Thursday, May 5, 2011

Browns Mills Yacht Club Trophy Presentation Night, 1946.

Ed Silvers currently lives in Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands.  Ed grew up in Browns Mills, New Jersey but in 1981 sailed to the BVI and never left.  As a boy Ed sailed Moth Boats and the other day he emailed me the old photo below.  This picture dates to 1946, the same year in which I was born.  However since the photo was taken at the end of the summer sailing season and my birthday is in late December it pre-dates your diarist.  Having said that I have met two of the people in this picture and own a boat which was at one time the prized  possession of one of the members posing for this group shot.

As most viewers of this blog spot have no doubt come to appreciate, your diarist loves an old photograph, particularly if a story can be pried out of it.  In the front row, extreme left we have Jon Bachelor a Moth Boat sailor who went on to the Naval Academy and was destined to play back-up quarterback at an Army-Navy game at Soldier's Field in Philadelphia when the main quarterback was injured. Next to him is Marion Glover.  Marion bought Chuck Higgins' Dorr Willey Moth PUNKIE, Nr 948 after Chuck, in a fit of pique, put a "for sale" sign on the boat after a poor showing at the 1948 Nationals. Chuck later said that she presented the cash price so fast it made his head swim and he regretted the sale until the day he died.  Although Chuck is gone PUNKIE still survives. Marion became a Minister and moved to Ohio.  Next is Jim Bachelor, Jon's younger brother.  Note that the Bachelor boys are wearing matching Hawaiian shirts.  "Eddie" Silvers, as he was then known, is at the extreme right holding his "most improved" award.

In the back row, starting at left, is Bea Kratz.  Bea went on to study osteopathy and become an Osteopathic Doctor--much looked down upon by many "medical" doctors but much loved by many Scandinavians, including my bride and her parents.  Bea bought Moth Nr 807, then named TERMITE directly from Dorr Willey at the conclusion of the Antonia Trophy Regatta which was held at Brigantine YC in 1948.  I bought Nr 807, in desperate condition, from a down stream owner and took the opportunity to visit Bea in a nursing home a year or so before she passed away.  She was a lovely woman and was very pleased that her old, treasured race boat had found her way to sensitive hands.  I have since given BLONDIE, as she is now known, a full deck-off restoration.  Next to Bea is Dick Dell who I know nothing about.  Next to him is George Sloan.  George was the "old man" of the club to whom everyone went to for advise in boat building matters and repairs, as well as for racing advise.  The tall chap  holding two trophies is Bob Kalmbach. Bob couldn't afford one of Dorr's boats but since he had access to Bea's TERMITE and Marion's PUNKIE, he made careful measurements over the winter of 1948/49 and built his own successful copy.  To the right of Bob is Greg Clayton.  The only thing remembered about Greg besides that he was the best man at Bob Kalmbach's wedding is that he smoked a pipe while sailing and seemed very sophisticated for the times. Love the glasses.  Finally at the extreme right is Harold Rudy.  Harold went on to become a commercial airline pilot.

So, there is a time capsule in a photograph.  One thing to note is that in this picture no one is wearing jeans or shorts.  All have made an effort to spiff up at least a little.  Dress slacks are in evidence.  Some of the men are wearing ties.  The young women are in skirts or in Bea's case perhaps dress slacks, hard to say from the photo, but none the less not the least bit sloppy.  This photo is from an era where people made an effort to honor an event such as an end of summer yacht club trophy presentation with a bit of respect.  As my father once told me "if you dress like a bum, you'll be treated like a bum."  Sadly, those days and that advise have passed us by.

1946 Browns Mills Yacht Club Awards Presentation

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