My dad thought it might be a good idea to have a small fishing boat. We were right on the water and could moor it out in front of our home. He bought a used, but serviceable, inboard boat which had a cabin and even a small toilet under the front deck. I don’t remember anyone ever using the toilet.
We had a small row boat on the beach at the bottom of our last staircase that we dragged to the water and use to get to the boat. We would go out to the boat and go over to Perth Amboy to gas up and then went on to troll for bluefish or anchor and fish for porgies and flounder. The fishing was enjoyable and it was nice to look out from the house and see the boat moored out in front but there were several drawbacks to this venture. Each time we went out to the boat we had to wash down the tarp cover and the decks to clean off the “gifts” left behind by seagulls. They just loved to sit on that boat and make their deposits. Then we had to store away the tarp cover and set up the boat’s equipment for operation. When we returned from fishing the boat had to be cleaned of any fish or bait remnants and reattach the tarp cover. It soon became obvious that having that boat was requiring more time than it delivered in enjoyment. So, for my Dad, as with many boat owners, it was a happy day when he bought it and an even happier day when he sold it.
Learning to Drive
Our long driveway with a circle and parking area to both sides was an ideal area for me to learn my driving skills. My father gave me permission to drive his car in the driveway on many occasions. I would back in and around the circle, practice my parking skills and eventually became very proficient in driving without ever having gone on the road.
While I was in high school and later in college my parents would be away on occasional weekends. I assured them I would be fine for the evenings they would be away and my mother always left enough tuna fish sandwiches in the refrigerator to cover me for their time away. The evenings when they were away seemed to be much longer than those when they were there. The wind whistled more in my bedroom fireplace, the radiators clicked louder as they tried to warm up the old house and my imagination started to go into overdrive with concerns of lurking creatures just outside the house. On a few occasions I opened my bedroom window just a small amount and dropped a few golf balls on to the porch below. They would make a loud clatter as they bounced a few times before falling off the porch. I was certain that such a proactive disturbance on my part would scare away any person or thing lurking in the yard. The next morning I retrieved the golf balls so I could “reload” should they be needed the next evening. When my parents returned I would tell them that everything went fine and that I had no problems during the evenings.