Not a PC headline, but what can you expect from a sport dominated by old white dudes with hair growing out of their ears. Long past time to change our demographics.
Meet Erin Bury. She’s the size of a gymnast with a personality as big as the Deuce. Still in her twenties, she calls the Twin Cities home. She showed up on the catamaran racing circuit last summer with another Gopher and thought ice sailing sounded rad, when she heard us talking about it.
Last weekend, she stepped off a plane from Hawaii jet-lagged, took a quick cat nap, and headed to Lake Christina where she knew we were going to be. After checking out the boats big and small, she was convinced this sport was her kind of thing. Erin also brought her boyfriend, Dave. He’s cool. He brought his dirt bike with studded tires. He even let a couple of old dudes ride it, chiding us to lay it down like we mean it. He’s young and invincible. We know better. Sort of.
Also joining us from the Twin Cities for some tiller time was another cat sailor, Gretchen Wilbrandt. Gretchen’s first DN experience was the World Championships two years ago when she casually mentioned that ice sailing sounded like fun. Another first-timer, Renee Fields, also flew in from Arizona for the Worlds. First time…world championships…no big deal. Chicks rock!
Anyway, back to Erin. This weekend, she and Dave met us at Lake Altoona. Erin was itching to give it a go. Wind was light, but so is Erin, so with a little boost from a powered kick sled, she was up and going. (Side note: We discovered that the sleds are great coaching tools, too. My brother Brian sat on the seat, while I drove. He could easily get Erin started with his foot on the stern, and we both were right there for instructions). Next weekend, Erin will be meeting us on Lake Puckaway, if the weather cooperates for that regatta. Who knows…maybe she’ll be an iceboat owner by then.
Thanks to our friends Tim Mower and Bill Ecklund for inviting us to come and sail with them. And it was great to meet other locals, Dan, Dan and Rolf. Hope to sail with you again sometime.
Hi all. Been a while. Life moves on during our global pandemic. On May 5, I officially became a real old dude. A grandpa. Haven’t started building Dash (Dashel) Daniel Percevecz’s first iceboat yet, but it’s on my list. Much joy, but also heartbreak, as I lost my mom the same day.
Daniel with first grandchild and newest Ice Optimist sailor.
Since my last update, I’ve pimped out my trailer. It’s set up to haul a C-Skeeter, a Renegade and three DNs; with sails, planks and runners for all. Along with a powered kick sled or two. I’ll give you a tour in a future update. Good ride for a Northwest!
Also meet “Tug,” the newest addition to the Spaight Street Syndicate garage. She’s a real tomboy—an electric powered trailer mover built from readily available parts, complete with lights and cup holders. Many thanks to Ken Whitehorse for the welding. I may have understated the task when I mentioned I had a few pieces of metal to weld up. But Ken was a great sport, and we had fun working on the project. I often need to move trailers around by myself, and Tug makes it really easy not only to move, but to position in tight spaces.
The other active project is repainting my Renegade components. Haven’t paid enough attention to the old girl in a while, so she’s getting a new dress. Plank and springboard done, mast going into spray booth tomorrow. Thanks to Jeff Russell for the booth. Left over from his airplane painting years ago, so all I had to do was reassemble and buy new plastic. Came complete with intake filters and an exit fan. Fumes disperse quickly.
So much for now. Grateful to the veterans out there for all they have sacrificed for our freedom. And to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, Rest In Peace. You will always be remembered.
The delivery was scheduled for 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 30. The natural way was not going to be possible, and after nine months, my beloved was ready for this to be over. So I let my household duties slip a bit—what’s a clogged bathroom sink when we’ve got sinks on other floors? And so a couple of kitchen cabinet doors fell off—makes it easier to put stuff in and take stuff out? Little sympathy, here! Can you blame a man in my condition?
I’ve been crying myself asleep nightly ever since she told me she wouldn’t be right at my side. I know she loves me, but she said there are just some things she’s not equipped to handle. I’ve come to understand that the miracle of birth is not just about bringing a new life into this world. It’s also an incomprehensible feat of physics. That… is going to get from here to there, how? Many a visitor, starring at the large mass late in my gestation period, offered their unsolicited input, “dude, that ain’t happen’n.” I appreciated their offer of help.
Now I don’t have the smartest friends, but they weren’t completely wrong. This was not going to be your normal delivery. Only way this girl was coming out was a surgical extraction through a window under the back porch that’s never been opened in the 29 years we’ve lived in the house.
