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Old 05-11-2015, 15:59   #1
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Tribute to a fine gentlemen, father-in-law, and sailor

My father in law passed away recently at 86 years of age. I'm indebted to him for many things. The first, allowing me to marry his daughter. Second would be his introducing me to boating and especially sailing. I was smitten with his daughter and with her the first time I ever set foot on a sailboat. I had no idea I was about to begin another love affair, but one soon began when we killed the engine and I experienced sounds, smells, and the breeze on my skin simultaneously in a way that 35 years later I can shut my eyes and be right there again. On that deck, grasping that lower shroud, savoring the new and exhilarating combination of pleasures in almost every detail! Yes, welcoming me into the family and introducing me to sailing lead the list of things to him for which I am grateful.

For two years he had a very poor quality of life. The last six months were particularly difficult. These facts helped set the mood for a true celebration of a life well lived as relatives and friends from around the country gathered last Thursday evening for a shrimp boil on the pier at Fairhope Yacht Club on Mobile Bay in south Alabama. It was the magic sendoff he deserved. We knew as we neared the bay the weather was going to be perfect, and given the eastern shore location of this wonderful Yacht Club, a likely nice sunset might grace us as well.

My Brother-in-law who put most of the effort into making this happen, also had the wonderful idea of placing the nutshell pram his Dad had built many years ago just beside the entrance to the pier, complete with a flag flying at half mast, and his Dad's life jacket hanging on the starboard rail. I can't accurately describe the feelings or scene, nor do justice to his life so well lived and so optimistic and humble to the very end, however below is a glimpse of that sunset family and close friends experienced at his favorite place, next to his pram, before toasting him with his favorite Scotch and peeling some shrimp in his memory.

Fair winds abaft of your beam forever Inman!
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Old 05-11-2015, 16:05   #2
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Re: Tribute to a fine gentlemen, father-in-law, and sailor

Thank you, - Wonderful,- I would hope to be thought of as well in my future.
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Old 05-11-2015, 17:09   #3
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Re: Tribute to a fine gentlemen, father-in-law, and sailor

Tatheelrod26, the best we can do for loved ones whose life has ended is to remember them, honor them, and love what they taught us to love. Think of him often and enjoy the memories.


S/V B'Shert
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Old 05-11-2015, 20:11   #4
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Re: Tribute to a fine gentlemen, father-in-law, and sailor

Lovely tribute. Inman must have been quite a guy!
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Old 05-11-2015, 22:11   #5
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Re: Tribute to a fine gentlemen, father-in-law, and sailor

What a wonderful person he must have been. This is how I hope to be remembered...with a gathering of close friends and family near the water on a warm, breezy evening, maybe with some good whiskey at hand, and a smile on everyone's face rejoicing in a life well lived. Bravo to Inman.
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Old 06-11-2015, 08:55   #6
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Re: Tribute to a fine gentlemen, father-in-law, and sailor

Fabulous Tribute!
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Old 06-11-2015, 09:05   #7
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Re: Tribute to a fine gentlemen, father-in-law, and sailor

Well done.

Later,
Dan
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Old 06-11-2015, 09:17   #8
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Re: Tribute to a fine gentlemen, father-in-law, and sailor

I think that in all of our best efforts in life we only hope to receive a tribute like yours at the end of it. What a wonderful guy he must have been, you made me feel like I met him somewhere. Well said.
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Old 06-11-2015, 10:10   #9
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Re: Tribute to a fine gentlemen, father-in-law, and sailor

Sail on, Sail on, Sailor! Wonderful tribute.
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Old 06-11-2015, 13:05   #10
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Re: Tribute to a fine gentlemen, father-in-law, and sailor

Inman, my father "sailer John" will want you on his crew. Say hi to him for me. Best wishes.
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Old 06-11-2015, 13:30   #11
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Re: Tribute to a fine gentlemen, father-in-law, and sailor

Very well said, and thank you for posting it here.

Your tribute seems to prove true that quality people attract other quality people.
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Old 06-11-2015, 18:28   #12
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Re: Tribute to a fine gentlemen, father-in-law, and sailor

Nicely said.
Bravo Zulu
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Old 06-11-2015, 20:41   #13
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Re: Tribute to a fine gentlemen, father-in-law, and sailor

Great tribute to Inman, he must have touched many people. Our friend Cris Starr m/v DISTANT STAR passed gentley a few weeks ago and he is missed everyday. I hope that Inman and Cris reminisce about time on the water.
All the best,
Sorry for your loss.
Michael & Patty
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Old 07-11-2015, 08:54   #14
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Re: Tribute to a fine gentlemen, father-in-law, and sailor

Quote:
Originally Posted by yachtcowboy View Post
................... Our friend Cris Starr m/v DISTANT STAR passed gentley a few weeks ago and he is missed everyday.
.................. Michael & Patty
'just a brief digression from the thread: About ten years back I met a man who kept his boat, "Distant Star", at anchor near the Limehouse bridge south of Charleston, SC on the Stono River. I always remember the names of boats better than I can remember the names of acquaintances. .... 'same person?
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Old 07-11-2015, 10:00   #15
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Re: Tribute to a fine gentlemen, father-in-law, and sailor

What a lovely tribute.

I offer my own as it comes to mind, for this fellow though a stranger. A poem not my own that for some reason your tribute made me think of again, after many years, which reminds me of my own father, who being now dead introduced me to this verse many years ago:

The Old Ships

I have seen old ships sail like swans asleep
Beyond the village which men still call Tyre,
With leaden age o'ercargoed, dipping deep
For Famagusta and the hidden sun
That rings black Cyprus with a lake of fire;
And all those ships were certainly so old --
Who knows how oft with squat and noisy gun,
Questing brown slaves or Syrian oranges,
The pirate Genoese
Hell-raked them till they rolled
Blood, water, fruit and corpses up the hold.
But now through friendly seas they softly run,
Painted the mid-sea blue or shore-sea green,
Still patterned with the vine and grapes in gold.
But I have seen,
Pointing her shapely shadows from the dawn
And image tumbled on a rose-swept bay,
A drowsy ship of some yet older day;
And, wonder's breath indrawn,
Thought I -- who knows -- who knows -- but in that same
(Fished up beyond Aeaea, patched up new
-- Stern painted brighter blue --)
That talkative, bald-headed seaman came
(Twelve patient comrades sweating at the oar)
From Troy's doom-crimson shore,
And with great lies about his wooden horse
Set the crew laughing, and forgot his course.
It was so old a ship -- who knows, who knows?
-- And yet so beautiful, I watched in vain
To see the mast burst open with a rose,
And the whole deck put on its leaves again.
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