Monday, September 9, 2013

Last Tango on 10th Street.

This past Saturday the members of the Brigantine Yacht Club met at 10th Street and Bayshore Avenue to decommission the old clubhouse.  All the glassware, dishes, framed photos, interior furniture, memorabilia and appliances worth saving were packed up and moved out to a waiting 18-wheeler tractor-trailer box.  Exterior items that might prove useful in the future such as the front entry's awning and framework were removed as well.  Led by the BYC juniors, members wrote and painted their names, wishes for the future and fond fair wells to the Esso gas station/island post office that had been our home since the late 1940s when the original part of the structure was moved from the south end of the island to10th and Bayshore.  The old gas station was added on to over the winter of 1959-60 and over the years, the building witnessed and survived many storms including the Ash Wednesday Nor'Easter of 1962, during which the entire island briefly went underwater. 

Although we where able to kludge things back into functional shape for one last summer, Hurricane Sandy proved to be just too much for the old girl.  We eked by this summer with a building which would have been more costly to properly repair than replace.  And so, demolition is scheduled for some time this month. What follows is a fond fair well to a much loved building where I squandered many a pleasant day.  I came back in the quiet of the following morning to take these last photos. 

The curb side aspect of the club house looks gaunt now that the front awning has been removed.  The twin port holes and storm doors resemble a grim, pale face staring out through darkly circled eyes.

The bay side aspect.  It's obvious that the exterior of the building received minimum spring spruce-up maintenance this year.

This is the original part of the clubhouse--the old gas station.  One can still see the gas station's hip roof.  I remember when the cinder block addition was added over the winter of '59/60.  I imagine that the current junior sailors will tell people years from now that they remember the days of the "old" building, meaning what we see in these photos.

Here's what I remember.  This photo dates to the late 1950s and is courtesy of former member Fred Kray.

Interior "good-bye" graffiti.

People really got into the spirit of this.

What was it that my primary school teacher used to drum into us?  Something along the lines of "fools names and fools faces are always seen in public places."  My family joined BYC in '51.

Someone carefully harvested the globe for this outside light fixture and after carefully wrapping it in newspaper forgot to take the bulb.

It's no longer important that someone in their haste forgot to shut this back window.

All the salvaged stuff that didn't go to various island homes for safe keeping is inside this box waiting for spring.

We also hoisted the ramps up for the winter.  I've never seen this done so early in the season; usually members are sailing well into October.  This year is a little different.  Boats in the yard must be removed to make room for demolition and construction equipment so it made sense to square away the other fall work day chores while all hands were assembled.

One last backward glance.


  1. Will the new clubhouse be ready for next summer????

  2. That's what the club officers tell me. Fingers crossed. My annual Moth Boat regatta is mid-June (Saturday before Father's Day).

  3. sad to see it go, but exciting to see whats coming.

  4. So many wonderful memories. Inside and out. Good-bye BYC.