Once he was ready to go solo I turned him loose to circle the island, practicing.
John was thrilled and spent the next hour in pure ecstasy. Probably the only ones to enjoy that hour more were my mother, dad, and me as we watched my nephew putt putt slowly, painfully slowly, as he rounded the western point of the island and came into our sight. He glided slowly, carefully, studiously, timidly, and oh so damn painfully slowly, as he made his way from our western sighting to the far edge of our eastern panorama. A lazy turtle could have crushed him from behind.
Once out of sight, my outboard revved and roared like I never knew it could! My innocent, young nephew must have flogged that Mercury to beat billy hell on the far side of the island.
Beautiful memories of youthful mischief brought tears of laughter to the eyes of the two generations watching the growing up of young John, reinventing the wheel for another round.
We bought Mary a boat this summer - nothing special, just basic transportation back and forth between home and camp so she, now retired, can travel the lake whenever she feels like it.
I took this video today as Mary left the dock at camp for a quick run to town. Don't know why it reminded me of my nephew's early boating experience 35 years ago, but Mary did mention that the trip seemed faster after she was out of sight...