In the fleet of twenty-eight boats, I had eyes for only one, that which was commandeered by my eighty-six-year-old friend, Don Bergman, his wife, Jean, (together, a legend among racers across North America), her two sons, David and Jamey, and my husband, Rubin. With an average age that exceeded seventy-one years, this team managed a first-place finish in one of the five races held over the weekend. They placed seventh overall.
I am not celebrating the first-place finish—although that is a truly remarkable feat—nor the overall finish. I am celebrating an eighty-six-years-old man who still shows up, determined to live a life defined by that which gives him joy. I am honoring a team that shows up, too . . . a group of people committed to supporting another’s dreams. And I am saluting a class of sailboats that appears to be irreplaceable.
This is the kind of story from which songs are written.
*Lyrics from the Toby Keith song “As Good As I Once Was.”
Title suggested by Rubin.
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