Marital advice from a sailor

Published on December 12th, 2013

When it was time to get my ‘crew’ an engagement ring, the solution was to trade my beloved Jet 14 for a 5′ 2″  future wife. The vessel was named “CHARCOAL”, a reference to my first ‘money maker’; selling bags of charcoal briquettes from door-to-door in ‘toni’ Deal, NJ.

With ring in hand, and Miss Sheryl Kesman of Ludlow, VT asleep on a sagging couch at Red Bank, NJ’s Monmouth Boat Club (where I had raced the 14 footer), I asked the 5 footer if she would . . . . “Uh, marry me.” She repositioned herself, murmuring “why are you trying to wake me up?” I repeated my pitch. Her “Yes!” was more enthusiastic than when, as she was so often, shanghaied to crew at regattas along the Jersey Shore and Long Island’s South Shore.

Years later, when I had recovered from the financial pounding of the diamond purchase, I acquired my ‘next’ (‘next’ is never ‘ last’) boat.

It was my wife’s roommate at Boston University who had introduced us. That little trouble making co-ed, when I bought that next boat, challenged – – – “If he really loves you, he’ll name that boat after you!”

But SHERYL on the stern did not seem to convey the ‘message’ that transoms oft do; so I elected, in a vain attempt to convince my wife that she came first, named the boats:


Now married fifty years; that’s how.  – Robert Tepper

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