Be like Dave

Thu, 07/29/2021 - 2:45pm

To the Editor,
My wife and I decided it was time to break into the world of boating. Both of us are complete novices and through the power of Amazon, we now have a 12 foot inflatable boat and a shiny new engine. Both purchases were made prior to my learning that I would undergo emergency spinal surgery this spring. Still recovering, I planned to hire some local kids to help us get set up after inflating. Not a complete plan, but that was the plan we had, and we would figure it out from there...

Headed to the town boat launch, armed with an instruction manual and an electric pump, we were in business, eagerly awaiting the maiden voyage. My wife and daughter, Margo, inflated the boat. It looked good to us.
In pulls a man driving a dual flatbed with a sizeable trailer. I ask if he needs us to move, and with a smile and a wave he says no. After about 20 minutes of toil and pumping, I return to the man and ask if he has any knowledge of inflatable boats. Does he thinks ours is properly inflated?
He gladly gets out of his truck, walks to our boat, and laughs. Clearly, we are under-inflated. He looks at our pump and smirks. He asks us about the air pressure for each tube, we shrug and get out the manual. Without hesitation, he walks back to the marina to retrieve his own far superior pump, then guides us on the remaining set up of the boat.
He pushes our boat into the water and has us continue to inflate. He asks about our motor, which is in the back of our Tahoe. He turns from our conversation, walks over to the Tahoe, single handedly picks up the 15HP motor and places it on the transom. My wife and I were in awe. He continues
to instruct me on the engine, installs the gas lines, and shows me how to start it. Of course the motor will not start, (apparently it will take a bit longer the first time) he smiles again, says no problem, walks over to the marina, grabs his own inflatable and tows ours over to the dingy dock.
My wife and I meet him at the dock to collect the boat. Our new best friend pulls the boat in and helps us dock. We offer a case of beer and money. Dave refuses both. As he is motoring away, he yells, “Enjoy Block Island and your new boat!”
I have always heard of the kindness of strangers and that folks are different out on the island. After 13 years of living out here, I can honestly say that I find this to be true. Dave, I hope you read this note and realize that small thing you did, was extremely large for us. I appreciate your help and I just want to thank you again.

Steve and Jenna Katz
West Side Road