Since a small portion of the canal is occupied by a condo complex, we have a large contingent of condo-ized snowbirds as members of the "Dead End Canal Yacht Club." At this time of the year there are many farewell parties held by each and every association within the condominium complex.
I fish with several of them and we, non-condo-ites are often invited to these bashes. Each of these groups places invitations on our Facebook page and it would be less than polite not to attend a few of them. There are no restrictions on who may attend as long as you are a resident of the overall condo complex or are invited by a resident. There is a real mix of neighbors and friends and regional attendees.
These party goers usually align by region like the mid-west or states like Ohio, Wisconsin, etc. I personally prefer the Wisconsin dominated parties because of the great Bratwurst they serve. People from western Ohio serve Tony Packo hot dogs, and there is always plenty of Philly Cheese Steak from eastern Pennsylvania folk.
The overall best shindig is put on by the dwindling condo Yacht Club within the complex. Since they actually collect dues from their membership, they spend more lavishly on the food. Last year there was even talk of dismantling their Yacht Club and rolling the few members into the DECYC, but they've made it one more year.
The yacht club party was Monday night last and an estimated 75 Shady Walk West Condo Yacht Club members and guests enjoyed a great get together. The DECYC members swelled the group by almost 50 and since we all brought a covered dish and a keg, we were very welcome.
The party was held around pool #2 and spilled out onto the docks. Most of the women were jovial but many of the men were a bit sullen. "What gives with Put'n Bill," I asked the Cincy Kid2. "He ain't ready to leave," said Bill, "but she wants them gone by April first. My better half is lobbying to be home before tax day and I know we'll get caught in that damned rush northward."
I asked if she ever heard of electric filing or FedEx and Bill just raised his eyebrows and shook his head. "Grandkids is what; she has to see her little babies as soon as possible. If it were up to me we'd stay here year round. All we are is baby sitters for the young ones and chauffeurs for the ones to young to drive," moaned Bill.
I moved on quickly because I don't like to see grown men suffer over Grandkids. There was a lively discussion around the keg about the best route to take to Pennsyltukey, so I kept moving. Around the pool, the women had divided into groups and were rehashing the events of the season. They swiveled their heads between the group and the bar to keep count of their husbands' intake.
Several spring break grandchildren splashed in the pool and their families sat around the far end watching the kids and the old people yucking it up. I always wonder what they were thinking? 'Is this what we have to look forward too?' Or, 'I can't wait until I'm retired so I can sit around and talk about my kids and grandkids!'
Like I said, the 'Shady Walk West Condo Yacht Club' has the best farewell party and despite the drastic reduction of boats and members they did good again this year. Most of the afternoon was congenial except when the subject of the 'March Madness' tournament came up. Another point of contention is the marital status of several bachelors. One poor fellow was being berated by several women for spurning a widow lady.
"She doesn't want me chasing her around. She is very popular with men and not in need of your attention," he said before storming off. I guess the women just don't like uneven numbers.
Eventually the 'DECYC' members clustered together on the dock. We would lose better than half of our members to the frozen north but we didn't celebrate quite so hard. I have never been a snowbird so I can't speak to the advantages or disadvantage but if I ever would be I think I wouldn't go up until at least May 15.
Boatguy Ed is a retired bottom paint maker and is currently a volunteer extra on his son's Boater's Treasures television show that sells half priced dining certificates, www.boaterstreasures.com. Send your comments to boatguiEd@aol.com, I dare you!