Today was wonderful. I've just returned from a feast at the Blue Willow Inn, out in Social Circle, where I had the Charleston Room at my disposal. I enjoyed sweet tea, roast beef, and two helpings of my favorite dessert, banana pudding. This has been a perfect day, but then everyone knows Memorial Day is always the start of warm weather fun. The grills come out; the convertible tops go down; and boat owners everywhere race to the lakes to enjoy their expensive hobby. Yeah. Boats are on my mind.
As I drove home from the Blue Willow, I merged in behind a trailered powerboat. The gel-coat was fading; the upholstery was ripped; the decorative stripes were peeling off. In other words, it was a typical boat. Boats bake in the sun and things fall apart. That's a fact.
Boats are fun; there's no doubt. But, having once owned a sailboat, I thank God that my old hunk of fiberglass and canvas now belongs to someone else. When it comes to boats, I'm now a borrower, never an owner. Life is much easier that way. When I was a boat owner, I spent more time worrying than I did sailing. I used to have nightmares about that boat. When I finally sold it - at a pittance - I was relieved: no more nightmares; no more scrubbing teak; no more fighting mildew and power-washing the hull. But even though I sold the boat, I kept on sailing. I spent a summer racing on Lake Lanier: crewing a beautiful sailboat that belonged to a friend in the music business.
That's when I learned the secret to having a boat: let someone else own it. You can still enjoy the boat, but you won't have to pay dock fees, or upkeep, or insurance. Just sweet talk one of your rich friends into ownership with the promise that you'll crew for him and wash his Lexus every other weekend. Save your own money for something more practical, like a fancy new convertible.
The new Mercedes SLK is a beauty and that Mazda Miata is always fun. You should buy one of those cars! If you do, call me. I'll come over and help you wash it. Then we can drive to the Blue Willow for banana pudding...right after we go sailing on your rich friend's new boat.
David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Covington and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org