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Steve W posted a condolence
Tuesday, May 21, 2019
The best memory with Uncle Jim was one summer in the early 90s on Oneida Lake. Uncle Jim was always "any time you want to go sailing, I always need crew for the races on Sundays". I showed up one Sunday, thinking I could play a small role - hold the cooler, hand out beverages, or just "swab the deck". I was the crew. "Captain" Uncle Jim and I set out in his J28 with bright eyes and high hopes for a good race. NOTE: About the early 90s... there was no internet... cell phones were not smart... you had to be a true sailor to see the signs that Uncle Jim did. The race was on, and Uncle Jim's boat took an early lead. The wind was brisk, but nothing bad... yet. Then it happened. The wind came up strong, waves crashed against the boat, the sunny day turned dark. We approached the turn in the race... tack, then tack again. Into the wind. The other boats were catching up... Captain tells me to "take the wheel"... what ? who me ? I just gotta do this !!! Ok.. as I grab the wheel, Captain Uncle Jim says "just keep her steady, and on course". Easy enough. I hold the wheel as Uncle Jim nimbly trims the sheets, takes down the spinnaker, and is just about complete, as I notice our course is taking us right into the rest of the racers... Uncle Jim ! Now, if I thought long and hard, I may recall, but right now I couldn't be sure if he said HARD TO PORT or HARD TO STARBOARD. Whichever it was, I did it correctly. Needless to say, we did not win the race, but I got something more valuable than any dime-store trophy could give me... a lifetime memory with Uncle Jim. Love to all and God Bless. -Steve PS, I don't think I have been sailing since.