The Open Waters


Here is my brother at the helm of our boat in the open waters of Galveston Bay. This shot was taken sometime in the late 1960s. I have to say that these times on our Dad’s boat were the best times of our childhood. My Dad kept the boat down in Galveston, and when we were not crabbing and fishing for piggies, we were down at the beach looking for shells, swimming out to the sandbar, and trying not to get too sunburned. But even that was an adventure. After all, whoever got burned the worst got the biggest pieces of skin off our backs. I know. Gross. But that is how we thought as boys.

There was always an adventure to be found. I don’t think we were ever bored, but I’m sure my Dad would say otherwise. There were always other boats to look at, ships to spy upon, and the occassional Navy destroyer or Coast Cutter to watch. When we could, Dad would let us get into the dingy and paddle around the yatch basin. That too was a blast. One time my brother and I were paddling around and a giant alligator gar came up and rolled over right next to us. Scared us to death. But we soon realized that he was as scared of us as we were of him. That was a spooky fish to say the least.

And then there was the occassional admission to the Donkey Club. One became a member of the Donkey Club by falling off the pier and into the water. My iniation happened when I was about 3. We were packing up one Sunday afternoon, and as we were heading for the car, I decided to turn around and walk backwards, forgetting that the pier took a sudden dog left. There was a rail, but I was so short, I walked right under it and into the water. I remember opening my eyes and seeing lots of green and then a fish… and then… an explosion of bubbles. That explosion was my Dad who had run down the pier, dove in and grabbed me. They got me out of the water just fine. The next challenge, was getting him out of the water. He couldn’t find anything to pull up on or get a foot on in order to get out of the water. He finally swam over to a boat that had a ladder on it and got out. That was my initiation into the Donkey Club.

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