|Drawing by Corrie Chiswell|
I stumbled upon this song, If I Had a Boat by Lyle Lovett, about the same time I discovered The Superman Song and the odd works of Robert Earl Keen whom you will meet later. Lyle Lovett is a strange little man who was, even more strangely, married for a time to actress Julia Roberts. The demands of careers ended the marriage after two years, but the two remain friends, however that works. I like this song because it combines two of my favorite things - boats and horses. It also mentions Roy Rogers, Tonto and the Lone Ranger and posits what it would be like to be lightning, which makes this song doubly unique. As you will soon become aware, I like songs which are unique - even odd if truth be known.
I spent two years of my life starting and running an equestrian program for emotionally disturbed youth and kids with disabilities. I spent 5 to 7 hours a day riding and caring for 20 oatburners. I taught fifty some-odd kids how to feed them, brush them, saddle them and ride them. I also learned a bit of the farrier's art (hoof maintenance on that job. The most valuable lesson I learned from trimming horse's hooves was that if you pick up a horse's foot and start trimming the hoof, after a time the horse decides you are such a nice guy for doing this that you won't mind them leaning a quarter ton or so of their horsey selves against your back. It says something about something, I'm not sure what - possibly dependency. I'm not sure. This is why professional farriers are such big burly guys, though, and possibly why my knees are in the shape they are currently in.
I took a Red Cross Aquatic School course to become a canoeing instructor back when I was a younger man and working summers at Lone Star Camp. It confirmed me in my other passion of all things "boat". By the time I was 54 I owned a catamaran, six canoes, and a motorboat. Then life took a wrong turn and I lost them all and my transportation to get to an actual lake.
I miss my horses and my boats. I dream about horses and boats, but, for now, I don't get to enjoy either. Perhaps God wants me to long for heaven where I can spend an eternity building boats that will carry me, my dogs and my horses (and the wife if she wants to go) out on the ocean.
All that said, here's Lyle Lovett and the oddly beautiful "If I Had a Boat". - Tom