When I reentered the marine marketplace in 1992, after about 15 years of absence, I thought my business would be eagles, quarterboards, and transom banners. To some extent, I was correct. I’ve done many transoms, quarter boards, some eagles, and a smattering of other carving projects. But fully one-third of all my sales came from small carved table items. At any boat show, there are many overwhelmed wanderers. They are following a partner, parent, or spouse who is nautically obsessed. They hope to find something that might spark their interest. Responding to this, I began offering spoons, spatulas, cutting boards, small carved boxes, and a wide range of small carved items. It was surprising how Sales improved.

As a result of the newfound sales, I sometimes had a fair bit of cash in my pocket at the shows. But having a family with you at a three or four-day event offers opportunities to get separated from the money; fast.

My oldest son earned the nickname “Bottomless Pit.” Yeah, I know, you had one too.
At one particular show in Maine, an entire group of us went to dinner together. My friend, Ralph, generously offered to pay for the Carreras clan – myself, my wife, the two girls, and the two boys. Wanting to maintain the friendship, I protested. He insisted. He assumed I think that the kids couldn’t do too much damage at the Rockport House of Pizza. He had not calculated the sheer ability of said Bottomless Pit to pack it away. My friends have never had children. They had only heard stories of how adolescents can consume vast amounts and then fill up with more. The Bottomless Pit saw the disbelief in their eyes as he devoured pizza and decided to play to a rapt audience. He reached for an entire fresh pizza, rolled it up, and proceeded to swallow it much as a sword swallower consumed a sword. OK, you ask, what was my wife doing – Trying to get her renegade son under control. What was I doing – watching the disbelief on my friend’s faces as the Bottomless Pit consumed the pizza in one go. He belched softly and asked for more. About that time, the check arrived, and I saw my friend blanch. I took the check and paid for the family; about $200.00, most of which had been consumed by the Pit. I saw lots of my pocket cash disappear in one meal.

Years passed, but at boat shows, the Legend of the Bottomless Pit lived on. Not wanting to let go of a good story, we staged the photo above just a few years ago to email my friend. An assurance that, yes, the legend continued.

3 Replies to “Pizza”

  1. First, I can easily believe you’d make lots of sales in small stuff. Most browsers — myself included — don’t want to take home a four-foot carving, just something small (and hopefully cheap) as a souvenir.
    Second, is that “pizza in one gulp” story honest or just legend? (Hyperbole, my husband says. 🙂 )

  2. It’s true that I love embroidery! but this one happened as I described it. My son is now in his thirties and more than a bit embarrassed at the story. With four kids groceries were not cheap, and feeding him was a big part of it. food magically disappeared.
    He was a real pip growing up. He once tried to offer the captain of the USS constitution a dollar for the ship…I caught him in time.

  3. This made me smile. You do not have to embellish facts of that subject. Boys at a certain time in life can quite easily inhale food and not gain an extra ounce. I have or had a brother that would come home from school and devour a loaf of bread for a snack. My father made him join the navy because dad claimed he couldn’t afford to feed my brother. He pretty much cut all ties to the family after that. Hurt his feelings with all the teasing. I’m glad your son takes the ribbing well. When you have growing boys, your food budget will always take a hit for several years. My son ate a fair amount but not like my brother, unless he was finding food elsewhere. 😉

Comments are closed.