Sleeps Along The Way
Susan & I visit with friends
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Over sixty plus years ago, in the wind-swept desert town of Brawley, California, Steve Link was pondering that question. He was known to habitually walk around town with a camera around his neck while a civil war cap adorned his head. These facts are true and "in fact" foreshadow his future. Subliminal forces were at work.
I met Steve in 1995. At that time he was the Executive Director of the Carlsbad Convention and Visitors Bureau, Carlsbad, California. I was hired on to do the website for the bureau.
In due time I learned he was an Air Force LtCol in the reserve. His primary billet was that of a PAO (Public Affairs Officer.) Besides being a premier wordsmith he frequently photographed aerial situations, i.e., mid-air refueling, etc. His main reading interest was the history of the Civil War. Yep, those subliminal forces he was experiencing in Brawley sure were at work.
Now Steve was a caring man. His father, Lucian, a mailman in Brawley in his early years, needed assisted care. Steve found a facility in Carlsbad that met his father's needs. Every day, yes every day, Steve would visit his father for lunch. He was returning an unspoken obligation. The obligation of caring for those who nurtured and cared for him in his youth.
A short time after Lucian passed, Steve and Sandra decided, in 2001, to retire from their jobs and move to England. Steve from the CCVB and Sandra, an ESL (English as a Second Language) Instructor at Mira Costa Community College, Oceanside, CA. They fell in love with the English life. They traveled, studied and became proficient in England's history. When they decided to return to the USA, they picked the colonial town of Williamsburg, VA, a town rooted in English history with educational benefits for senior citizens. Classes audited at William and Mary are free. Well, they settled in.
After exploring Williamsburg and the surrounding area, Steve discovered Jamestown. The three historical replica sailing vessels moored there captured his interest. Further investigation revealed they were in need of volunteer crew members. Five or six new crew members are needed each year to replace those who become inactive. Steve has always been a curious fellow and decided to take the plunge. No pun intended. So, in the spring of 2004 at age 63, Steve was interviewed and selected.
Now Steve is in moderately good health, but had not done strenuous labor in quite some time. And I mean quite some time. As a deck hand, aches and pain take on a whole new meaning. He was inspired by the knowledge that several of his fellow sailors were as old as he and a few even older. Not men with bodies of Greek gods, but with calloused hands and sinewy arms. Their bodies carried the weight necessary to haul in lines and sails under great tension. Now Steve continues to visit the gym three days a week to keep his body tuned to the vessels' needs.
Susan Constant, Godspeed & Discovery are the three vessels. Steve has crewed on all three. Sometimes while underway, period costumes are worn. The ships have visited ports-of-call up and down the East Coast. While in port, crew members dress in period costumes, welcoming visitors. Steve gives tours and explains the history and pageantry of that time and the vessel's role in bringing settlers to the New World.
Steve finally found what he wanted to do and be when he grew up. Yes, it took a few years, and those years accumulated did not deter him.
So … like Steve … you are never too old!
Till next time ... keep on working at it ... your dream that is ... which is just one more path before the end of the road.