 3 

   Well, I just might be moving on. Two simple phone calls, only one really needed; I think the lines went dead. This is all part and parcel in small boat sailing when the stakes are as low as one could go. The incentive being nil, the expectations will never rise to the occasion. 

   That’s probably a good thing, my attention span seems to be shrinking with the advancing years. This free sailing dinghy might just not work out. But then it might, but maybe not as well. 

   In high school, our buddies would break out the violins, playing the imaginary things while having a good laugh. The good laugh had by all keeps one from getting too serious. 

   My wandering eyes are starting to regain their focus to what’s in the shop and what’s setting in front of it. The scrap metal dealer came by today and took both trailers, two trips. I added more to his load. The yard looks nice without those useless trailers taking up space and being an eye sore. 

   Today’s clean up actually started some months ago. I don’t move very fast any more, and if ever I thought I did, it was pointed out to be a figment of my imagination. I’ve gotten used to myself over the years, I know my wife has. The dog hasn’t quite made up his mind though. But the yard looks better. The Gardner might get a bit upset if he hits some of that rusted metal which fell to the ground durning today’s removal. I hope I get it all picked up. 

   With the Pirateer possibly out of the picture, my focus can get back to the two boats in the yard that need more attention. The one being an O Day Javelin, the other it’s kid brother, the Widgeon at 12’. Without any fear or trepidation the Widgeon is to be found in the same state as the Javelin.   I seemed to be stepping on toes when explaining my remodel of the Javelin. Drew some ire. Ducked and kept going. Might come a time when the very law might just be on their side. That’ll be a sad day in hell.

   Well I just about talked myself out of this hot pursuit of the Chrysler 13. Don’t be breaking out those violins just yet boys, set the trumpets to thy mouth and get this party going, and don’t be crying over spilt milk. 

   Thanks for coming along on this short ride. I’ve enjoyed my self, I certainly hope you have as well.

Michael j beebe


Himming 2

Himming 2

   Well it’s been three days since that little Pirateer 13, sailing dinghy waltzed back into my life. I’ve been by the place now three times. Don’t want to appear too eager. The little thing is off in the back of the property sitting upside down on a pile of weeds meant to be burned. Not a good sign, or maybe just in time. 

   I had decided to once again pass on the dinghy. Told the wife it being in the yard would get in the way of my other projects. She nodded her head in agreement. So late yesterday afternoon I told the wife I’m going over to where the Pirateer resides and tell the good folks I am going to pass on the thing. By the time I get there, maybe 10 minutes, passing is gone and the dream is back. 

   When I got back home Linda was out on the patio covering the outside table with clear plastic. 

   “Honey, I told those people no! I didn’t want the boat! They wouldn’t accept my offer.”

   Linda laughed, “They wouldn’t accept your ‘No’ to taking a free boat, eh?”

   The internet search has started, kindling gathered and set ablaze under this new adventure. Already I’m borrowing ideas for a main-strength bulkhead, taken from an earlier Searunner Trimaran, to support the mast allowing for a comfortable berth. Small sailing boats are only limited by the owner. Many have been taken to places the desi*ner never thought possible. 

   The purest’s, sitting, sipping coffee with the nay sayers are a dangerous group. Shore lines, anchor lines, and dock lines made up, of only words, have ruined too many adventures.

   At 18 I left home hitch-hiking east with a small surfboard, with the blessings of mom n dad. Later my mom told me her friend when found where I went declared, “I’d never allow Wayne to do such a thing!” Wayne was the same age as I. Little did I know my parents, I now realize. Such a shame. What they gave their nine children can never be taken away. 

   Those nay-saying purest’s sitting Harbour side weaving binding ropes and lines with fearful words just might be asking them selves one day who goes yonder in the 13 foot boat leaving the Harbour.

   “That’s what’s his name! He’s gonna die out there!”

Bob, sitting at the bench’s end, drops his coffee and falls to the ground dead. Heart attack they said. 

Michael j beebe



   A year or so ago my wife got a call from a fellow she had met at the local thrift store. This guy was, and still is, a part time volunteer at the same store, a nice enough gentleman. My wife had told him I sail small boats. 

   “I’ve a boat you’re husband might want to look at.” We went and looked. A Chrysler Pirateer, all 13’ feet of what was left. Just the hull. Story had it, it was a salvage job, drug home by a later aged dreamer to sit in the backyard, too good for the local land fill. In his eyes anyway. 

