Bob Waters: My own affection for “The Point” came in the 1950s when my doughty 1 6 – foot sailboat was part of Snipe Fleet No. 100 at Oak Orchard Yacht Club. I could say, “Those were the days! Some of my life’s best.”
Every weekend a dozen or more of those nimble sloops would unfurl their canvas and race offshore with Ontario’s surface sparkling in the wonderful sunshine. Competition was keen and the social spirit was lively at the old Lakeland Hotel. After the racing came food, drink, bragging, trophy awards, softball games and sometimes late night song fests around the piano. Arthur “Dick” Eddy of Albion still joins me in warm reflections……just two octogenarians re-living carefree days. Names like Skip and Don Landauer, Bill Hudson, Francis Blake, Bob Christy, Barney Miller, Allen “Ham” Moore, the Vicks, the Hoots, and Ted Richmond (always the unofficial mayor of Oak Orchard on the Lake) —-they all pop up in retrospect.
It was understandably a quieter, more leisurely time in the post-war Fifties. Lonely yachts bobbed at anchor in mid-stream. Marina facilities and dockage were sparse. But new pages in history were coming and in the past half century a ton of effort has gone forth from tourism people, from local businesses, from boat and fishing operators, the yacht club, politicians, the Seaway Trail originators and others. The years ahead will bring special excitement to Point Breeze as the lighthouse reaches skyward. Over two centuries of history will be re-visited.
Sometimes dreams do come true. That’s how it looks to one out-of-towner.
Excerpt from a Lighthouse newsletter by Bob Waters (Trustee, Oak Orchard Lighthouse Museum Board) Full version is available at http://www.oakorchardlighthouse.org/current_newsletter.pdf
My snipe was number 3458, and I went to a great deal of trouble to get a light blue paint formula from Charlie Harrison of Olcott Yacht Club. His gorgeous yacht, the Stormy Petrel, used it and I was jealous. He kindly furnished it to me and I very carefully put together all the color ingredients. “Those were the days!”
Bob Waters is a retired newspaper man from Medina, N.Y.