Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Here they come; 60th year birthday parties

I attended my first 60th birthday party of one of my friends. I have plenty of friends that are over 60 years in age, but all of them, being the humble sort, declined to have a party to mark that milestone. It seems the wives are the ones that feel there should be a need to throw a party for this occasion (which is perfectly fine as I run into Bob very infrequently and I need a party to sit down and catch up).

Well, Bob Brannan, had his 60th party last weekend. We met in our 20's, the age when most friendships that sprout seem to last over a lifetime. We lived in the same batchelor house, caroused in Eastport, swilled the pitchers of beer at Marmaduke's and we sailed dinghies together... not constantly; Bob was usually the skilled pickup crew you got at the last minute. We did enough regattas to have accumulated those shared sea stories we tell over and over again when we get together.

Bob crewed with me in the International 14 (way back when I sailed doublehanders) There was one memorable Essex, Connecticut Regatta with numerous disasters in the blue Kirby V "Babe, the Blue Ox" (which became "Life during Wartime" with a subsequent owner). I digress. The only photos I can find of Bob is when we did the first Tasar regatta held in North America. Late 1970's and what I remember is Frank Bethawaite doing a clinic in the morning (the regatta was out of Mantoloking YC, Barnegat Bay, NJ) where he went into carefully trimming the main so the twist would get all the telltales streaming. We promptly went out in the 8-10 knot breeze and found that you went higher and faster if you just sheeted the main really tight and never, ever looked up at the telltales.

Bob, some 30 odd years ago...........................

My future wife took this picture of us sailing the Tasar out to the course............

Bob Brannan and Tom Price go all the way, I mean all the way back to fourth grade. Now those two can tell some stories. I'll see if I can get one to write at least one of them up.

Bob, Congrats on the 60th !

1 comment:

Tillerman said...

I don't remember whether I had a party for my 60th but I do remember I had one of my (very rare) regatta victories on the day before my birthday. And at the prize-giving I made a way too over-emotional reference to why winning the regatta was a perfect birthday present. It was just one of those days I guess.