   My understanding of the story is this happened before Harvey came to town in ‘17. Well, the neighbor, that would be the part time thrift shop worker got involved, he knows a good deal when he sees them. His yard is near full of good things too good for the local land fill. Him and I have a lot in common. 

   We went, the wife and I, to take a gander. Oh, good lines, for sure. A nice deep hull. A few rub marks, some gel coat missing. Yep, too good for the land fill just yet. Dreams, do die hard. They die hard because they’re nurtured so. They’ve been fed late at night and early in the morning. Durning storms and shut in days, these dreams brighten up the inside of snug cottage’s on rainy days.

   These dreams can’t be tossed away just like that, they just can’t. But it wasn’t time. The plate back home at the shop was over flowing and then some. It just wasn’t time. 

   A fellow tells me, “You can’t have them all!” Deep inside I know that’s true, but deep inside is a fair bit of distance from the dreams rolling around in my head. 

   I walked away from that Chrysler. It’s been three years now and the other day the wife and I were back in that neighborhood looking at a chicken coop. Well a week ago a local scrap metal guy, a friend of a friend, they both stopped by; the scrapper said he’d take the two trailers sitting in my yard, good only for scrap. Well, son-of-a-gun, room! How about that?

 “Doesn’t Bo live near here.” I ask the wife while viewing the coop.

 “Next block over.” The wife answers. 

Bo is the thrift shop worker. I think you know where this is going. 

   A few days later, visiting the chicken coop , I say, “Let’s go visit Bo.” Which could have been translated, “Let’s go see if that sailboat is still there.” 

   It was.

Michael j beebe 

The parking lot

The parking lot

   The parking lot wasn’t nearly as full as it had been all week. I was thinking to myself if I should move my truck closer to the unit I was staying in of this cheap hotel. Thinking again to myself it would be easier to load up when Friday came and it was time once again to leave this dive behind and get on home for the weekend, get home to the sanctuary of family life, away from the drinking, drugs, loud music, sometime fights.

   Cheap living in these old single story, side by sides, built a half century ago, some even longer than that. Sold and changed hands at each slowdown of the local economy, fixed up, actually patched up, trying to squeeze every last dollar out of the dive until the inevitable day comes when the land value dictates the final demise of the hotel.

   Until then, it’s a home away from home. Bad backs born in beds so old come free with place. If the guy in the next room over falls asleep with his radio on, you get to listen to what ever he was listening to until you hopefully fall asleep.

   The wife thinks you enjoy this get-a-way, and begrudgingly lets it slip from time to time just what she thinks. The joy in the little one’s eyes, come Saturday morning, when they wake to see their daddy home again puts the discomforts behind.

   Dealing with the yahoo’s on the cheap side, to save maybe half of what the newer six-story hotel would cost to make this out-of-town gig seem worthwhile, doesn’t make it any easier.

   The ‘wake up’ hasn’t changed from any job that one might find near home, stating time comes early, so the wake up, actually comes sooner. It’s not easy living out of a cooler, cooking on a hot plate, doing dishes in the bathroom sink.

   Glory days. Glory days, and those so living in them, would hope they soon pass, never to return. The cheap hotels, the places where a, married or not, stays when work takes him away from home. Construction is some times like that.

   ‘Some times’ a lot worse. A single guy or two, blows into town and gets on the framing crew, a low wager at that, because the foreman knows he’s got the upper hand. The cheap rooms at our friends hotel described above are out of reach to these new guys. These, new on the crews, set up camp amongst the stacks of lumber to be used the next day. They won’t be putting down any roots, let alone tent pegs longer than the night.

   Cheap rooms, living on the job site, some day to become a distant memory. As the skill level rises, paying for better quarters becomes easier. Even the down turns aren’t so hard. Aren’t so hard, yet.

   The ‘yet’ comes when the getting up part isn’t so easy anymore, the young bucks are standing more walls, humping more wood. The learned schooling, of cheap dives, hard knocks, drunks fighting in the parking lot, makes it all the more easier to stay home next time around and let the younger boys have at it.

   Besides, the sparkling eye’s of Saturday mornings are long gone. The children have long since left the house, maybe even the begrudging wife.

   Have at it boy’s, have at it.

Michael j beebe



   I’m fighting a cold, it’s settled into my lungs, not good. Tomorrow the doctors. My wife, sitting across the room, maybe four feet away, we’ve a small house, just now said, she felt like she was armchair sailing. Laughing, she said as much.

