Thursday, December 7, 2006

Enthusiasts

Good lord, you've got to love a keener. This is the sentiment that my aunt and I agreed on regarding some of the folks out there. I feel strange calling her my aunt, she isn't much older than me, my Dad is the eldest of a w i d e l y spaced family, and his youngest sister is CONSIDERABLY closer to me in age than him. ANYWAY, we've decided that enthusiastic people rule, however outlandish their fascination, indeed the more obscure the better. The guys who can recite every baseball stat to the year dot are...well....*yawn*...a bit....well.....not exactly...unusual. However, someone who goes to, say, Star Trek conventions and has all the goodies and costumes... (my aunt will confess to having gone to some. She said the people were lovely, not all of them functioned on the same level as everyone else....)
My husband is an enthusiast of sorts (though not a trekkie, although if there were a canadian history convention...). One of the more popular anchorages in the Bahamas is called Norman's cay. It was once the hangout of Columbian drug lords and any self-respecting yachtee would have been shot if they poked their bow in. -I kid you not- there are bullet holes everywhere, and the FDA had men photographing the place from a high point you can visit on another island. Well the Bahamas in general, and drug smugglers in particular do not appear to be too picky about FAA regulations, and you can see some really hair raising flying, and there are TONS of wrecked planes to dive on. This one is a big one in very shallow water a very short dingy ride from the anchorage, indeed if your boat isn't too deep, it is in the anchorage. Most people, including the guide books call it a DC3. You may have heard of these. BUT NO! My husband informed me it is not. I was polite but faintly skeptical until months later we are at a friends place and the friend asks the husband what type of plane it is. The husband replied, "It's a Curtis C46 Commando built in Buffalo New York during the second world war." (He is now telling me, at some length, about the aviation industry in Buffalo. More extensive than you might imagine.) The reply was off the top of his head. There were four of us living on a 27 foot boat, a small 27 footer, there were no aviation texts. The friend was floored. NO ONE has come up with this gem before and he thought he was sure to stump us, not the champ though. The enthusiasts were off. The rest of us listened politely for a while, but we all lived with our respective enthusiasts and knew what was up. We went swimming. Oh, the friend had an excuse though, he was a professional pilot all his life.

My point is though, I suppose, that anyone with a passion is a fascinating a person. I once went around the local zoo with a sound engineer and a foley artist. You know the guys who put the footsteps, punches and screams on films. (By the way, my scream is in that Cronenburg flick with the giant bug ....something lunch. Never saw it.) This trip through the zoo though. Fascinating. I'll never look at, well I suppose listen to it the same way again.

There is a guy out there who is the enthusiast for the type of boat we have. Give him your hull number and he can tell you EVERYTHING about it. Things YOU didn't know. What's more he has hunted people up to make obscure bits of marine hardware to fit the boats, your boat, properly. Gotta love him.

So bless the enthusiasts, just may not want to stick around in the conversation too long.

Oh, and the husband found this site, and if you have kids and love a good old story...

2 comments:

Dorky Dad said...

Yup. If it weren't for enthusiasts, we wouldn't have ... um ... er ... let me think on this a while.

oreneta said...

I'll elaborate on enthusiasts and their gifts to the world......