Monday, October 11, 2010

Pancho's Ride

Here is how it played out. Pancho, you see, is a Hydroplane Historian. If you had the time to listen, he could tell you just about anything about any hydroplane - who designed it, when it was built, how many races it won. His dad, Kent, was the Crew Chief on the Miss Spokane and following the sport for all those years affected the boy who would become the man who knows what he talks about today. He just knows it -he knows it and he remembers it accurately.

It was on October 2, 1960 - he figured out on the way to Lake Chelan last weekend, where we were going to enjoy the vintage boats that the Raceboat Museum, and others, were bringing over to run on the lake as part of a big boating event. It was an early autumn day, all those years ago - he was 12 years old - hanging around with the boat crew and his dad, where they were testing the Miss Spokane out on Spirit Lake. Butch, which is what his family called him, was offered a ride that day, in the boat. But, he says now, he was unsure...he'd seen them splashing gas around and using a screwdriver to test spark in the motor, and he laughs to think that maybe there was a trust factor that was bothering him that day. He declined his ride.

So last weekend, when we were on our way to see the boats run, he chuckled that is was going to be 50 years to the day when he was going to receive his long-awaited ride in a hydroplane.

He's still smiling.