The Roads Not Taken


The roads not taken.

It was only a year ago.  Last year’s Brilliant Scheme turned into last year’s Winter Project.  Nuthin’ new there.  Like every Building Season, over the past seven or eight, now; the boys and girls up in the Planning Department here at Frankenwerke show up one morning for the staff meeting.  Those budding genius’ all try to speak at once.  Totally enthusiastic and bouncing off the walls with excitement.  Last year, they had a totally fantastic idea that completely fizzled.

Gypsy Wagon was the result of those still-unrealized dreams.  Mr. Costner said, “Build it, and they will come.”  So, I built it.  Nobody came.  Now, it’s a new Building Season.  I don’t think Mr. C. will be on our payroll this season.

Those PD folks have tried a more subtle approach this year.

I’ve been finding odd notes scrawled across some of the “memorabilia” that I use to protect my desk from coffee spills.  I’ve even discovered my venerable and multiply taped-back-together Rand McNally left open to that page that shows the whole country.  Once upon a time, it was the old Monkey Wards catalogue.  Now, I find that roadmap to old and not-yet adventures is getting a lot of attention.  Maybe, some of us are just easily entertained.  No microchips.  Just, daydreams.

We’ve had our share of knuckle busting hereabouts, lately.  Some of it, even finds its way onto the Planning Board out in the shop.  There’s also been a number of what I recall labelling as, ”exigencies,” back in my fleet sailor days.  But, most of it has been with a mission profile in mind.

After a flurry of initial excitement, one of our leading candidates for this Building Season’s prime spot was unceremoniously extracted from the shop roster and parked sorta-outa-sight.

Both the boat and Miss Kathleen’s ex-trailer are currently marked for “other employment,” as Kate doesn’t approve of what one may refer to euphemistically as “yard art with wheels.”  And, a completely forgotten prodigal showed up yesterday morning before sunup.  Promising to do better, this time.  And, I gotta tell ya’, those PD folks fall for that line every time.  But, hey.  Some of us used to be entertained with the new arrival of the MW catalogue, Christmas edition.  Some of us will get excited about just about anything that parades across the tabletop as “new stuff.”  That prodigal.

Strumpet was a 30-day wonder from about two Building Seasons ago.  We slapped a hardwood and plywood-substrate interior into her, and then wandered off to other projects.  She got placed with a family, that it turns out, had other priorities.  It happens.  So, quite early yesterday morning, there she was.  Backed rather tightly into the service bay.

Those Planning Department guys have been beside themselves with ideas.  It’s hard to say, what they’ll settle on.  I’ll let you know.

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