The End of One Era

I am a nostalgic kind of guy.   I get emotionally attached to objects when those objects are tied to memories (like any good hoarder does).  This post is about one of those objects.   It’s about an object that I have become so emotionally attached to that I have hoarded hung on to it despite my inability to use it for years! 

I’m talking about “The Boat”.

“The Boat” has been around as long as I can remember.  (It has, in fact been around longer than I have). 

My earliest memories of “The Boat” are as a very young child, seeing lying where my dad stored it.  It was kept chained to a tree on a "deeded access" boat landing on Lake Marie, near Annandale, Minnesota.  My parents had an old mobile home on a lot near Lake Marie.  We called this our “Choo-Choo-House”.   (One of these days I have to write a post about the Choo-Choo-House).  Anyway, the boat landing was semi-private.  It was deeded to the property owners in and around the Choo-Choo-House.

Another  very early and very vague memory I have is of taking “The Boat” with my dad and “Grandpa-Grandpa” (our nickname for my paternal grandfather).  We took the boat from the public access, all the way across Lake Marie, into Lake Louisa, and through a slough (I remember being scared by all the weeds surrounding the boat).  We crossed under the highway 24 bridge and pulled the boat up to a bait shop right along the creek at the far SW corner of the lake.    

Sometime after we moved to Bloomington (1977) my dad bought a trailer for “The Boat” and with the aid of the trailer, “The Boat” left the solitude of the boat landing, and arrived at it’s new home - a quiet little corner of our back yard.  And there, the boat sat… and sat… and sat…

About the time I graduated high school (1987) I had my own car that would haul the boat and had a place to take it (Best Bud Ed's cabin), so he convinced me to break it out, fix it up, and get it seaworthy again – which we did. 

Ed and I replaced the rotten transom board, greased the trailer’s bearings, got the electrical lights working, got it licensed, and took it out a few times.   It sat for another two or three years until I broke it out again to take my (then girlfriend - now wife) and her youngest brother out for a day on the lake (circa 1991 or 1992). I again got “The Boat” seaworthy, and took it out on Starring Lake in Eden Prairie.  After that trip it got tucked back into it’s hidey-hole in the backyard until (what I can only suspect to be) my Dad finally got sick of looking at it parked in his yard.  In 1998 my dad gave me “The Boat” as a gift.

When it came time that we moved from our house in Richfield to our new house in Jordan, the boat was “temporarily” returned to its “hidey-hole” in my parents back yard for a couple more years.  

I broke it out once again in 2002 for a fishing and camping trip with some friends.
(All photos found in this post are from the camping trip – Summer 2002)

45F02-7-11(10-42)


After that trip, “The Boat” joined us permanently at our new house.  In addition to the camping/fishing trip, I took it along on a couple trips to Best Bud Ed’s cabin. 

The last time the boat saw water was in 2006.  I brought the boat up Best Bud Ed’s cabin for duck hunting.  The outboard motor gave me some serious troubles, and I could not keep it running and finally the pull-cord snapped.  Half way through the trip, I packed “The Boat” up, and when I brought it home it was tucked it into the garage where it has sat ever since.

Since it’s last trip, we have changed vehicles.  We do not have trailer hitches on any of our vehicles – therefore we have no way to haul “The Boat”. Yes, I could get a hitch installed, but the outboard will also be in serious need of a tune up – and after sitting in the garage for the past five years, it’s a little… buried.

Over the past two, maybe three years I have been seriously kicking an idea around – but before I “pulled the trigger” on this idea, I wanted to run in past my dad. The idea was to sell “The Boat” and use the proceeds to buy something a little more “practical” for our family.

A Canoe!

A canoe can be carried “Cartop”, can be loaded up in a moment’s notice, can be in the water in a moment’s notice, offers a little more “exercise opportunities”, can be fished from (one of my primary desires)… With the boys coming into “driving age” they could (if they wished) pop a caone on their car and take it out for the day.

