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history and my mom redux

August 14, 2010

So, the funny thing is that I got my Mom’s story of the Zora all wrong. She told it in public on Thursday night and everyone laughed and laughed and clapped. I had never seen my mom speak in public before; she is eighty-four years old and as I sat and watched, I realized where we all get our storytelling skills from.

So, the story is: my mom and her two sisters raced their boat, the Zora, here in Sandy Bay. They came in last every single time. One day in 1944, they actually passed two boats and were heading toward the finish line when the wind suddenly picked up; my mother, who was eighteen years old, said she was darned if she was going to take their sail down, so the next gust of wind sent them over. My aunt Sally, who was twelve years old, said she had to swim for her life. The squall capsized the other boats in the fleet and two of them sank. Fortunately, the coast guard came and picked everyone up. There was no discussion of food or dream meals. That was on another occasion — the time they were becalmed for hours when they were sailing home from Marblehead. They only had one orange and had to split it three ways. At the end of many seasons of the Zora’s last place finishes, the yacht club came up with a special prize for the Best Kept Boat and surprised my mother and her sisters by giving it to them. Their nicknames, by the way, were Snap, Crackle, and Pop. I believe my mother was Snap.

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