Walter Cronkite

One of the good (and bad) parts about camping is the lack of news - radio stations don’t come in well in some of the places we have gone - and some of the national parks have chosen to stay in the early part of the last century by not offering internet.

 

I finally heard that Walter Cronkite died. I have watched him for many years on TV – tuning into him when JFK got shot – and thru wars and peace. I talked to him twice on sailing occasions. The first time was at the re-dedication of When and If - General Patton’s old schooner. We were on Martha’s Vineyard for the occasion and a bunch of us were standing around talking and he came over and joined us. After a while he excused himself and went up to do the dedication. His voice changed a little to his TV voice. He started off by saying that “Since I am the only one that was properly dressed for the occasion they asked me to say a few words” He then went on to say a lot about his friend General Patton, about how sad it was that he didn’t live long enough to sail the schooner very much. Walter said that “He would be happy looking down – or maybe up - to see the festivities.”

 

The other time was in Mystic Seaport. It is a long way up from the ocean to the seaport. My friend Mark was bringing his 50 ft. Alden schooner up to the Seaport when his engine died. Word got out to try to help him into the dock. We were standing there when Walter quietly joined us to help. Mark got pretty close under sail – he was running downwind. When he got close to the dock, he dropped the anchor and jibed so he was pointing back toward the ocean. He then pushed out the main on one side and the foresail on the other and backed down to the dock. We caught the lines and secured her. Walter said “nice” and walked away.

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