Sunday, January 18, 2009

Classic Lady - - Down

Last Friday, it was snowing, temperature was 10 degrees, wind out of the SW @ about 8 mph, the kinda day you warm up the stew and hunker down - - The scanner crackled, dispatching a Water Patrol officer to a report of a cruiser, sunk at the dock. You glance at the snow blowing past the window and the ice building up in the dock, shiver - - - and sure nuf - the phone rings! - Sometime Thursday night a classic 1955 Chris Craft cruiser succumbed to the icy waters of the lake in the Gravois Arm. This vintage 34ft Chris Craft Capitan series sunk slowly at her moorings, resting on her port side partially submerged at the end of the dock. Purchased as a restoration project several years ago, the now 54 year old vessel was not a pretty sight. In 1955 this cruiser was touted by Chris Craft as part of their new "Freedom Fleet" (ad), at 34ft, and labeled as "Exciting", with the distinctive Chris Craft lines and shiny mahogany trim, this lady would have turned heads and prompted waves and cheers as it cruised the lake. Sadly on this wintry Saturday, she took what was probably her final voyage on the end of a towline, no heads turned, no cheering, just the sound of the salvage pump running, keeping her afloat as she slowly made her way several miles to be hauled out. There are very few of these left and it is sad to see another gone.

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