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It was about 19:00 on a late August evening 1978. Arlen and I had been out sailing our boats on our local TVA lake all day. We had come back to the dock, tied up, and were sitting in our respective cockpits enjoying a couple of cold beers while planning tomorrow’s sailing chatting across the finger pier between us.
A big pick-up truck hauling a very expensive bass boat came down the launch ramp, did a U-turn and stopped. Four guys piled out. Two from the cab and two from the back bed of the truck. It became obvious in an instant they had all been drinking. They were laughing, staggering around and generally having way too much fun. They were looking forward to a beautiful evening of fine fishing.
The driver, unhooked all the straps and winch line from the boat. He tied a rope to the bow eye of the boat and handed the other end to one of his buddies with the admonition, “Now you hang on to this and don’t let go. I’m gonna back up quick like and then mash the brakes pretty hard. The boat’s gonna roll off and if you let go, it’ll float way out in the lake and you’re gonna hafta swim after it.” The rope holder mentioned that he couldn’t swim. “Then you better hang on to the rope and don’t let the boat get away.” was the reply.
Did I mention that this was a very expensive bass boat? It probably cost upwards of $30,000 with a motor in the $6,000 range in 1978 dollars. The trailer was a piece of artwork in its own right.
The driver looks around surveying that all is in readiness, smiles at his beautiful boat, and climbs into the truck cab. He cranks up the engine, puts it into reverse and accelerates backwards. He slams the brakes and the boat rolls off the trailer with a thunderous wham!
The boat sat there on the launch ramp about 15 feet from the water. It seems there was a slight miscalculation in where the water started.
The rope holder was standing there looking at the trailer and the boat. He finally turned to the driver and said, “I’m holdin’ it. I ain’t lettin’ it git away.”
I have no life lesson type of comment and I’m not sure if there is even a moral to this story. But it did happen just as described.Published in