It begins with all that’s involved. Onto the island (Long Beach) and I am slowed by the reactivated traffic lights. In all innocence I pull into the Acme to pick up some milk. The checkout line is half the width of the wide store. But folks are in a good mood and there is a guide moving us quickly to the next available register.
Eventually at the house, fully de-winterized by Sigrid and Bob and freshly cleaned. I greet my beloved marshes and bay.
Saturday brings some ticket punching …. bagels from the Bagel Shack, hello-ing on the deck in front of the club house, check out the logo shirts from the Ship’s Store and even buy one, and what-did-you-forget from Murphy’s Market.
Saturday night is to be the annual club opening ceremony and there is anxiety about the thunderstorm forecast. The wind is whipping around and the clouds are thickening. The flag and burgees for the opening ceremony are secured, ready to go.
The flag officers make a command decision: order the tent, a budget-breaker but prudent.
The members and guests arrive to greet each other and catch up and renew friendships and revel in the camaraderie. The weather holds and the ceremonies go forth in sunlight while the rest of us are tent-protected just in case. Trustees and officers lined up, Fleet Captain Tom Masterson welcomes us to
The ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTH Season !!!
Fleet Chaplain Bob Stevens gives the invocation; the bugler plays the call to colors….
and that goes well.
and then he plays the poignant, moving Navy Hymn,
Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep,
Its own appointed limits keep.
Oh hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!
Commodore Van Saun makes welcome and interesting comments and the lineup of past Commodores is introduced — twenty-five present tonight representing all those years of dedication and service to the club.
They stand according to year of service, the oldest in service here being Commodore John Walton who presided in 1976, forty-two years ago.
The Chaplain prays a blessing for the fleet and the season … apparently a good prayer as it kept the storm at bay.
The next day, a warm feeling about the evening. Good, because the day deteriorated to more of a traditional, chilly, overcast Memorial Day. By afternoon the fog had descended and the island seemed to have drifted away and the gas logs were lit.
A great inaugural weekend. Now, when does summer begin?