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Struttin’ Time:

This column almost didn’t happen

What a week. Sometimes you should just stay in bed, but you worry that if you do the roof may fall on you. That is how this past week went, and the timing could not have been worse.

This is the week we are meeting up in the Daniel Boone National Forest for a 20-year reunion squirrel hunt, and I am trying my best to get packed. Things were going along at a slow pace until last Wednesday, and then they started falling apart. By Friday, the week was ending with me in panic mode.

I was supposed to take one new boat to the lake and pick up the pontoon while I was there. The dealer was supposed to call on Thursday, so I had a crew lined up to shift into high gear on Friday — the right amount of men and trucks to do the job, and do it right. The call never came and I was late in getting up with everyone to tell them to stand down. Then on Friday morning at 11 the call came in and the move was on and I had to retrace my steps. Now we were running out of time to get the move made before rush hour traffic and everything that goes with it.

I ended up getting only half the crew together, as the rest had gone on other jobs. In life, you play the hand that you are dealt, and what should have been an easy move was about to turn into a nightmare.

With half enough people to do the job and time our enemy, it meant we needed to pick up the pace. We left the dealer’s shop at high noon, three hours behind where we should have been. Rush hour traffic in Richmond was a killer, so bad that it took about 15 minutes to get through one traffic light. As soon as we arrived at the lake, one worker started to complain about being hungry, but nothing within miles would be open until five. Finally that worker just stopped and sit on the lake bank.

Meanwhile, I pulled the pontoon trailer to the lake, loaded the pontoon, and got it onto dry land. Everything was going good. The new boat was into the water in no time flat. Now came the time when a full crew would have helped by tying the pontoon down and unloading the things from the pontoon to the new boat. We left the lake at four in the afternoon, just in time to hit every rush hour traffic from Lancaster to Irvine. But the show goes on.

We made the 65-mile trip to home and winter port for the SS Camden Marie at a little after seven. Before I could walk into the house a man pulls into the driveway and asks if the pontoon was for sale. Within the hour I had cash in hand, he had the title to the pontoon, and was on his way. On Saturday, I was heading into Letcher County for the wedding of my little friend, Destiny Sturgill. The phone rings. It is the marina. “Your new $24,000 boat is taking on water. We have ringed it and set extra pumps.” I thanked the Sunset crew for their fast action and was then on my way not to the wedding as planned but to pull a new boat from the lake.

Yesterday, which should have been the day I was finishing to pack for our reunion, was spent taking a new boat that has been under water back to the dealer. I will keep you informed on the outcome.

In the good old days there would have been no question as to what would happen — the dealer would make things right. Nowadays who knows? By the way, if you are wondering, yes the drain plug was in!

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