Our Kid’s Boat
by Jim and Wendy Blasdell

      My wife, Wendy and myself, have been in foster care, working with
theraputic foster children for over 15 years now. During these years, we
have been blessed with over a hundred kids, of both genders, several
nationalities and all ages. From 5 through 18 and beyond. Presently, we
get 8 off to school each morning. 4 seniors, a junior, 2 sixth graders
and one in the fourth. (then we collapse.)

Many folks have come to us, over these years, with gifts and donations
for our work and to benefit the kids. Clothes, shoes, toys, sports
equipment, birthday and Christmas presents and more. All are welcomed
and most are appreciated. I say most because stray  cats and dogs are
somewhat of a gift that keeps on giving… Kittens and puppies. Always we
say thank you. Usually we mean it sincerely.

        AND THEN CAME THE BOAT. A lady, mother of our son’s girl friend,
asked us if we wanted her late husband’s boat and motor. “It’s old, but
it use to be a good one.” So I said, “Sure.” (at least it won’t have
kittens or puppies.) I took a drive to her house, near Cherokee Lake in
east Tennessee to see my new donated dingy. She told me of her husband’s
passing, five years or more ago, how the motor of the boat had just been
overhauled before his death and how the boat
sometime took on water, while in the lake. I said it was okay, I know
how to fix water logged boats, (with a match.) She led me to the garage
and opened the door for me to see my new treasure…

      WOW! My eyes fell open, well actually they were already opened, it
was my mouth which fell open, down to my chin. There, in the dim light
of the basement garage, on it’s own tilt trailer, sat my new yacht of
all yachts. I’d never seen a boat to compare, even though as a kid I had
worked on boats in Houston and thought I’d seen every Glastron ever
made, (back in the 60’s, 70’ and 80’.) But
not this one. There, I became unfaithful to my wife of nearly 30 years.
I fell in love with another Lady. A Lady of the sea. An  original, in
nearly new condition, classic 1968 Glastron GT 160 and it’s power plant,
the Merc 1000, recently overhauled. (5 year before.) I thanked her,
arranged to pull it home, sent her a letter of appreciation for tax
purposes and told those rotten kids, (whom I love) to keep their grimy
hands off THEIR boat. They didn’t, however. They all climbed in and
began to argue as to who was going to drive first, ski first, which seat
was whose   and didn’t I have something better to do be doing at the
time. Typical kids, wouldn’t you say?

      OK, It ain’t perfect, as they say in Tennessee and Texas and
Michigan and …. It needs a good cleaning, some minor glass work around
the inside of the transom, some new upholstery up front, a new water
pump, some new plugs and wires (to be on the safe side,) and a new drain
plug. The kind that doesn’t take on water when you put it in the lake.

This summer, money willing, I going to teach 8 children to ski. Then
they will probably teach me how to ski even better. Kids do that sort of
thing, you know.

      Having this beauty is a blessing from God, no doubt. But it has
also brought me an even greater blessing. Because of this gift from a
friend, I have come to know some really nice, other Glastron boat
owners, from all over… even in Australia where Alex and Anthony also
have this same boat. I have found an association of lovers of quality
water craft, of classic boats and of treasures of the
past to be remembered and cherished for years to come. Thanks gals and
guys and other kids of all ages, from the newest kids on the block….

Jim, Wendy, Jason, Cori, Jonathon, Chris, Nigel, Lawton, Eddie, Eric,
Curtis, several dogs, cats, rabbits, mouses and whoever happens to show
up in time for dinner. The Blasdell’s  (I think we’re gonna need a
bigger boat!)

Jim and Wendy Blasdell

Thanks for the great story, Jim and Wendy. We tip our hats to you. What an inspiration you are.

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