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Re: Dear Ed


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Posted by Kisered on May 30, 2019 at 07:42:52 user Kisered.

In Reply to: Dear Ed posted by John Nichols on May 29, 2019 at 10:21:48:

The TARBOARD has been a bit slow these past few months. Maybe we are all getting old. Last month I was in a hospital there for a while, so out of touch with the Forum. But I see a recent topic mentions things that we have learned from Ransome and his stories. I certainly agree and feel grateful for the education his works provided for me. Many of us Ransome Fans have claimed that his stories inspired the purchase of a sail boad, and without reading any further "how to" anywhere else. rigged it, and sailed it, knowing the details of the relative position of the pennant to that of the sail, of what a "Reach" or "run" are, as well as the skill of "tacking" with the proper use of the centerboard (or pair of "dagger boards" as my boat was a twin hulled catamaran). The compass became a meaningful tool. The Boy Scouts days were meaningful because of Ransome's teachings, as i knew how to start a campfire with the "wigwam" to get it started, the use of rocks to form a "fireplace" that could support my cooking pot. The Scouts took up Morse Code, and I became the one to TEACH thm, having already learned it during WInter Holiday. When camping out, I knew to be sure the groundsheet remained inside the tent, whereas my older friend always wanting to be the boss wound up sleeping in a puddle because his sheet extended out under the edge of the tent, and brought in the rain. I was rather proud of that "gotcha". Never did try "guddling" for fish, but at this age, having lain down on the bank presents the problem of getting back up again, so I guess I just missed out on that one. In this modern age of cell phone and "texting" I am delighted to use my flashlight and say "good night" to my granddaughter whose bedroom window happens to be facing my house. So at least, some "Ransome skills" have been passed on to later generations. In college, right after the Korean War, tapping on the radiator was communications to every room in that building, banging with the butt end of a pocket knife, using one bang for dot, and two quick bangs close together for dash, with the time of the "dot" being the same as the time of the "Dash", unlike what would be used if flashing a flashlight. No cell phones back then of course. To me it is interesting to note that as educational reading his stories were, at the time I did not realize that I was "learning", but just naturally assimilating the info he provided. It made the "learning" easy and natural. Those children were my childhood friends. I grew up with them. I knew them. I felt I was with them on their adventures. They remained forever young, and as I go back and reread them today, i am made young again. That is the Magic he gave me, and to many others.

By the way, I moved away from Florida in 2006, now living next door to my daughter in Kentucky. Not alligator territory any more, but horses.

Ed Kiser [ kisered@aol.com ]



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