Sunday, April 29, 2007

Nothing Wrong With Being Dead

I just wanted to share with you a couple quotations from Ferenc Maté, from his book Best Boats To Build Or Buy (1982). Ostensibly this is a book of sailboat reviews, and inasmuch as it is such, it is completely outdated. But Mr. Maté weaves into his surveys wisdom, philosophy, and personality. I think he is one of the greatest explicators and apologists for the mysteries of sailing.

Here's one, from a review of the Spencer 1330. Another to follow in the next post.

"There is basically nothing wrong with being dead. Some of my best friends are dead, and one of them cited just the other night the wonderful freedom from the evils of this world you gain, like not having to get up on rainy days, or cross the street to avoid someone you hate, or nod and grin stupidly for fifteen minutes each time Mrs. Lukovitch corners you at the bottom of the stairs with her enormous body, and for the nineteenth time itemizes for you examples that confirm the incurable audacity of her daughter-in-law, who didn't really go to Oshkosh for a seminar at all, but snuck off to New Jersey for a nose job and came home looking like Bob Hope.

No, Death can be okay, provided it comes at a prearranged rendezvous, after all deeds have been done and race all been run, and not sneaking up from behind on a cold stormy night when you are untangling wet lines-- with your dinner gone cold, and your shirtsleeve soaked in honey-- and unloading the mast on top of your head, as if you didn't have enough troubles already. And that is just because some horse's patooty decided to save a few dollars on your hull construction, or on the bolts that hold your chainplates where they should.

That won't happen to you if you own a Spencer..."


Anonymous Doug said...

What a masterful wind-up before the pitch.

He takes you out of wherever you were before, stirs your head around for a while, then directs your attention where he wants it.

I think there is some of his influence in your writing style.

4/30/07, 10:48 AM  

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