What really pushed me over the edge was a canoe trip #3 of 5 took with the Scout Troop down the Cannon River. I was unable to go (due to work schedule conflicts) but thought there is no reason why I could not take that trip myself, or make a triumphant return to the BWCA at some point…

I was a little worried about asking my dad, since he had the boat for so long, and it was sort of a part of our family’s history… But once I told him about the idea – he loved it! He thought it was a GREAT idea!

So, I spent a day digging the boat from it’s home in the garage (no small feat in itself) and am cleaning it up preparing to end an era for our family. 

I am ending the era of “The Boat”.

BoysatBoatIt was a hard decision to make for me.  

The boat has had such a long enduring part in our family history.  It almost has it’s own persona.  It may have not been used a lot, but it has provided some fond memories.

It was comforting to me, knowing in the back of my mind that if I really wanted to or needed to, I always had access to “The Boat”

In many ways, I am sad to see it go.  I had hopes to use it more that we have.  I wanted to make more of our own new memories for the kids with the boat - but alas, hopes and dreams are not always based in reality.

I take comfort in knowing that by ending one era, I hope to be starting a new one. 

I am starting the era of “The Canoe”

In the above photo #3 of 5 (age 5) is sitting in the boat while #1 of 5 (age 14) and #2 of 5 (age 6) are standing on the dock waiting for me to take them out fishing.  See what I mean by memories?  These three boys have all grown so much since this photo was taken.


Here are a few more details and photos of “The Boat”

The Boat: 1968 16' aluminum Chrysler row boat. (I even have the ORIGINAL owners manual.)
The Trailer: 1974 Sears Boat Trailer
The Outbard: (I am keeping this) 1955 Evinrude Fleetwin 7.5hp Aquasonic Model 7518
(I have the ORIGINAL manual for the outboard as well)

44F02-7-11(10-42) 49F02-7-11(10-43) 51F02-7-13(9-37) TableandBoat

7 comments:

  1. I can relate to the whole nostalgia/hoarder thing. Glad your Dad like the idea of the switch to the canoe.

    Dylan is on a boat kick... he has been shopping Craigslist trying to convince me to buy a fishing boat, after the day on the lake with the pedal boat I rented. He likes those 2 person twin-hull Pelican boats... you can haul them in a pickup, which I don't have, but I do have a utility trailer and hitches on both vehicles. I think I'll just stick with the canoe (that he convinced me NOT to sell), for now!

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  2. "I am a nostalgic kind of guy" - one of the (many) things we love about you.

    I am feeling a bit misty over "the Boat" just from reading this. But you are making a good move. May "the Boat" find someone new to love and enjoy it and "The Canoe" begin a new era of fun and memory building.

    Happy Canoeing!

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  3. Mike Palmer7/9/11, 11:46 AM

    YES!! "The Boat"!! Always sat under that bush along our shared property line!
    My Dad had that exact same motor! The only difference was that one had a black throttle handle, the other white.
    You WILL have fun in the canoe; as I said earlier, I thought I loved fishing until I began to fish from a kayak!!
    Give "The Boat" a hug and a fond farewell for me.

    Mike
    p.s. you should have taken it to a lake, doused in in gasoline, and given it a "Viking Funeral" :)

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  4. Great post Dave! Well written as always. I can totally relate to this post!

    Good luck on the sale!

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  5. David,
    Well,I finally am on vacation, so we can go fishing . . . oh, ? you SOLD the boat?!! Oh No!
    Seriously, spend the money and get the motor running. A 7 1/2 HP motor is SWEET for trolling!

    Co-Worker

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  6. Hey, I totally know where Eden Prairie is now. Sadly though, I'm struggling to understand what an outboard is, smh.

    I totally feel you on the attachment to certain things man. But hey when the old goes out, the new comes in and new adventures come along. I'm sure you'll create many memories with "the Boat's" replacement.

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  7. "The boat" has lots of stories, sad thing is that you have to part with it.

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