Every summer for several years my wife and I and our children moved over to Tracy Island on Upper Wilson Pond to live for the summer. I worked in Greenville and came home every night. This particular afternoon I got home early, probably about three in the afternoon. It was a beautiful Maine summer day. Calm water, pure blue skies – just the perfect day.
I crossed the Pond in my boat with my fast 15 horse powered motor. As I arrived at the dock on Tracy Island, my son, who was about 8 years old at the time, said, ‘Dad, would you like to ride in my boat?’
He had procured a small wooden flat bottom from a distant relative. It was a tippy, narrow 12 footer, a handmade clumsily designed boat and my son put an old 5 horse power motor on it. You could see the cylinders on each side of that motor and you put gas in the back of it. It was probably over twenty years old and had been through at least a couple of owners. But it worked and my son enjoyed having a boat and motor of his own.
So I thought, what a wonderful thing! My son wants to take me for a ride in his boat.
And there we were out on the water. I was relaxing on the front seat enjoying everything as my son drove us around the pond. How can a man be so lucky? The day was a perfect Maine summer day and this was the perfect father-son moment. I was lost in contentment and satisfaction and near reverence. I was in Lala land. Could life get better than this?
And my son throttles down the motor, so I can hear him and he says, ‘Dad.’
‘Dad’, he says again, and he waits until he has my undivided attention. I look at him from the other end of the boat just waiting for this wonderful day to get even better.
And then he says, ‘When you die, can I have your 15 horse power motor?’
Today that 15 horse hp motor is under the camp porch. About 20 years ago my grandson figured out how to get it going. I have a feeling next summer I’ll be seeing my 9 year old great grandson flying around the Pond with that old motor on the back of an old boat. After all, it’s our kind of family heirloom.
-Gramps Walden and Viv Walden