Messing about in boats.

So, do you remember how nice it was to go for a little evening cruise and drop off into a little snooze in the boat? This is really not as dangerous as it looks. I don’t remember the exact occasion but we were probably putt-putting along through the shallows close to the shore of Houghton Lake. The lake was calm and us kids, masquerading as grown-ups with our own kids, were probably sipping a little cocktail. We had jobs and a house and kids and life was so good.

The boat was one of Grandpa Garth’s boats. He used to say, “Some men have 50-foot boats. I have 50 feet of boat!” And he did have a bunch of small tin boats and a speedboat that could haul water-skiers. He was an old World War II Navy vet who served on the aircraft carrier Hornet in the South Pacific. Sometimes we would be at the moldy old Houghton Lake cabin with him and, late at night, he would dip just a wee bit into the Triple Sec and get a wee bit teary-eyed as he told us just a wee bit about those days. He didn’t tell us much. About how the storms could be scarier than the battles. About how they used to bunk pilots with him (he was the master mechanic, I think) and often those pilots wouldn’t come back the next night. My dad, aka Grandroobly, was an Army Air Corps pilot in WWII but he served his time stateside as a flight instructor. He was scheduled to be deployed to the South Pacific toward the end of the war but, just when he was about to go, we dropped the A-Bomb on Japan. I think he always believed that the bomb saved his life. And mine too, I guess, since I would be a wasn’t if he had died. I never thought about this in those days but just now I imagined an alternate universe where my father was one of those pilots that bunked with my father-in-law. Pointless speculation, I guess. Since I wasn’t born until something like 10 years after World War II ended, it was really more or less ancient history to me when I was a kid. I was thinking about mathematical concepts like limits before I was five. I had formed my own opinion about God. History somehow eluded me. There was a big enthusiastic family of parents, grandparents, and older cousins waiting to greet me when I was born and my life was good (mostly), so I just kept on truckin’. Now that we have lost the grandparents and 5/8ths of the next generation and 1/11th of us cousins (my little brother being the numerator in that fraction), I am discovering how important history is.

Hmmm, to think I was gonna write about spaghettios today but somehow I am totally off on the dangereuse track of blathering aimlessly and uselessly about life, the universe, and everything. And I’m not sure where to go from where I have gotten to, so I think I’ll just hit publish and go hide under the toilet or somewhere.

Courtois fam, please correct any inaccuracies in the comments! Same for The Commander!

3 Responses to “Messing about in boats.”

  1. pooh Says:

    My dad was itching to ditch school and join the army and fight in WWII, but his parents wouldn’t let him join up early, so he had to wait until his 18th birthday. His 18th was August 7, 1945, and the A-bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, so count me in as a might-have-been-a-wasn’t.

  2. kayak woman Says:

    Pooh, if you read this, didn’t Harry somehow end up in the Galapagos during his service?

  3. MOM Says:

    Yes he did.