Out last night with James at the J.R., the Thursday night excitement running high. Got called away from the bar to head up Zion Hill where a few of us met to lift a friend’s car out of the ditch.
Got back to the J.R. to enjoy our payment. Some while later, George showed up. He and his girlfriend had been down over New Year’s, vacationing and looking at a boat for sale. George wanted to sail, although his gal Cathy seemed unsure at best. Still, they seemed friendly and enthusiastic, so James, Tracy, and i took them under our wings. i let them crash at my place, and we took them sailing (George’s third time ever, Cathy’s first) on a Colgate 26, snorkelling and to the Bight for lunch.
The whole time, George was picking our brains all about sailing and boats. Of course, between James and i, opinions were strong; we felt it best for them to sail more before buying, educate themselves, and look at a more suitable boat for their intended purpose (living aboard in the Chesepeake). We were trying to convert them before they started down the wrong path.
Well, George is back, to take possession of his new boat. It was the first boat he liked in a Boat Trader northside. It’s in every way contrary to every piece of advice we gave him. Yup, definately a sailboater in the works. Where a 23-yr-old guy gets $50,000 to buy a bagged-out ex-rental boat (a loathesome Beneteau at that) baffles me. Apparently, he “earned every penny”. Half as much money could have bought him twice as much boat.
Well, James was pretty pissed. He asked George why he didn’t at least get us to check it out for him first. George made all these mumbled half-ass excuses. What it pretty much boiled down to is that he just bought the first boat he thought looked nice in the papers, without any thought at all.
It seemed to me that George was pretty ignorant of how much of a little closed society it is here in West End, and that it was pretty incredible for James to offer to help him in the first place, let alone take him sailing the day after meeting them. Maybe Cathy’s charm and politeness made up for George’s milktoast ignorance. Who knows…
James and i discussed it on ride out. He was frustrated how those kids just had no idea how lucky they were, and here they were squandering their best opportunities. Feeling like a bit of a new kid myself, i told him how appreciative i was of his friendship, and of how i’d come to settle amongst such a fine group of supportive folks, and how i felt it was really due to them that i was thriving here. He turned and said, “Nah, Yuri, you could have walked in here knowing nobody, and still made it work all on your own.” It was a pretty big compliment!
10 minuted earlier, James had loudly told George, his brother, and an interceding patron at the bar all to fuck off for being ignorant and taking his friendship for granted, then later, dropping me off, James said, “If there’s anything you don’t like, just let me know. Anything i can do to help you out, no problem”.
I guess the only real way to define James is as a sailor… if that doesn’t make enough sense all on it’s own, i don’t know what else to say.