IT’S LATER THAN
11, lyrics to a great Guy Lombardo song from the ‘40s kept going
through my head. Even though I was only a wee tot when the song was popular,
I remember them well because my Dad thought they were funny and repeated
them often. The first chorus went like this:
it’s later than you think,
while you’re still in the pink,
The years go by as quickly
as a wink,
Enjoy yourself, enjoy
yourself, it’s later than you think.
Profound words indeed!
Even in difficult times we are all entitled to some rest, relaxation,
and pleasure, and what other device or conveyance can give you more of
all three than a boat? A boat allows you to kick back and be yourself.
You can wear baggie shorts, drink beer, burp, and make other rude noises.
Spending a weekend on
a boat recharges your batteries for the work week to come so you can earn
money and pay taxes that allow the United States of America to buy awesome
military hardware (yeah, I grumble about taxes like everybody else, but
the sight of a nuc sub or a huge carrier or a stealth bomber makes me
happy to pay taxes).
WAY OF LIFE
For those of us
dedicated to the pleasureboating scene, boating is a way of life that
will not be interrupted. During World War II, even though one couldn’t
cruise due to gas rationing, dyed-in-the-wool boaters continued to use
their boats at their moorings. When the Korean War came around, there
was no fuel rationing and boating proceeded on a more or less normal basis.
The same was true for the Vietnam War and the Gulf War. Even during the
economic war of the ‘70s–the oil embargo–people, including
me, continued to use their boats. For whatever reason, marine fuel was
readily available, though expensive.
As long as there are
clients willing to buy production boats and build custom boats, my firm
will continue to do what it does best: produce squiggly lines on paper
for fun (and sometimes profit). Since September we have had five major
boat shows: Norwalk, Connecticut; Newport Beach, California; Annapolis,
Maryland; Genoa, Italy; and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The word from those
in the industry is that, while attendance was down somewhat, the people
walking the docks brought their wallets and didn’t have fish hooks
in their pockets. As for custom projects, to date I have not heard of
any that have been canceled.
FEAR OF FLYING?
Were my wife and
I going to let some sick pantload who lives under a rock change our lives?
No way. After briefly exploring the options of driving back to Florida
from Long Island or taking the train or the bus, we decided to take our
scheduled flight south only two days after flights were resumed. The presence
of U.S. Marshals at the X-ray machines at La Guardia was impressive. The
airport was virtually empty. As we were waiting for our plane, the FBI
and cops with pistols and shotguns descended and pulled a couple off a
plane to question them. I loved it! People with something to hide will
say their civil rights are being compromised by the extra security, but
I always liked flying into Rome and seeing those 16-year-old kids in fatigues
with their submachine guns and German shepherds giving everybody a steely
once-over as they deplaned. And I like being randomly selected for questioning
at Heathrow. Our very quiet plane (even the babies aboard were quiet)
was less than a third full, and the flight was not only uneventful, but
landed early. All things considered, it was the best flight ever, and
I was looking forward to the next.
Tom Fexas is a marine
architect and designer of powerboats. His Web site is www.tomfexas.com.
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