Along the Lakeshore: June 19

I mentioned last week that the grass fields on Route 41A have been cut and winnowed. The big cruncher was sucking up the windrows, chopping the grass and loading them into a big high-sided farm dump truck. No bales, no hay loaders, no horses, no jobs for young boys.

Believe it or not, when I was a boy, I could hang on to the reins and the horse backed the empty hay rack up to the hay loader. At one time I thought I directed the team, but in as much as the team had done this about 100 to 200 times a season for over 10 or 15 years, it was obvious that I just chose the time this magic should happen.

It certainly was a wonder to me at 13 years old that I could control three tons of horses and a big load of hay. It was really an illusion, as those were smart horses. What a lot of management skill on the part of Harold Loveless to realize boys that age need to learn more skills and needed something to do. There’s nothing more likely to get into trouble than a 13-year-old with no challenge to mind or hands.

This week I’ll be going to Martha’s Vineyard to visit the Gannon and Benjamin Marine Railway site. They will be launching a whale boat that was built for the Charles W. Morgan whaleship which has been under reconstruction at Mystic Seaport for the last five years. Several boat builders were asked to make one whale boat. I think a total of six will be required.

I have visited the Morgan four to five times a year since reconstruction started and I’m hoping my son Jay will figure some way for us to get on the water to watch the re-launch of the Morgan on July 21.

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