   She’s not looking at back issues of SCA, or Messing About in Boats, no, she is on the net looking at seed catalogs getting ready for an up coming spring planting. She mentioned knowing somewhat how sailors in the frozen north must feel like. I would never have thought that on my own.

   Earlier we were invited to a friends house for cake and ice cream, they have the cake. My wife declined , texting the lady I was sick. Her husband, who sails, thirty minutes later sends me a text, “Did you go sailing today?” Trying to get a rise, I suppose. “In my head” I answered.

   And I have, all day long between naps. On the net looking at sailing dinghy designs, dinghy cruising videos, micro cruising.

   Some times that’s all we get. This past Monday, I think it was, maybe Sunday, a norther was blowing and the bay was kicking up white horses like no tomorrow. I’d put Red Top back in the water the Friday before, winds light. I was looking forward to some of the stuff I could only look at the other day.

   At 72 in a couple of weeks, I knew I’d better wait until this cold blew over. Way back when I’d work all day long with bad colds, not at 72. I just may be learning after all. I even sent my niece a note telling her what she was missing. The same niece a few months back who experienced her first capsize under my tutelage. I learnt her good.

   It would had been nice. They’ll be other days ahead after this cold has passed.

Michael j beebe


The Skiff Mary

The Skiff Mary

   He’d built the skiff so long ago most of the local fishermen never gave it much of a thought. Old, wore-out, they often wondered just how the old guide could stay in business with such an out dated boat. Bob had designed and built the Skiff a little over twenty years ago. Twenty one years, three months and… well, you get the picture. Bob knew to the day he first launched his Skiff, it was the same day the love of his life died.

   Mary had been sickly for far too many years. Never robust, never quite up to par. Mary and Bob went to high school together. Knew each other a few years before in elementary school. They’d been together longer than the years they were married.

   Friends from the start, it did take Bob many years to get Mary to the church on time. The marriage wasn’t an easy one. Sickness does take it’s toll. Constant medical bills, everyone said Mary would be better off a ward of the state. Bob wouldn’t hear of it.

   Bob was also a fisherman, a good fisherman. When others were skunked, Bob never was. He knew the back bays and the island’s nooks and cranny’s, knew the tides and understood what a rain storm 80 miles inland would do to the local fish at the rivers mouth. Bob was handy as well. He could fix most anything and as most everything needed fixing around the small plot of land he and Mary called home, he never lacked for chores that needed being tended to.

   With his wife’s encouragement Bob started guiding. Money was never a problem in their household, never a problem because it seemed they never had any for it to become a problem. Where they were going to spend their extra cash just wasn’t an issue. But they got by and by and then some.

   Mary gardened, canned, and sold eggs. Bob fished, and they ate fish. Bob’s clients were stacking up like cord wood. Three or four days a week were all the days Bob would fish, and not all day. He filled the limits often before eleven, home for a late lunch about 1.

   A beat up old Lone Star aluminum run a bout was what Bob used at first. The other guides had the nice newer fiberglass boats costing untold thousands with all the electronics aboard. Bob was tempted from time to time, almost laid his down payment on the counter once or twice, but didn’t. He knew just where the fish were, and fish is what his customers wanted, fish is what they got.

   He knew the Lone Star was not going to last forever, he had ideas as to just what he wanted in a fishing skiff if he had his druthers, he didn’t have many but the few he had were set in stone.

   Bob always gave more away with his half day trips than for what he charged. Too many times a clients son went home with the lucky rod and reel that caught so many memories, let alone the fish. Good will came back. Always does, always will.

   When word got out Bob was designing his own fishing skiff and his plan on building it as well, the supplies and materials gifted to him left him and Mary speechless at times.

   It wasn’t an easy build, nor was it quick. The bills that came in still needed to be paid. Doctors visits and hospital stays, specialist’s all want their money. The church they attended helped as often as they could. The small coastal town where they called home was a tight knit community, always had been, seemed like it would always be so.

   Mary helped Bob with the build. The two of them could be heard laughing and carrying on like a couple of high school sweethearts. And they were, just older now.

Among the chores of a small farm, earning money guiding fishermen, tending to his wife’s many needs when her personal storms of life often overpowered her, everything was put on hold, building, fishing, even collecting the egg money out front by the road was ignored, Mary came first.

   The one year build stretched to ten, then eleven, then twelve. It didn’t matter. He knew where the fish were, the old Lone Star, patched so many times, it leaked like a sieve. Bob always carried an extra battery, even carried extra bilge pumps, just in case.

