wander project Boating…


One of the stories my grandfather told me when I was old enough to remember was a story about me. That when I was little, he used to take me out in the boat to get me to sleep. It worked, he told me every time. I have loved being on or in the water since I was a little kid. I remember so many of the stories my grandfather shared with me over the years. One of my all-time favorites was the story of when they first moved to the Lake. An engineer that, at the time of the story, was working for Harley Davidson used to come to Lake Ripley on the weekends. He was testing his new outboard motor for boats. Harley Davidson, then, and now, makes motorcycles.

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But Ollie Evinrude’s first love was boating, not motorcycles. So he would come to the Lake and test his outboard motor. Boating was a big deal in Wisconsin. There were a lot of lakes. There were a lot of boats. I also remember my grandparent’s neighbors more the wife than the husband. But I do remember Mr. Hartle taking me on his ship. He had a sun boat—one with a split windshield and seating area in front of the boat. Now more frequently called a bowrider. But when I was five, and riding in one of the first time, I was fascinated by the split windshield. How do I know I was intrigued then. Honestly, I remember the snipped as if a movie to this day.

Mrs. Hartle always had cookies! We stayed at her house when Grandpa was in the hospital for his knee surgery. Mom and dad, as well as grandma, was allowed to visit. We were not allowed into the hospital back in those days. SO we stayed with Mrs. Hartle at her house while everyone else visited Grandpa. I think that was in the hospital at Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. But I am not entirely sure about that. It is an old and faded memory that has not often been dusted off. I will end with one last story my grandfather told me. It was about the game of golf. He taught me, shared that golf was a game of patience that if you rush to hit the ball, you will untimely never get better.

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