One of the many places where we kept our sailboats over the years was at the 5th Avenue Marina in Oakland, for many reasons. It was handy, inexpensive and rather loosely run so we could work on our boats without being harassed. But none of those were the main reason for its choosing.
The main reason was for the collection of characters that either had boats there or hung out there. A single hander who had a copper bathtub for a cockpit. A married sailor who had sailed without his wife but with 4 barebreasted female crewmembers from Hawaii and proudly regaled us with tales and pictures. A young sailor whose job was on the lightship outside the Golden Gate. A widower with an ancient but usable tugboat. A totally unsafe fishing boat owned by 2 orientals that had been patched with auto body gunk. A retired airline pilot who was doing a magnificent job of rebuilding his boat, and more.
But perhaps the most compelling reason was 3 live-a-boards who had been active in a very well known and thought to be dangerous motorcycle gang that shall be nameless. Those gents were great neighbors and knew everything there was to know about boats. They had every tool imaginable and were free with lending and advice. On top of that and because of their reputation as “dangerous” live-a-boards, theft was nonexistent at that harbor. A very real plus.
One of them and his wife, to this day are good friends. And, he was the model for one of the chief characters in one of my books. Guess which book and who.
Richard L. Wren
IN HIS NEW CAREER AS AN AUTHOR, RICHARD DESCRIBES HIMSELF AS TALL, DARK, HANDSOME AND A LIAR. A FOURTH GENERATION CALIFORNIAN, A SAILOR, FATHER OF FOUR BEAUTIFUL AND SUPPORTIVE DAUGHTERS, AND HUSBAND TO ONE OF THE BEST WIVES OF ALL TIME. [MORE]