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  • Boat odyssey ends with a laugh

  • In Phoenix, I saw a small, wooden boat washed up in the yard of a smal, wooden house. It was full of flowers and looked pretty. After driving by several times, I convinced myself I needed a boat.
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  • In Phoenix, I saw a small, wooden boat washed up in the yard of a smal, wooden house. It was full of flowers and looked pretty. After driving by several times, I convinced myself I needed a boat.
    I told Ron, "I want a boat."
    So, off and on for months, we looked for a boat. We wondered whether we would find another small, wooden boat in Jackson County. We figured we might have to go to the coast or maybe just to Lake Selmac to find one.
    Time passed until one day Ron called me and said, "I found your boat."
    He really had. It was sitting in front of an almost falling-down fence that was meant to hide a wrecking yard on Highway 99. It was small, wood and did not look seaworthy. One corner of it looked like a dog had chewed it. My first impression was that someone had been on the way to the dump, and it had fallen out of their truck.
    It was exactly what I wanted!
    Then began two weeks of trying to locate someone to buy it from. We drove by often watching for signs of life inside the wrecking yard. There was a mailbox in front with the name Greene on it. We studied the telephone book for a Greene on the old highway. We searched the address on the Internet. There was a partial telephone number on the fence, 535-66??.
    I spent some time figuring how many numbers I would have to dial, how many messages I would have to leave, how many times I would have to explain what I wanted, and decided that was not the way to go.
    By this time the boat had sat there long enough that we figured nobody wanted it and were tempted to load it up in the night and take it home. We decided not to do that. So, I made a sign:
    "I AM INTERESTED IN BUYING THIS BOAT. DO YOU WANT TO SELL IT? PLEASE CALL ME. LINDA PEIL."
    I included our phone number, we tacked the note to the wrecking-yard gate and went home and waited.
    Now we discussed how much the boat was worth. Ron said he thought I might offer $20 for it. I had been thinking $25. Then Ron asked me, "What is the most you will pay?" I had no idea.
    On Saturday morning, the sign was still there; Sunday morning, still there. Sunday evening, Ron answered the phone and handed it to me. A man said, "I'm the one who has the boat. You can come get it."
    I hesitated, thinking, "This is too easy."
    He repeated, "Just come and get it if you want it."
    I thanked him and that was that. We jumped into the truck, tore down there in the dark, loaded the boat, tore back home grinning the whole way, unloaded the boat, ran back into the house and laughed as if we had stolen it or at least put something over on someone. What an adventure!
    Linda Peil lives in Talent, where her new boat is now planted with blue iris.
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