Nite sailor Bill Bunting sends this report on the spring meeting:
There is nothing like a good spring picnic with fellow ice boaters (joined by several tolerant wives) to soften the blow of the end of one ice season, and to start us all thinking about the next. For the second year running we were treated to the gracious hospitality of Fred and Ann Wardwell at their wonderful Searsmont farm (once the home of Ann’s father, the notable Maine author Ben Ames Williams). Once again Fred and Ann were ably assisted by their daughter Martha Goodnow (also an ice boater) who traveled from her home in New Hampshire for the occasion. All the food provided by the Wardwells and by other celebrants was tasty and excellently prepared, and nearly all was consumed. Bill and Frank were sure to stock up for their road trip the following day, figuring that they were traveling on ice boat business. On that note, my wife Jennifer appreciated that one piece of her apple pie was considerately left for her to sample. Our sincere thanks to the Wardwells and to other contributors.
Once again we all admired Fred’s barn-full lineup of vintage industrial wood-working machinery, crowned by the mammoth band saw which created such a spectacle when Fred towed it home behind his VW from somewhere between here and a Lake Erie a few years ago. Fred has set the mark or the rest of us — one can never have too many ice boats, or too many tools to build and repair ice boats (or four-masted schooners, for that matter).
Also in the barn is Ann’s father’s magical summer gathering hall, which again was our meeting site. It was decorated for the occasion with numerous enlarged color prints of President Buchholz’s spectacular photos from the past season. They are available for any ice boating promotional event, and copies of any or all can be ordered through Bill. Jory’s hat was passed for contributions to reimburse Bill for his expenses.
The chief topic for discussion, regrettably but understandably, was the dismal subject of xxxcensoredxxx, a problem for which we have no ready solutions. Two years ago, following the advice of people who supposedly know about these matters, we incorporated the club as a xxxcensoredxxx, which presumably protects members from being swept up in a xxxcensoredxxx if another member, or the club, is being xxxcensoredxxx. However, club officers are not so xxxcensoredxxx, and the xxxcensoredxxx we purchased provides xxxcensoredxxx for them. Last year the xxxcensoredxxx nearly doubled, while the doubling of dues, to pay the original xxxcensoredxxx, cut our membership significantly. With the xxxcensoredxxx monster eating up all the treasury, the future of Lloyd’s wonderful and inimitable newsletter — which we suspect is why a number of our far-flung members were members in the first place — is placed in jeopardy. All members present were in agreement that this has left us in an intolerable situation. Between now and next Fall’s meeting the officers will conduct further research regarding options, beginning by contacting Mid-Western ice boaters to see how they are handling the situation.
The attendee who came the greatest distance was John Stanton, our web tech guru who has guided our growing presence on the Internet, and who, I believe, came all the way from Connecticut. The Mainers who came the farthest were Dennis Glidden and Peter Ashley, from York. The would-be attendee who tried but did not make it was Chris Conary, who, carried away by the spring weather, headed out on his faithless BMW which went dead in Union.
Buchhholz and Frank Able were full of plans for a Sunday roadtrip to MA to pick up a partially finished Whizz fuselage and parts salvaged from a defunct skeeter to combine into Frank’s new ride — next season is already well underway! (editor’s note:) Bill and Frank clocked 600 miles on Sunday, picked up two partial boats, and Bill will begin to morph one into the other as soon as the work tide receeds. Stand by for project up-dates. As always, iceboat.me welcomes all manner of iceboat building and repair projects to share.