August 9, 2009

Watkins Glen turns out for a NASCAR night

WATKINS GLEN, New York, USA - It was NASCAR weekend in Watkins Glen and Friday night and the village closed down many of the side streets and filled the place with music.

And some of music was provided by our amigo Brad Phillips, owner of Arnold the Wonder Dog who has been staying with us on and off all summer. Brad's band, Ragged Sole, rocked the downtown area for more than three hours Friday night with a mix of music that had people out dancing.

Brad on the microphone
Brad shouts it out

Besides the music, there were NASCAR and food vendors everywhere and the state open-container law - the one that says you can't wander around with a beer in your hand - appeared to be suspended for downtown. I rarely saw a person without a Budweiser, Miller or Pabst cup in their hand. And the bars were serving people beer outside - a lot of people and a lot of beer.

Unfortunately, most of the customers also had a lit cigarette in their other mitt, which they puffed on mightily before tossing the butts on the ground. I think I inhaled more second-hand smoke in the hour or so we were downtown than I had in the last two weeks.

Horses of courses
Sylvia says hello to one of town horses

Sylvia and Laura check the wine line
Checking out some wines downtown

Adm. Fox and amiga Laura and I wandered the Watkins Glen streets for about an hour, then headed up the lake to the Stone Cat cafe for a late dinner/snack/glass of wine with amigos Eric and Tina Hazlitt. We talked about plans for Mexico travels, the upcoming Peachy Dandy sailboat race - and a vintage ski boat I have my eye on to add to our armada of vessels.

The ski boat is a Glaspar G-3, a boat manufactured in the early 1960s and a dream boat of mine ever since that time. A friend had one in the mid 60s with a 75 horsepower Evinrude on the transom that could almost catapult the boat out of the water when you floored it. Another had an 80 hp Mercury on his boat and could do more than 50 mph on flat water.

I found a used G-3 - with an old 60 hp Johnson outboard on the transom - for sale at a neighboring lake. If we were to buy it, the first modification would be to put Mercury outboard on it to replace the Johnson. Given the weight of a 1960, 60 hp Johnson, I could probably put a 2009 90 hp Mercury - and have less weight on the transom.

A 90 hp on that boat?


G-3 to buy
How fast will it go?

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