Admittedly, I’m a wuss, so I told the doc to use any scientific crutch available. Accordingly, she instructed the operating team to remove the bubble. “No need to stress the incision any more than necessary.” I nodded my head in agreement, my mind racing with marginally rational thoughts. What if she’s b(road)reach? What if the sheet is wrapped around the steering wheel? What if they drop her? What if she’s an Ohio State fan? I requested the epidural, even though I was having a C-section.
Next thing I know, my little bundle of joy is resting peacefully in her 25 foot aluminum bassinet with tandem torsion axles and electric brakes. Crazy the gear they have for the little tikes these days!
Time to learn to sew, because now my little girl is going to need a blankie.
“What, are you thirteen,” she said rolling her eyes? I had to take a quick mental inventory. Let’s see—I still think there’s nothing funnier than a fart in church. I have many names for my male member, and each includes an adjective found on the Thesaurus page for huge. I burp out loud when I think no one else is around. I sometimes forget to put the toilet seat back down. I think Hershey’s is good chocolate. Even though I know I’m not supposed to, I often cut all the food on my plate at one time, because it’s so much more efficient. “Yeah, pretty much,” I replied. “So, what you’re saying is that C-Man is not an appropriate name for a C-Skeeter driven by a man my age who has four children—three of them daughters?” She just walked away, so I took that as an affirmative. Maybe I can still cancel the decal order.
Probably needs to be more sophisticated to win the approval of my Mrs. I hadn’t recalled asking for her approval, but nonetheless, it became clear that she thought she had a vote. I had carved up the districts within our household trying to prevent that, but clearly my gerrymandering was ineffective.
Maybe something from literature? The classics? Or how about mythology? Those Greeks were so sophisticated they convinced people to see pornography as art. I think the sculptors were just as juvenile as me. Their wives were certainly rolling their eyes when the Mr. was out back in the shed chiseling the fine form of a woman with a righteous amount of junk in the trunk.
There must be a cool-sounding “C” name in mythology, with deep meaning, that would be a fitting reflection of my masterpiece. (Well, it may not be a masterpiece, but it’s the best this paint-by-numbers kind of guy can do). That’s it—Callipygian! I think it’s perfect. And I’ll score points with the Mrs. when I tell her that I named the boat after her. But this time, I’m not disclosing the name until the fat bottomed girl hits the ice.
Now that you’ve Googled my name, let me know what you think. Will I be sleeping on the couch again, or will she be flattered by her juvenile husband of 32 years?
The little hussy is no longer prancing around leaving little to the imagination. I call it the Lulu Lemon Effect. Much to the delight of testosterone-filled young men across the country (OK, the old guys don’t mind either), stretchy pants have become acceptable casual wear, formal wear and everything in between for young women. I’m dying to know how they wear them without ANY undergarment lines showing. I’d ask my wife, but that would be a dead giveaway that I might occasionally look. All three of my daughters pull this off, as well, but I decided I probably really don’t want to know. But know this, young men—big daddio is watching. He may not be all that big, but he’s Pitbull-mean and fights dirty. Eyes on the horizon, Bevis.
She’s still got her tramp stamp showing, however. I’m pretty sure she’s intentionally leaving the small of her back exposed, like she’s proud of her decision to deface her body for life. You’d think spending time at a waterpark would be enough to demonstrate that these things don’t end well. What she doesn’t know is that I’ve tipped off her mother. Yesterday will be the last time the base of her spine sees the light of day, unless she’s wearing a swimming suit. Which is going to be NEVER, because iceboats and swimming don’t go together.
If they had ice in Cuba, I’m certain Earnest Hemingway would have been an ice sailor. Last Sunday I was the (not-so)-young apprentice “Mandolin,” learning from the Grand Master Lou, “Santiago” Loenneke. One of the realities of ice sailing is that you can be an old man yourself, but still the youngest guy in the room. We may be gray, but we know how to play!
Hemingway’s last major work, the novel tells the story of a battle between an aging, experienced fisherman, Santiago, and a massive marlin. Mandolin has great admiration for Santiago, but Santiago is on a bit of an unlucky streak. Kind of like getting tossed at the leeward mark on Lake Pepin last winter, but I’m not mentioning any names. Santiago eventually hooks the big one and battles the fish for three days until he is worn out and nearly delirious. That’s exactly the way Lou felt when he left the Syndicate on Sunday after battling with the top deck of my prized Madison marlin. She didn’t lay down easy, but in the end the old salt showed her who was boss. OSHA would frown upon the flattening method, but she complied, nonetheless, with 155 lbs. of movable “encouragement.”
Someday I hope my work will land in the hands of an adoring fan, who will find the creator’s signature hidden away inside a bulkhead.