Freddy, age 88, is a newcomer to
model sailboating in Central Park. He hasn't entered any of the
Saturday morning racing regattas yet, worried that if he gets
too excited it might set off his defibrillator.
have two nurses, and those two girls became almost daughters
for me. I adopted them, almost, and I wouldn't part with them
for love or money. One of them is supposed to meet with me here,
in fact, today. She's working, but she'll come over here and
share her baloney sandwich with me, if needs be. That's the
type of gal she is! So, she said, "We ought to get some
kind of a hobby." I said, "Maybe, how 'bout a sailboat?".
She said, "You want a boat? We'll find it on the internet
and we'll get you a sailboat."
So they got the sailboat, but it was all in parts, so these
girls had to put it together. Some guy helped them, and of course
he didn't do the job he was supposed to do, so when I got it
over here, all the guys said, "It's all rigged up wrong!"
So, they restrung the whole thing. John and Steve and Hal, they're
the ones that fixed it up. So I made more or less a friendship
with them guys. And it's a great life with them, because Hal
was a Navy Commander and I was the Air Force, so we have a little
something in common. He served in the South Pacific and I served
in the South Pacific. I wasn't actually a flyer, but I used
to fly with a crazy Major; me and him was always a drinking
I haven't been sailing recently because as I was bringing the
boat into the park, two women with baby carriages got in front
of me, so instead of hitting the baby carriages, I hit the branches
of the trees and it broke my sails. But Hal put it back together
It's relaxing, sailing the boats, but I gotta watch myself—if
I forget and I hit the switch on my chair, I can go overboard!