I've been reading all of the comments about this year's get together. Lots of bad ones, a few good ones. The ones I paid most attention to were posted by the folks that showed up four years ago at Lake Elsinore, shortly after Tommy passed away. They all got together because it was a way of grieving for a dear friend. None of us knew what to say or do after he passed away and I don't remember whose idea it was, but it made sense to go use our boats because that's what Tommy built them for.
Elsinore held no significance for Papp other than it was the closest lake to his shop and he tested boats there. We chose to meet there because geographically it made sense. We towed race boats that didn't belong on the lake to Elsinore, stuffed fuel cans into the non race boats and caravan'd over to the cove.
We spent most of the day talking about Tommy and all the people he touched and brought together. We stared at the boats he built and remembered all the long nights and weekends spent in his shop working on them. Throughout the day, one at a time, a few boats made passes in the cove while we all watched and appreciated the site. It was therapeutic in a way.
There was no racing. There was maybe 20 people there. The gathering happened quickly and not all of his customers and friends found out about it in time to go.
The next year 40 or 50 of his friends showed up. It was quite a site. And since then, for better or worse, this deal has grown through word of mouth and the internet. There's nothing wrong with growing as long as the agenda stays the same.
It's been proposed that we all need to regulate the behavior of our fellow boaters when they get out of line. If things continue on the same course I have no doubt that this group will not be welcome back at Elsinore. None of us will have to regulate the behavior of anyone on the water because it will be done for us. The original group of people that came together in 2007 won't care much because they will still get together somewhere and remember Tom Papp properly. Its the rest that will pay the price when they no longer have a January boating event to break up the winter blues.
I'm not in charge. It's not my place to judge anyone or regulate what happens. But I really enjoy seeing everyone on the water in January and I'd hate to see this deal go down the toilet. So I'm not going to propose any rules, I'm simply going to post a link to a video that Busby shot at the first Tom Papp memorial.
If you're wondering what kind of behavior works at this deal and what doesn't, just pay attention to the video.
Notice the lack of boats on the water? That's because they were on the shore behind the camera with their owners shooting the breeze and enjoying the sights. I really hope that next January we can do this again without ocean-like conditions in the cove brought about by too many people driving fast at once.