Volume 16, Issue 4 ...................... ..........Newsletter of the Finger Lakes Chapter, ACBS.................................... December 2006

page -1


page -3














Did You Know…?

…that - believe it or not - the winner of the Chevy Tahoe raffle at the ACBS Annual Meeting in September was Clayton summer resident and Thousand Islands Chapter member Hannah Potter, the same person who won the ACBS "300 For 300" raffle in 1999? In each of the raffles Hannah bought just one ticket - No. 0024 -- her granddaughter's high school soccer team jersey number (24). In both instances Hannah accepted cash in lieu of a vehicle to help with her grand-children's educations. In 1999, her odds of winning were one in 300. In 2006, her odds of winning were one in 808. Her odds of winning both raffles were one in 242,400! …that the three ACBS chapters that won the prizes for the most Chevy Tahoe Raffle tickets sold were the Payette Chapter (first), Harveys Lake-Northeast Pennsylvania Chapter (second) and Bluegrass Chapter (third)? …that there were more trout boats built on Keuka Lake than on any of the other Finger Lakes? One of those builders was Pilgrim. Area resident, Don Pilgrim, has been contacting relatives, historical societies, and anyone else who may be able to supply information about the boats and his grandfather, the original builder. If you have information on Pilgrim boats, please contact your editor. …that ACBS memberships have passed the 8,000 mark for the first time? …that Erie Basin on the Brooklyn, NY waterfront across from Governor's Island in New York harbor is the historic southern terminus of the old Erie Canal? In the 1800s and early 1900s, canal boats often wintered nearby at piers in lower Manhattan. …that a beautiful new flagpole has been erected on the waterfront at the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton in memory of Eleanor Babcock, Don Babcock's late wife It's the only flagpole on the entire museum campus. …that Brightwork was awarded "Runner-Up Newsletter" for 2006 at this year's ACBS Annual Meeting? The award for "Best Newsletter" for 2006 went to Fore & Aft, the newsletter of the Southern New England Chapter. …

© 2006 USPS. All Rights Reserved.

that next summer the US Postal Service will issue four stamps celebrating vintage mahogany speedboats? The four stamps are designed to "…showcase the polished mahogany and gleaming chrome hardware that characterize the nation's historic wooden motorboats." They will depict: - Frolic, a 1915 Hutchinson Brothers launch. - Dispatch, a 1931 Gar Wood triple cockpit runabout. - Thunderbird, a 1939 Hacker-Craft commuter boat. - Duckers, a 1954 Chris-Craft Racing Runabout.


It's Hard To Let Go...

By FLC VP Jack Gifford

So here I am. Out on the lake and all around me are the glorious colors Mother Nature has on her palate; rusts, yellows, orange-reds and, here and there, a hint of green clinging to the last vestiges of summer. I'm out here because it's my last ride of the season. When I reach the launch, I must, regrettably, load the boat on the trailer and take it in for the annual winterizing ritual and then on to the barn for the winter. Three times I've headed for the launch and, three times I've turned away for one more exhilarating ride across the placid waters in the crisp fall air. Finally, and with a heavy heart, I throttle down and nose the old girl back to the dock. I trudge slowly up the steps to the parking lot and drive the trailer down to load her on for the ride to the barn. On the way home I think how difficult it is to let go of happy times spent on the water, enjoying the pleasure of sparkling lakes and azure blue skies, and just the simple joys of sharing our boating experience with friends and family. So many have thanked me profusely for the rides in the old wooden boat and I tell them, sincerely, that it gives me so much pleasure to share a piece of vintage boating with them. As I drive through the country lanes now covered with brightly colored leaves eddying with the passing of the rig, I think that those who are fortunate enough to have summer cottages must have the same soul-wrenching experience when they must close the old place for the season. After all the chores are done; water turned off, chairs in the shed, docks pulled up and stacked neatly on shore, one can visualize the owners just standing, gazing sadly and seeing, not the shuttered cottage, but happy times with loved ones, smiling and looking down the camp road at arriving guests, remembering the days of cookouts and sun, and splashing with children's laughter echoing across the lake. It must be every bit as difficult for them to turn and walk to the car as it is for those of us taking the last boat ride of the year. One of my good friends said that it is not just closing the cottage. It is another checkmark in life reminding us that there are precious few of those checkmarks to be had and, if we're smart, we will squeeze all the joy we can out of each moment leading up to each one. Every one of us takes something with us from every summer season and, before we become enmeshed in the familiar routines of fall and the approaching holiday season, I think it's nice, and yes a bit melancholy, to reflect on the good times of summer. Hopefully, we have touched a few lives and made a summer day just a little brighter for someone with a smile and a good boating story. It's hard to let go but looking ahead toward next season makes it bearable.