Let’s come back to earth for a post or two as the magical publishing date has arrived...May 27...but alas, a recent word from the publisher is, “Looks like we have a 2-3 week delay from the printer.” Dang!
Thanks to all of you who are awaiting the book as impatiently as I am—does an author’s heart good to know she’s not a total narcissist. Talk about earnestly desiring…but we’ll leave that subject for a bit and return to another FAQ surrounding Poems from the Boatyard:
“How big was the boat?”
This second-most-frequently-asked question is interesting because it is most often asked with an air of entrapment, as if I would answer something like a rowboat, canoe, or small dinghy. As if I was pulling their leg, and they caught themselves in the act of believing that my father was actually building a real boat. As if the size of the boat would determines the heft of the project, the goal, the dream, the lunacy, or the depth of the loss. Small dreams, small loss--big dreams, big loss?
“Big” as an answer wasn’t cutting it. My inquirers are no dummies; they know everything is big to a kid. I needed a number.
I know it was over 20’, but how much over? By now, you’ve probably seen some of the photos, so you have an idea of the scale of the boat, but I checked with the sibs to see who remembered. After a flurry of emails and guesses, Pete mentioned that we still had the blueprints. We could just look at those. Blueprints?! Really?!
Another round of emails--"He has it"--"No, he has it"--"No, I'm sure it's at their house"--and then Paul offered up this tidbit: “Somewhere in my archives I have a set of the 'Mechanics Illustrated' construction drawings for the Tahiti Ketch. Back in the day it was my favorite style sailboat. There was a nice one in Oyster Bay harbor during the late fifties, and then we got to see one up close & personal when Frank Bladykis [one of our neighbors] built his magnificent boat in the sixties. He picked that design because "you could walk around deck like a gentleman." Dad's boat was a flush deck cutter sailboat called "Discovery," which also may have been from Mechanics Illustrated. I'll look for it.”
"Discovery”--ironic name for the boatyard full of discoveries this chapbook as shaken out: the world of publishing, book reviews and social media marketing, childhood memories of course, but different ones, some I'd never heard before, as perspectives are different in a large family; photos emerge that make us laugh and recall gentler days; nautical terminology (anyone know what a ketch is?!); the importance of the father; creativity, imagination, and the indispensable and completely human activity called 'desire.'
The search is on among the sibs to find the blueprints, a search of archelogical proportions in our cavernous homes, and soon we will verify the actual size and make of the boat. Inquiring minds want to know, some of them even outside our family...
In the meantime, let's look up ketch--and while we're at it flush deck cutter.
All things come to those who wait--dreams, chapbooks, blueprints.
Have a great Memorial Day weekend! Do get out on a sailboat or prowl a boatyard or marina if you can!