   Bob and Mary knew. They knew. Others did as well. Their love was a deep, deep well from which an understanding born between the two of them gave them everything needed, and they went forward as best they could. They just didn’t know when the fateful day would arrive.

   Launch day came, we know what happened. Bob found out latter that afternoon. Oh, it was hard, very hard. Hard for the community, the small church. Even the children stood silent the day of the funeral. Afterwards at the house, the pot luck late lunch was served by family friends. Dishes cleaned and put away, the empty house, empty.

   Bob had asked Mary, before the christening of the skiff, if he could call the thing after her. Not just yet she had said. “When?” He asked.

   “You’ll know when.” Mary had replied.

Twenty years going now, actually , twenty one years three months and a few days, the Skiff Mary and her skipper were still pulling more fish more often than the others, not always, but often enough.

   And still sending young fishermen home with lucky rod and reels, the boys as well the girls. And Bob with his Skiff Mary, can be seen wiping misty eyes from time to time.

Michael j beebe


We go

We go

   We go where the winds blow. That is an ideal, I think, which sailors strive for. Something which conjures freedom of movement. Foot loose and fancy free.

   But then the strings start arriving. Strings which are easily broken at first, but if not, they become stout lines that bind and restrict, bind and restrict so as to almost tie one to the docks.

   My aversion to organized anything began at an early age. Little League Baseball, and oh how I loved the game, but growth came and with it, it’s own set of rules, rules I just wasn’t prepared for. The grown up’s, managers, the authorities, I learned later they are called.

   Seems as if with this growing business one soon leaves the Little League behind and moves along the bracket of this ladder of life. Somethings we have to learn on our own, being taught in school just does not cut it.

   I sat the bench, being picked by some manager to be used down the line whose high hopes of winning the Pony League title, because his current player would soon be out because of age. I wanted to play ball, not be a part of someone’s future aspirations. I started surfing at 14 years of age, learning then no one was going tell me to sit on the beach. I was off and running. I actually owe that coach a big thank you.

   How does that translate to blowing winds and binding dock lines? Well, wanting to surf and the best time to surf was usually early mornings, work needed to accommodate the surfing life style. Even my ability as a carpenter was later used for that same purpose.

   Sitting in traffic one afternoon coming home from the beach my brother asked the guy next to us ‘How was work?’ Rubbing it in just a little. Learning how to make the most of it while paying our own way. Our parents also taught us the need to do so.

   When I sail, very often I will have a destination in mind, that, just as often is never reached or is exchanged for another. The authorities tells us to file float plans. These authorities reside even with in the freedom grasping sailors themselves. The long tethers that would bind needs be cut like swinging a stick as one walks along a pathway covered with cobwebs.

   If we stop our stick swinging we’ll soon be buried under onerous requirements, costing a fortune to venture upon the waters of yesteryear. I read of smart phone navigation, course plotting, waypoints and which digital chart to get.

   Please, please, these things will be our freedom’s demise. I’m fearing all too soon small boat sailors will need the newly available locator systems aboard as well.

   Yes, we are to be responsible, the safety of others requires us to be so. Perhaps a sign to placed in a conspicuous place so boarding crew can read and boarding our ship can choose to leave before the small ship casts off her lines. It might read, ‘There are no electronics aboard, paper charts are kept forward, if the captain dies in route, you’re  on you’re own.’

   Would that work? How about when sailing in the company of other small boats? If your tiller breaks it’d be nice if someone came by with a spare tiller, nuts, bolts, and an old fashioned twist drill to put it all together.

   Alone, one might be scrounging the shore for some sort of stick or board to lash a make-shift tiller together. Both scenarios would work. The group that sails the third coast in early summer is like that. Your on your own, but if we can help we will. I like that. And there is a lot of electrical gear sharing those boats as well.

   So far though, not required. The Everglades Challenge requires the gear and more, check points, and it’s own set of requirements. The Coast Guard even gets involved. They will soon enough as well, make their presence felt, along the waste lands of the Texas Coast, all to soon. Please don’t misunderstand me.

   There was a hurricane which traveled up the Eastern Seaboard several years ago, and it pushed the high surf before it. A photo showed two surfers, one on the water side of the chain link fence, one in the process of crawling under pushing his surfboard ahead of him, and a policeman standing there with hands and arms outstretched, palms open.”

   Seeing the photo I thought to my self, there are two different mindsets which will never see eye to eye.

   Electronics? Good for you. Paper, don’t let em blow away.

   All the stick swinging in the world won’t prevent what’s coming. We don’t, however, have to hurry it along ourselves.

