Not much that hasn’t already been said this week so I am resorting to personal stuff, reminiscing, fun and foolishness. One of my life long friends is Walter Palmer. He’s a brilliant and successful sculptor. I was privileged to meet Walter when his art career was in its infancy. We lived on Fripp Island outside of Beaufort, South Carolina. I ran the marina and island store there and began my charter fishing days. I was so naïve I guaranteed fish. Never-the-less the piscatorial gods smiled on me and I never got skunked. I started with a 22 foot open fisherman with a stepped hull and twin Evinrude 115’s. That boat would run so fast on flat water that it scared the hell out of you. Offshore from Fripp was an artificial reef system and a navigational bouy for north-south commercial and Charleston bound freighter traffic. From the bouy to the 100 fathom curve was 55 miles.
On a bluebird day with the sea dead calm we made the run in one hour flat. When the afternoon southeast winds set in and with a 2 to 4 foot quartering breeze we got back to the marina in three hours plus. The boat was named the Barracuda ‘cause that was the first fish I caught at Fripp Island. Years later, I always told friends that I named that boat after my second wife.
My marina store was the largest retailer of Rolling Rock pony bottles in South Carolina. You could follow us home from offshore by trailing the little, green glass bobbers. The four and a half years I spent on Fripp were the best four and a half years of my life. I bought a 36 foot Bruel Enterprise sports fisherman, that was a flyer also. However, that one cost you dearly in gas consumption, running twin 454 cubic inch Chevy block V-8’s. Gas was cheap and the shrimp business was good. But runnin’ with the big dogs separates the men from the boys in due course. The bank eventually sold my boat in West Palm and I fished commercial for dolphin for the summer of 1980. I lost my boat, my wife and my ass. But, I refused to let go of my “bad” habits. Fun is fun . . . . . . and fleeting.
Walter, the “birdman”, started out making fiberglass pond birds set on legs made of rebar. Trust me, they looked a lot better than they sound. As a matter of fact he got over a $100 a piece for the Palmer originals. This was 1976. When he was up against a deadline, he’d call me to come over and play darts all night while he shaped and set the bird bodies to cure and then attached the legs to a piece of driftwood or a part of a palm stump. Or whatever else was available at the moment.
We played for orange juice. The vodka was incidental. Bird Person is a darts hustler. He’s also a master of the ring swing. A large metal ring on a five foot piece of string attached to the overhead that you swing at a hook on the wall. It requires finesse. Liquor and finesse are not simpatico. Plus, the combo gets expensive rapidly. Palmer gets better at these challenges the more he drinks. That’s because he practices when he drinks. As a matter of fact he does most everything when he drinks.
Walter, bought two lots on Cook’s Island which is on the ocean side of Big Pine’s Newfound Harbor. There was and to this day there still is no water and electricity is an economic nightmare. Palmer’s solution? Solar, generator, LP gas, a peat moss toilet and two five hundred gallon water tanks that catch rainfall from the downspouts. A reliable boat is the mainstay of this operation. You must go to the “hill” every day for something. The Palmers lived that way for 25 plus years. I went there two to three times a year for over 20 of those years.
Mister Palmer as he is known by the American Express folks these days, progressed to limited edition bronze pieces, along with delightfully funny and inspired commissions that go for thousands.
A few years ago, Walter and his wife of thirty plus years left the high life of Keys living and went back to his place of beginnings. They now live just off Hilton Head.
In case you'd like to read more about my Fripp Island adventures and get a few laughs with the family Rednak, my book The Rednak Chronicles is available on Amazon. It is also in Kindle format.
Check Your Ethanol Fuel For The Genuine Article
Thanks to the Coconut Telegraph for this pearl
Testing fuel for ethanol
The REC90 fuel at the Big Pine Shell station just failed the non-ethanol test. The FL Consumer Services office is closed so I could not make a complaint, but I did call. Test it yourself: Put a small quantity of fuel in a clear container and add a drop of food color and shake it. If it tints the fuel, it has ethanol. My last three purchases of Rec90 passed the test. The fuel did not tint and the food color just lay in beads on the bottom.This time it tested positive for ethanol content and I just drove away instead of getting my 20 gallons for the boat. I have had my boat quit 3 times due to water in the gas before I started testing before buying the supposed non-ethanol there.Two boats in front of me had just fueled up with ethanol at the non-ethanol price. I can’t say if it’s the station owner or the fuel distributor that is making the extra dollar per gallon, but it won’t be mine. Food color is cheap. Be safe, be sure and test it before you buy it. Ethanol fuel burns hotter but produces less energy than non-ethanol so it is not good for any two-cycle engine. And it sucks moisture out of the air in a vented fuel system like your boat. Youtube has a good demonstration of that with two jars of gas and a fan blowing across them. The jar with ethanol absorbed water from the air.
This is a fuel test for ethanol on Rec90 gasoline. As the food color remains together it suggests that there is no ethanol in the fuel.
See the You Tube explanation- click below
Gotta cut back a little on the fertilizer Jethro
Boudreaux I, think we should go down to Sears and buy some tires tomorrow
I Got The Deal Of a Lifetime Last Night On Craigs List
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