From the Boatshop
by Ron Magen

“. . . And now a word from our sponsors . . .”

My lovely, patient, understanding bride of 28 years is first and foremost on the list. Although she says I only go sailing just to scare her to death, she still goes out as my ‘crew’. That ‘terror’, or the fact that she won’t go out on ANY wooden boat {under 50 feet anyway} even if I built it, doesn’t stop her from helping me. Turning a boat over, moving materials, taping a waterline, stepping the mast, or purchasing a bandsaw. Of course she does like to ‘drive’; under power that is.

A couple of months ago, I mentioned that we lost our companion of 14 years, our Malamute, Remington. One reader was so kind as to e-mail a condolence card. I didn’t know which would be stronger; Joanne’s grief or the desire to get another Mal. His breeder was very touched as well. To help, she offered to ‘loan’ us one of her retired Westminster Champions to ‘tide us over’ until her next litter. (She is VERY careful and only breeds about once a year}. A few months ago we became the ‘retirement home’ for Zoe. Several weeks later, she informed us that there was no pregnancy. However, because she new Joanne really wanted a pup, there was one available from the Rescue group. She highly recommended us to the ‘foster care’ breeder, and after an intensive interview we now also have a 28 pound (20 when we got him !} bundle of fur & energy named Trooper. Thanks to Ms. Phyllis Hamilton (Benchmark Malamutes . . . Easton, PA area; }If you can ‘pass the test’ {that is be SMARTER than the Mal} and are looking for an all-around lifetime companion, she is the one to see. Our thanks also go to Ms. Donna Schmoyer {MYATUK Malamutes . . . Easton, PA area; }for having the heart to help Trooper, and the strength to let him go to a great home. She is another careful breeder of beautiful, intelligent, all-around Mals.

The country just passed a Memorial Day that had a few undesired milestones. In the same weekend the US Military Academy at West Point held ceremonies for the first class to be graduated during a {declared} war since the Second World War, and the last spire of steel from the World Trade Center was ceremoniously ‘laid to rest’. As a USAF Viet Nam veteran, I have an idea of what these people are facing or have gone through. Although my experiences were in an unpopular period, I felt it was my duty . . . I HAD to go. The fact that we now support the present situation makes it no less traumatic. It also points out how VERY, VERY, FORTUNATE we are. We ‘piss & moan’, complain, have acrimonious discussions on this very public forum of a newsgroup, about relatively inconsequential things. We take it for granted . . . there are no physical repercussions from anyone who receives or reads this stuff. It is the same in our public lives. We can say damn near anything we want . . . bar inciting a riot. We, or a journalist, or a politician can write or print ANY opinion without fear of reprisal. In this past weekends series ‘Founding Brothers’, about events of more than 200 years ago, one of them stated, ‘The tree of Liberty must often be watered with blood’. Still true today. Take a moment and think of those who gave, and will give in the future.