When I was a kid I used to work at this small boat yard out on the north fork of Long Island were I operated a water taxi. You see it was my job to ferry people out to their boats via this old Boston Whaler that we used. I started there when I was about 11 years old and worked there summers until I was about 18. To this day I still consider it to be one of the greatest jobs I’ve ever had. I’d show up every morning at 6 am with a double-egg, ham and cheese on a roll in one hand and a large 32-ounce ice tea in the other. For those of you that know boats, let me inform you up front, that this place was old school and back then wooden boats were all over the place. Pacemakers, Bertrams and Chris Crafts littered the yard as did some newer boats. One thing however that was a mainstay at this particular yard was the 1953 Dodge Power Wagon that was used to haul each and every boat out of the water at the end of the season.
You see mounted on the front of the old Dodge was this winch that was capable of literally ripping a house off of its foundation. The Dodge sat directly in front of the boat ramp and when boats needed to be hauled out, we connected the winch to the trailer, started up the old truck and pulled those old suckers back up on terra-firma. Keep in mind that this was over 25 years ago, and amount of time that I still have trouble processing. Last weekend as I was test driving a new 2011 Chevrolet Camaro, I decided to head back down and visit the old yard. As I pulled in, sitting in the same place it had been 25 years earlier, was that old Dodge.
It sat there, sunken into the gravel parking lot completely untouched. The same window that was broken 25 years ago was still missing and the interior was now devastated due to its exposure to the weather. The roof now had rust holes in it where the sunlight peaked through, and the dash was covered in spiderwebs. The old winch control was still intact with its familiar UP / DOWN instructions still labeled. The passenger seat where I used to rest my ice tea cup however was gone.
As I got back into the Camaro to drive away, I just couldn’t help but wonder if that old Dodge would still be there, sitting in its same spot, 25 years from now. I smiled as I drove away knowing that I’d just have to make another trip down to the old yard in 2035 to find out.