Michael j beebe

My Friend

My Friend

My friend Walt came by the shop this morning. About a year ago, a week short actually, plans came for a plywood stitch and tape canoe. Other projects were ahead of it in line.
Walt happened by when I was readying the pieces for stitches. Then it started. Talk about a work slow down and at the same time we were soon following in other’s footsteps, or better said, they’re wake. Not the end type.
We were soon doing the Texas Coast in our sailing canoes, heck, it didn’t take long before were were aboard a freighter, sans sailing canoes to Panama.
Walter was telling me of some of the predicaments his wandering mind had gotten him into over the years. He definitely has a way with people. His go now attitude was only cut short by his lack of finances. His easy going ways got him in so many doors of employment, invariably the hiring staff would soon be off with Walter on one of his adventures and he’d get the job, almost gratis.
Reality would set in after too many missed assignments never made to the boss’s desk, and those that did were not on time, poor Walter was sent packing. He didn’t mind though, not one bit. Was actually on his way for a job interview when he stopped by the shop this morning. He never made it. He was soon helping me to stitch up the plywood canoe. Sore backs didn’t let us get far. We did go for lunch though.
After lunch we took Red Top out for a sail. Just the two of us, Mr. Mitty and I.
The morning was soon forgotten and the two of us were off to Florida, if we kept the coast on the left, we’d get there, then the Dry Tortuga’s, then,,,
Well the wind switched and it was time once again to be getting on home. I dropped Walter off at the dockside restaurant, Mr. Mitty was a bit hungry, thanked me for lunch, the canoe adventures and the afternoon sail.
He said maybe he’d pass on that job interview, he had better things to think about.

Michael j beebe



   He’d set sail early the same morning. Cleared the harbour entrance about 0330, left the green on the starboard side. It was chilly, he was alone, many time he’d done this run, knew it like the back of his hand.

   The next harbour was about 8 or 9 hours strictly sailing, the wind favable, he’d already cut the engine. His wife would be waiting for him, she would be off work and waiting for him at the harbour dinner. The early morning fog lingered in patches that seemed to be getting thicker.

   By 0415 it was a compass course and proper seamanship called for that head sail doused. Setting the pilot the Cap’n went forward and dropped the jib.

The fog thicken and the wind diminished to zephyrs. Hearing voices and cry’s for help, now ghosting quietly seeing wreckage about in the predawn light. There ahead a woman and child clung to a round throwable.

   Dropping the main into jacks waiting arms, gave the Cap’n a good feeling as he’d only added the lazy-jacks the month before. Gather the mother and child, shivering cold, putting them below, with towels, blankets, and the cabin heater going, our skipper went back on deck.

   Getting lighter he didn’t like what he saw. Nor did he like the fact his radio decided to quit. Up ahead a man and a boy, wearing the old Mae-west type of PFD’s. He was surprised to see someone actually using them, and here were two. The boy had a bleeding gash above his right eye, he was only a little aware of his circumstances. Cold and shivering, both needed to get aboard and below. The little guy came first, the woman from below was up on deck to help the little one aboard. “John” she called and the little one smiled as he recognized the women. “My son, your alive!”

   The man was having a hard go of it, climbing the boarding ladder now hung over the side. Robert, the owner of this rescue vessel, quickly put a sling overboard and was able to guide the older gentleman into it.

   Using the boom to help hoist the old fellow up, he was able to use the ladder with the hoists help.

   Helping the older man below, the woman upon seeing the new mwmber of the crew, exclaimed, “Dad! And stood to greet him.

The fog now thinning with the rising sun, wreckage everywhere but not a sign of anybody else. Where there should be islands, a passage well marked, now nothing. There was a ground swell running of about six to eight feet. There should be no ground swell the Captain thought to himself. He’d been raised here, sailed this channel amongst these island for thirty five years. And now, no islands, it’s as if we are off the coast of New Found-land.

   The breeze now nil, Robert went below and keeping watch in the companion way, was able to put a pot of coffee on while keeping an eye on the outside.

The woman’s father had changed into some of Roberts clothes, the children warped up in their own blankets, there’re clothes were now hung on lines tied around the cabin heater.

   The older gentleman introduced himself, Bob Mitchell, sailed many years before, said he could handle the ships stove and get some hot food going with the Captain’s permission. Permission granted, Mr. Mitchell got right to the task at hand.

   Robert was still perplexed as could be. Radio not working, no land insight, bits and pieces of float-some, but nothing recognizable. The sun now past the horizon a goodly distance, a course was set due west.

