Friendship. It's one of the sweet fruits of life that makes life itself both enjoyable and meaningful. How does it make you feel when you see old friends that enjoy the same things you do? You see their smiles, and they see yours as you meet up once again. Sometimes it's after a few weeks and perhaps a year or more. Once pleasantries are exchanged, it's as though you pick up on conversations you had just minutes earlier, not weeks, months or even years. You're anxious to hear what they've been up to, and they you. It makes you feel good. Plain and simple.
That's the way it was for me at this years Sunnyland Boat Show in Tavares, FL in March. Jan and I went down a week early and pulled our newly finished Coronado 'Bonnie' to do some leisure boating, which was wonderful. The ACBS meeting was on Thursday. As I walked into the conference room and saw all those boating people I couldn't help but smile. I was among friends. It was enjoyable for me to see them again. And as I went up to each one individually I couldn't wait to hear their updated life's events and see how things were going. And admittedly so, I was anxious to share my stories with them.
Then that weekend during the show, I ran into dozens of people I had met at other boating events or through our little restoration business. The same pleasant experience occurred every time. Smiles, laughter, and the escape of whatever ills may be otherwise on your mind. It doesn't get much better than that. During those moments you can't help but say to yourself, "Yes, life is good." And it's then and there I thank God for providing me the good fortune of knowing so many terrific people.
That's one of the truly great, and I mean great things about this antique and classic boating hobby of ours. The people. I've said it before and I'll say it again here...the people in this hobby are the friendliest, warmest, and fun group I've ever encountered...anywhere. Yes, the boats are great and offer all kinds of enjoyment, and even a livelihood for me. Boats are the common denominator. But, the people are what makes this hobby what it is. So, if you've not attended any of the many boating events that are scheduled every year, do yourself a favor and start going. New and old friendships will be there, and you will not regret it.