My Groovy Girl – Naming the Larsen Shark


Harder than Naming a Baby

My decal man finally worked me into his schedule. It’s only been five months since we received the title and registration to the boat in the mail. That’s when it became legal. That’s when we became real owners of the 1971 Larsen Shark.

We’d spent an entire summer attempting to prove ownership; and with the delivery of the envelope from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, we took our two inch thick folder filled with copies of old registration, previous owner’s address, bill of sale, New Jersey DMV forms, online change of ownership forms, certified returned letter to previous owner, official letter from the VDGIF and our temporary registration from Walmart, and put it in a drawer for safe keeping. We really wanted to burn all that paperwork and do a dance around the bonfire, but were just too afraid to chance it. We thought the official letter might be a dream. After all, the lead up had been a nightmare.

“I’ll never buy anything without a title again,” Bruce grumped as he held the new Virginia registration decal and boat number in his hand. “Who would have thought it would be such a pain in the ass to title a boat?”

“She’s all ours now though,” I said.

Earlier that month, with our temporary registration in hand, we put the boat into Assateague Bay for the first time. It was on that trip that we named her. We toured the five marinas on Chincoteague and paid specific attention to boat monikers. “Birthday Wishes”, “Reel Time”, “Triple R”, “Miss Daisy May”, “Island Time”, “Dream Baby”, “Crabber One.”

We sat in the truck, the boat resting on the trailer behind us, bright, refurbished and naked other than her New Jersey identification number. We threw out suggestions to each other. Bruce liked “A Fish Tale”, “Southern Comfort”, and “Crack of Dawn” (which I did not find funny). I punched his shoulder and made my own suggestions, “Dream Boat”, “Hook Line and Sinker”, “Irish Wake”, and I liked the ones named after women.

Most of the boats we saw were white. Three sported a red stripe and one was a light blue. None we saw were bright spring green, only ours. Built in 1971, our vessel was obviously made during the age of Aquarius. We had a hippie boat. We started brainstorming slang from the 60’s. Words like cool, square, peace man, far out, a gas, stoned, funky, bummer, drag, flower child, funky, pad, right on, groovy.

“Yeah,” I said, “groovy. I like that.” I said it again, my mind conjuring visions of bell bottom jeans with hot pink embroidered daisies, a lime green peasant blouse, a peace sign. How about Groovy Girl?”

“My Groovy Girl,” Bruce said. “Yep, that’s it. My Groovy Girl.”

I floated the name to my group of literary friends. The graphic artist of the bunch drew up some curvy letters and we were hooked. I ordered the marine grade vinyl decals the next day, and my boat name was ready for application by the end of the week.

The boat was in dry dock for winter, covered and stored in the garage. “There’s no hurry,” Bruce said. “We’ve got until spring to apply the decals.”

No amount of whining, cajoling or bribery worked. I’d have to wait until he was ready, or I could attempt the job myself. I’m a weenie. I waited.

I hadn’t thought of the decals since the week after I picked them up from the sign place. Bruce has been cleaning the garage because it’s been too rainy to work outside. “Where’s the boat name?” he asked me yesterday.

“Right here where they’ve been since September,” I said, pointing to the cardboard tube in the corner of the bedroom.

“Bring it down to the garage. Let’s see if we can get it on the boat,” he said.

We cut on the dotted lines, peeled the backing, lined up the letters, pressed, prayed, and peeled the wax covering off the decals. When we finished, there was “My Groovy Girl”, no longer naked and un-named. She’s official now, and she’s ours. We have the paperwork to prove it.

Standing back, wiping his hands, and admiring his handywork, Bruce said, “Now all we need is champagne to christen her.”

“Yeah,” I agreed. “That’s all we need; and I’m sure that will be another story.”

 

My Groovy Girl © 2o12 M Dawn Thacker. Read more M Dawn and bookmark her feature column.

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