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It's A Wrap was supposed to be my final comment for a very, very long time.
However, I want to make sure all of you know I am leaving with the most profoundly positive feelings possible.
I also want you to know how much your kind comments mean to me. More than I can ever say. I received many times more from you than I ever gave!
Every time I see a Rinker I will think of you guys and the forum with a smile...and there are four Rinkers in the marina right below my condo windows.
I know I will be (hopefully) walking down a beach, in a restaurant or on a dive boat in some distant location and think of a comment someone has made one here (thank you Steve) and start laughing. I'm sure people will think I am nuts.
I will never be able to hear the sound of a marine generator without thinking of BD!
I will never visit a forum where the moderators work harder, the participants are kinder or the advice is better!
The Admiral and I have booked vacations for two weeks in Florida in August, Two weeks in Aruba in September, soon to be booked two weeks in Phoenix in November. Turks and Caicos booked already from January to March of 2017, then four weeks of more of diving in Hawaii.
So, here goes:
1. On June 2nd I was having my monthly blood transfusion. When it was over the lead nurse came up to me and said Michael we need to run your blood lab again. That was a first in over 14 years. I have had almost 300 blood draws but never two in a day. I knew it wasn't for a good reason.The second one confirmed that my white blood cells had almost entirely collapsed. They could not give me any of the normal antidotes for fear that my bone marrow would collapse completely. No complaints at ALL, I have been lucky to have played-out this much rode (notice that BD? I said rode not line or rope LOL). Strike one.
2. The other night I was on the forum at about 12:30. The Admiral leaned into the den and said I know you are very busy with the Forum but if you have a minute could we talk about something before you go to bed. She has sat through 14 years of chemotherapy, blood transfusions, doctors appointments and some harrowing moments. As I closed the forum off for the night, I thought man, you need to spend more time with that girl! Strike two
2. Finally, when I was a teenager we used to visit each others' cottages for bonfires. At one friend's cottage his dad would always join the campfire - but he would stay for hours talking about HIS good old days! Once when walking home I said to a friend, man, I sure hope I know when it's time to leave the party! He replied. yeah - me too! Lately, I feel as if I have been repeating myself a lot...and I have. I have watched all the new guys join and get right in with the main forum guys and it has been so cool to see all of the new excitement...and I feel old. It IS time for me to take my own advice and leave the party before I am just that crazy old fa*t posting again. Heck, I don't even have a boat any more. Strike three.
Some time ago I mentioned that I had talked with Kim Slocum and how he had given me a shot of lightening in the arm about the way he spoke of his plans for Rinker. I thought Oh Man! It IS going to happen - Rinker IS back.
Then when I saw all of the amazing posts from you guys showing all of your custom work and modifications and I thought - wouldn't it be nice to have all of these on one category. When Ray (@Raybo) said we didn't have the passwords to effect the change but graciously volunteered to collate all of the posts himself I thought, that's not fair. I decided to take my past advice to you and call Rinker. I hoped to get Kim again but I did just as well. Steve Wheatley went from maybe we can do something to I am going to make it happen and then expressed his desire to support you guys in the re-building of our beloved Rinker line. I could feel his excitement over the phone line!
That night I was sitting in the sunroom in the dark looking out across the water and I started to smile. I thought man, what a ride I have had with all these Rinkers and all the guys on the forum. What an exciting time for them to have those great boats and each other. I have been so lucky!
It IS time for me to leave the party, this IS a wrap!
So, I leave with the fondest memories possible. I am sure that I will look in from time to time, just because.....
But.... I just can't help myself, I have to leave you with a picture that appeared in our newspaper many. many years ago. It was shot by a photographer from shore. In it the Admiral and I were out for a run in our new Rinker 192 4.3LX. A guy in a another bow rider had tried to race us and the Admiral gave me the green light. We "spanked" him and then came off plane to enter our marina. That's when the picture was shot. I knew the photographer. He sent us the clipping and the original and asked, "Michael, were you racing him?"
I replied, "Darcy, I drive a Rinker, you don't race other boats, you "spank" them".