Yes, I was a marine who fought. But I also was the other kind of marine. As a boy, I worked at a marina in Frenchman’s Bay, Pickering, Ontario. That’s where my step father worked his marine equipment supplies business with great success, but I worked for another bloke doing odd labor work around the docks. I want to tell you about that experience because it might be interesting if you’re invested in the marine life too.
This was back when it wasn’t strange to find a 10 year old boy getting his hands dirty, working 8 hour shifts. The truth is I wasn’t forced to do it but wanted to. I found the marina there at Frenchman’s Bay beautiful beyond description. My daily tasks working for the marina manager mostly involved helping people who had boats parked there meet their satisfaction at the marina. I used to look at how much people paid to keep their boats there and thought it was all the money in the world, so I respected the people who docked there and gladly helped them.
Sometimes I would spray off the decks and keep them clean, other times I would assist old retired gentlemen retrieve lost dinghies. Most times I’d be looking for something to do, because I was paid off the books and just did work that came up as it came. When I had nothing to do, I would go around and talk with people and ask if there was anything I could help with. I remember one lady said she would love it if I could catch her some shrimp with a net and that was one of my favorite memories. After catching a whole bucket of shrimp I boarded her boat and she cooked me dinner, telling me stories about her great, great grandfather in the Napoleonic war.
As I’m writing this now more memories are sprouting up and tears are forming in my eyes. These might have been the happiest times of my life. Perhaps my second favorite memory is the day I found a lost dog roaming the docks. I spent the whole day asking around for who the owner might be but after a long day of that my manager insisted that I should keep it and take it home if my step father would let me. The dog turned out to be very well behaved, a great addition to the family. I think now that’s why I love dogs so much. My dog Charlie should thank that dog, for that time in my life is the main reason why I treat Charlie so well.
Now I have the sudden urge to take Charlie for a walk around the water so I’ll see you next time!