   A hot steaming plate of potatoes, bacon, eggs, a mug of coffee passed up by the new crew Bob. Robert sat down in the cockpit to eat his morning meal, as good as it was, he was just as sure potatoes, eggs and bacon were not on his shopping list the night before he left.

   John’s cut above the eye was taken care of by his mother. She had found the first aid kit and did what she had to do. Her daughter was sound asleep in the forward v-berth.

   Bob Mitchell soon came up into the cockpit, sat opposite Robert. Started right in about the nights problems. The pea soup fog, no moon, the clanging of the ships bell, then out of the darkness the bow of a tramp steamer, the cries, screams, splintering of wood, the sounds of silence growing as the ship went off into the fog. The horribleness of it all. Thought we would soon all be dead.

   Marrissia, was the name across the stern, that much Bob Mitchell remembered. Off in the distance a power boat was approaching, getting closer Robert didn’t recognize the craft. It beelined straight for them. It pulled up along side, explaining them to be off the Marrissia. Had been looking all morning for survivors.

   Soon enough the two youngsters were put aboard, Helen, their mother, gathered up their wet clothes and hers, promising to return the blankets as quickly as possible. Bob Mitchell did not go below to gather his stuff, stepping aboard the power skiff, shook hands with Robert and shoved off. Away they went.

   The sun was no longer shinning, the fog was once again thickening up. Soon the engine of the skiff could no longer be heard. The wind picked up just enough to fill the main, giving them a few knots.

   Marker 18 just off the starboard bow told Robert just where he was. The ground swell was no more and the debris filled water was now just cold and clear. The entrance just ahead, shortly he saw his wife ahead on the dock waving.

   She grabbed the dock-lines, and securing them, then went aboard. While Robert set things right above deck his wife Patsy went below. “Robert, what are these wet clothes, did you go overboard?”

  “No, hon! I’ve gat a story to tell.”

As he explained Patsy went through the pockets of the clothes, finding a wallet. Drivers license, some money, some wet photos.

   “Robert, these bills are all from the early twenties, this drivers license is as old as can be. It says that Bob Mitchell was born in 1860. What happened to you out there, Robert?”

Michael j beebe


They can’t fire me

They can’t fire me

   My wife asked if I’d went to the office this morning. Going on the third day she seemed a little worried. “Don’t worry honey, they can’t fire me.” And the reason being this early morning office , far different than a bar in a neighboring town called, “The Office”. This place and many, many like it across the nation is frequented by the early morning crowd of mostly, but not all, retirees.

   Retirees who know better than to wake their sleeping better half’s. Know better because they’ve been thrown out of not just the kitchen for making too much noise at such ungawdly hours, but thrown out of the house as well. Men rising early all their life tending cows, building house’s, fishing just don’t understand how some can sleep the ‘better part’ of the day away.

   Jawboning with a corner store owner one Saturday morning about 9:30 am, I mentioned to the fellow the day was half over. Just then an incoming customer overnight hearing my comment said. “What do you mean, Half over? I just got up!”

We got a good laugh from the young woman’s remark.

   I at one point of time while reading to the children at their bedtime, had to get their mother on more than one occasion, “Mom, dad fell asleep again!”

   These early morning people are not all grumpy old men, some are quite nice that early in the morning. A few women wander in now and then, usually they sit off by themselves. The office girls, on the other hand would, all just as soon be home asleep. I’ve been asked more than once what we old guys talk about. “We solve the world’s problems” I say, smiling.

   Another thing, when you set your start time at the office, set by one’s time of arrival over a given period. If you get there right at opening, or a few minutes before, when you then open the door at five-ten, you will be deemed late and taken to task.

   Myself, after missing several days, was called in front of the board, those sitting at the round table, as to just where I’d been. Ready to pile it on, and knowing the game, I said, “Didn’t you get my message?”

“What message?” The instigator asked.

“I phoned in sick.” Ending the barbs sure to come, that moments before were flying elsewhere. It gets like that at the office occupied by a 75 year old high school crowd.

These same guys at the drop of a hat will put their boat in the water and come get you when your own boat breaks down while your out fishing. Need a helping hand and don’t own a truck? Someone there will step up and help.

   Another thing about the office girls. If they don’t open that door at 5:00 am sharpe, the indignation starters rising. Car alarms are set off by remote control. It’s not pretty.

No I can’t be fired, nor can any of the other boys of yesteryear. Those office girls, though, I’m sure would like to see it so.