10 Years Ago

Published in the August 2013 Issue August 2013 News

Right as I sat down to write this, Steve Smede walked into my office. Years ago he was a part of our group and was involved with PDB. When he saw this past issue on my desk, his face lit up like a skinny girl who thinks she just discovered diet water.

“Wow, this brings back a lot of good memories,” he remarked.

At this point, I settled into my chair with a perky smile on my face, like I usually do when old people start reminiscing about the glory days.

“We got away with stuff back then that wouldn’t fly now,” he said.

“I hadn’t noticed,” I replied, blatantly lying through my teeth. “In fact, I was thinking of recommending that we go back to shortening our stories and just increasing the font size by 20 points like you did on the Power Profile back then.”

At this point in the conversation, the poor old dude ran across his picture in the magazine. This blast from the past moment wasn’t pretty.

“Look how young I look,” he said, almost in shock. 

I, struggling with how to proceed in a politically correct way, said, “Yeaaaahhh. But it kind of looks like you have more hair now.”

“The wind was blowing that day, therefore blowing my hair back,” he quickly replied.

“That’s not obvious in the picture, but good to know,” I lied. “I thought you had implemented Rogaine into your daily hygiene routine. Today, you don’t look a day over 60.”

“I’m 43,” he barked.

Wowza, that conversation took an awkward turn. Good thing I was ready with my contingency plan, which is to dial my office phone with my cell phone. I want you all to know that going forward I’m not going to let myself get into these situations.

Ten years ago, the August issue of PDB featured a beautiful horse on the cover. Now I see the connection between the horse and the horsepower of four-stroke outboards. When I was digging through the archives room at 8 a.m. on a Monday morning the relationship was not so clear and I kept passing the issue I was looking for, based on the assumption that the horse cover could not be PDB and I didn’t need to bother looking closer.

Are you beginning to see the trouble I dig up for myself when I assume?

One of my favorite stories was about G & G Marine, a father/son owned company in St. Cloud, Fla. “It’s a matter of pride that we go out of our way to help those physically challenged individuals who are looking to customize a pontoon boat to accommodate their particular disability,” said Jeff Snowden. “We understand what a customer is asking for because I, too, am confined to a wheelchair.” The story did a great job of how the business served their community. There is true beauty that comes out of ashes. Yesterday I was complaining that I had to park three blocks away and use my healthy legs to walk myself to the office. I am truly humbled.

Another story that caught my eye was about the dangers of buying used. I’m 90 percent sure that it was copied straight from www.about.com but, hey, like Smede said earlier, we do things a little bit differently these days. My favorite part of the story was the lead-in photo which was of a dry docked boat with a caption that read, “Some problems with pre-owned boats are easier to see than others.” You mean weeds growing out of a used pontoon are a problem? You don’t say! Hopefully, you don’t need an “informative” story to steer you away from buying a boat in that condition.

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