A first crush? How mundane! Many of us have several first crushes. For the automotive inclined, it might be their first car; more commonly, it’s first love. Being a city boy, I did not have my first beloved auto at 16, 17, or 18, and my first crush on a girl – It’s much too embarrassing to talk about.
So the image that sprang to mind for me was my first boat. Snicker, if you will, but a Rangely boat was delivered into my hands late in the summer one year when I was young. It was needed to get around a large lake in Maine. Rangely Boats were heavily built to take supplies to the hunting and fishing camps and haul fishermen around, beamy enough for safety but agile enough for comfortable rowing even with a load. Mine was seventeen feet long with a squared-off transom for an outboard motor.
It would be kind to say that it was vitiated, and my first clumsy efforts at boat repair were spent making it capable of moving safely from one end of the lake to the other – without sinking. But oh, the feeling of rapture as you swept through the water to town for supplies. You were king of the lake and lord of the waters. Of course, you never went anywhere without your faithful 128-ounce gallon milk jug – which you needed to bail out the water periodically.
My Rangely Boat experience, like many first crushes, ended too soon. But the memory is embedded with others in the mosaic of my life.