VALOIS, New York - It's called the Bud boat because the Schamel family who gave it to us - yes, gave it to us - let their teenagers use it for years and somewhere in all that they put decals of the Budweiser frogs on the engine, and, presumably, imbibed a little Budweiser beer in the boat also. The decals are still on the engine, more than a little faded. But no beer cans were in evidence when we picked up the boat two summers back.
This week as we rolled it out and cleaned it, we decided to give it a patriotic paint job, a red hull, blue trim and stars on the bow.
Thank God for Rustoleum paints. They cover up a multitude of dinks, scrapes, dents and even a few spiders who didn't get washed off.
The boat leaks some, though I used an all purpose sealer on the worst spots that might stanch the flow more this year. The 18-hp Evinrude is ready to go, too. The boat zips along quite nicely with that engine. It's overpowered, for sure, but I spent many years driving such rigs on Lake Chautaqua (and only flipped once), so I'm ready for another Bud boat season.
In two weeks, Admiral Fox and I will take a sojourn over to Jamestown for the 40th reunion of the Class of 1966 of Southwestern High School. We will not go by Bud boat. Instead, we will take my late mother-in-law's 1992 Buick Century, a white four-door hoover with enough squeaks and groans that it sounds about the same as I do when I roll out of bed in the morning.
The Bud boat is ready, the Buick is ready. It's summer vacation.