I was on the docks yesterday in Guana Cay awaiting the return of the boats from the Bahamas Billfish Championship, and I saw a Palm Beach 55. There aren’t very many of them around, and frankly, I just really like that boat. I tested the 55 in Australia a few years back when she launched and was immediately infatuated. So I walked up to the boat and saw a man inside. I knocked on the window and asked if I could come aboard. The owner, Joe Dockery, kindly invited me aboard. I walked into the saloon and sat down and talked with him for a while about Palm Beach and his boat. Then he asked me where I was from.
“Jersey,” I said.
“Oh, I’m sorry about that,” came the reply.
I rolled my eyes. You get used to this sort of stuff traveling abroad when you’re from the Garden State. “Well, I like it,” I said proudly.
“Me too,” said Joe, “I was born in Montclair.”
“Me too!” (This was weird, Montclair is big by small-town standards, but it’s not that big, and it’s gotta be 1,200 miles away. And Guana Cay man, it’s nice, but it is the sticks.
“Yeah I went to Montclair High. The Mounties,” Joe continued.
“Ah yeah, my grandparents went there. My high school girlfriend too. You’re not gonna want to hear this, but I went to MKA,” (That’s the local private school and hated rival of MHS.)
“Ohhh, one of those guys,” Joe made a face. “ I dated a girl that went to MKA.”
“Yeah, well, I guess that makes us about even in that department.”
Joe smiled. “It just might.”
We talked for another twenty minutes or so about home and the people and buildings that had come and gone. We knew some of the same guys, probably still catching a chill in Essex County as we floated on a beautiful boat in a Bahamian out island and reminisced.
You simply never know what you’ll find out when you start asking people questions.