a Small Sailing World, and More

I went to the Finger Lakes Boating Museum show (FLBM.org) at Seneca Lake on 7/23, and saw a sailing canoe in use that looked like something that could have been built by RCC’s George Ruggles in 1890.

The owner Jim Gargiula said that it was a Peterboro built Canadien Model 16ft. long with 45 SF sail weighing 80 lbs. built in 1939-40. He bought it from Harry Bogdan at Yonkers Canoe Club (a competing club of RCC in 1890) in 1954, and he himself sailed/paddled it on Jamaica Bay out of Sebago Canoe Club (founded 1933) in Brooklyn. By coincidence, RCC member John Fortunato came from that club.

But the coincidence is much greater, as Jim and I discovered as we talked. He lived in the same area that I grew up in, though closer to Bensonhurst/Dyker Beach than Bay Ridge. He was in the Army 1963, (me 1953) and at Camp Gordon, as I was, and the Signal School at Fort Monmouth, as I was. And he met Werner Von Braun, the ex-Nazi rocket scientist at Redstone Arsenal, where I served.

I also had a good conversation with with Bill Oben, President of FLBM, and I have already sent him some RCC History, and have decided to join FLBM.

A small world, indeed.
Leo Balandis

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *