What In The Heck Was I Thinking?

Mariah and Thayer IV together out in the work yard where we found them last month

Imagine for a second that you are riding down the road one day.. you see the transom of a Wood Boat hanging out of a barn… as you zip by, you see it.. Thayer IV on the transom.. SCREEECH!  You go up to the guy in the shop and ask.. He says it’s the boat from the movie.. he also shows you the U.S. Mail boat, and reams of documents including a hand written Bill of sale, and a typed one.. Photos, scraps of stuff….Then imagine that you tell this story for the world to know about it.. What do you think would happen?… Well.. First thing is that everyone would say.. All roads lead to Pat Curtin.. “The elusive Pat Curtin”.. Good Luck.. And then many of you would toss this aside as just another one of those boats.. Well.. We did better, we got Pat, we showed up with Pat.. Pat went on record.. And yet.. still.. some of you don’t buy it.. Do I care? Not one bit..It was fun and Woody Boaters are fun.. the debate is fun, even the puffers and anonymous.. Even poor John Rothert from Powhatan who after 4 years still cant figure out how to sign in.. I LOVE IT… Texx and I have been belly laughing all the way to the .. well.. dang, there is no bank.. We’re going to go broke doing this.. Hey wait a minute.. What in the hell are we thinking?

Today marks the end of a journey for me. As I stated it all started with a rumor and I played it out.. Rumors are never good to follow, but this one rang true in what I knew about film and production. That and many folks knew about the possibility of a third boat..That was not news.. It was to me at the time though and started the fire.. I had to find that boat.. What a great story… It also marked the start of my friendship with Pat Curtin.. many of you may seem horrified that I would openly admit that considering all the comments from this last week… A smarter man should just sit back and let it all play out.. sit back and say.. oh you know Pat…  I am not that sort of person. I strongly believe that some people get along and some don’t; I get along with Pat.. I may not agree with him at times, and clearly have better social skills. But in the end, Pat has not faltered to tell the cold hard truth.. At least it’s the truth I believe.. Every detail of this journey played out to be true. The family, the history.. All of it.. I like many of you was skeptical because of what I had heard.. I learned a lesson when I was a kid about listening to what other people had to say about other people.. They are usually wrong.. Oh they might all be based on some sort of truth.. But its up to you to make that choice. I am no dummy, I have looked at all the sides on these two boats. I get all the confusion.. I have read the articles.. I get it.. Clearly there is some double talking going on here.. The big question is.. Why now? Why all of a sudden is the third boat appearing. Is Pat pissed that the 1802 boat did not talk to him… I have no idea.. I know that I spoke to the families.. I found the boats.. Pat helped with the families name.. But that is not the new family name.. Was Pat playing me like a puppet, to play out his plan to get attention.. Really? Woody Boater.. that’s attention? Being attacked by anonymous readers and called a lyer.. That’s a goal? Woody Boater this week as been accused of being like Giraldo.. not telling the truth and worst of all a sensationalist.. We are not and will never be like that.. Although if you find  Gar Woods safe, I will open it live on Woody Boater.. Just kidding.. Its all fun…   But, maybe the find its self is like that, but if you read what we had to say. We have been extremely careful to spell out the facts as we know them. Did we screw up with giving credit to Wilson Wright for starting the Chris Craft club.. Yes.. are there other screw ups? Are you kidding.. I spell like a third grader.. No journalistic training and according to my wife.. Spend way to much time smelling varnish.. One image though stood out here.. One dang dumb image that on the surface means nothing and everything.. The second I got the first comment I wanted to puke.. I thought.. again.. What in the heck was i thinking.. But as it turned out.. I am happy I did.. Its this image..

This image of  U-22-1460 started a war.. It has no ladder and as I just found out yesterday.. Was also in the Hendricks scrap book.. I got it from the 1460 scrap book.. I was never sent this from Ken Miller.. He had no part in that.. That’s the confusion that plays out here.. It’s in two scrap books.. actually three. it’s also in Pats since he shot it and it’s his image..    It captures the essence that the boats were not hermetically sealed and tucked away.. So thus for ever creating doubt in folks mind.. In an essence both boats became mashed together.. Like peas and carrots.. Thanks Forest… It’s a rabbit hole to look into each image and decide which boat is which.. I desperately have tried to stay out of that.. That is up to you.. Not me..  For the record though on this one image since I did step in it.. Here is what I know.. Its 1460 NOT 1802.. Thats from Pat.. and from the 1460 owners.. Its got the three spoke wheel. it has different scoops on the rear deck that 1802 had at the time.. Now changed since the restoration, and has the IVALITE knob on the dash. The IVA LITE on the dash is not a bolt on feature.. I also looked into, did anything change when Pat restored.. refreshed the boats.. We asked folks on the film.. NOT Pat, was anything changed? The answer was NO.. Hendricks.. NO.. so say what you want.. believe what you want.. I am sure you will.. regardless of what this is.. I am sorry that I ever posted it.. it continues a debate that is for another place.. Not here on Woody Boater.. Its like debating Reed and Prince screws or philips head.. Not here.. 

For the record. And this is also not from Pat..  Pat had promised the U-22-1460 family 28 years ago to stay quite, and he did.. He promised Hendricks to promote U-22-1802 and he did.. to his credit.. Has Pat pissed folks off? You bet, me included.. But that does not take away the fact that U-22-1460 is out there..The comments here on Woody Boater in this past week, focused on Pats credibility. He and us were attacked by anonymous readers.. That’s fine.. We expected it.. And honestly enjoyed the conversation.. For us here at Woody Boater , it’s all fun.. They are boats.. Not life support..

A funny thing happened during this research.. In a strange way two families were re united again by choices that th
ere long gone fathers made 28 years ago..That was a very cool thing to see.. Both families I am proud to have talked with.. And now with Jeff Thom, proud to know as well. He has been a trooper through out all this.. Imagine buying a boat, spending a fortune restoring it.. And then this crap happens.. Jeff, you are a class act.. The boating world is better off for what you have done!

 Tomorrow.. Pats unedited interview.. In an attempt to see what Pat is all about.. I agreed to let it rip.. Un plugged, un edited.. Word for cus word from the gut.. Pat does not pull punches. He is from Southey.. Boston. He is rough and tough and full of spit and vinegar.. But his heart is big, and he wants the truth to be told in his words. Not a reporters or third person. Yes some of you will say he has said it all in his stories.. Read them again.. or not.. the point is, this is 30 years later and he is going on record here and now.. Here he is.. Not being elusive.. or cagey.. For better or worse  it will be interesting for sure. But this way there is no editorial, or interpretation of what in his mind.. I hope you have enjoyed the past month of stories, on the Warner Auction, Texx’s excellent adventure in Minnesota.. I personally am looking forward to showing snap shots of babes in hats again…

If you think for a second that I am going to get caught up in the canoes and other boats in the film, you are nuts! 
28 replies
  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Ah…the purists! They don't get that its all about the boats – any boats – and any history found and posted here is more history than most of us had the day before we read it. It is really a shame that there are those who shoot the messenger instead of putting some honest energy into doing more reseach and offering that in good faith. Keep up the good work Matt and know how much this venue is appreciated by so many more of us than the few who take offense because they were not there on your adventures to discover bits and pieces of history.

  2. WoodyBoater
    WoodyBoater says:

    I needed that.. Thanks.. ladies and gentleman.. thats from Gar Wood… See the Anonamuous thing plays both ways.. i can give credit to whom ever I decide i suppose.. Ha.. thanks

  3. traceybarrymore
    traceybarrymore says:

    This has been a great week for all of the emotional larceny that these boats have bestumbled upon us…Why couldnt you have waited till the eve of the 30th anniversary…That wouldda put us over the edge….I had nothing going on that week..I could have taken 1 in the heart.Anyways…great reporting,and looking forward to getting out the ear plugs to fight off the truth for tomorrows article. Cant wait to hear pat Curtins story of pain and planking..LOL.

  4. Rick (man enough not to be anonymous)
    Rick (man enough not to be anonymous) says:

    Blah Blah Blah. Very talky today are we? Let's get back to the important stuff like the correct stain for a mahogany toilet seat for a post war cruiser. Just kidding (kind off). Great reporting.

  5. pick373
    pick373 says:

    I think this is all a promotional stunt for the anniversary of the movie!! (not really) But seeing as I was 8 when it was released, I think it's time I watch it and I'm sure my wife won't mind either. (I'll be looking forward to the dock/bikini sequence!) All and all pretty good stuff, rough at times but good reading. thanks to the Woody Boater staff for the fun!!!! keep it up

  6. Al Benton
    Al Benton says:

    The coffee was good this morning. I think I needed to re-fill the cup 3 times to get through today's story though. Not because I'm a slow reader (although I am), it's due to the need to go back to yesterday's story that included the short film clip showing Mariah, the US Mail boat. Wow! What a beauty!!! Jane's kinda cute too.

  7. pat curtin
    pat curtin says:

    proud of you Rick. you are a man among men. To have the courage to put your name on a toilet seat question. I am proud of you.There are a lot of people out there that lack your courage. What a guy!

  8. Frank Miklos
    Frank Miklos says:

    I'v got a question… What was the hull number of the Crash boat?… Now my what if… What if someone actually saved the crash boat from the landfill?… What if it is being restored as we speak?… Another actual Thayer IV.
    Where is the outboard "Gurtrude" from "On Golden Pond"? I think it was a newer Oldtown that had a classic look.

    Where are the three Chris Craft Capris from "Striking Distance",(I have many photos from the set… And I have Hull numbers for all three fo these boats.) 2 21' Capris and one 19'Capri.
    The Chris Craft Capri from "Pearl Harbor"…
    What a joke that was… a late 1950s Chris Craft Capri in 1941…. How hard would it have been to find a 1930s boat for that scene?…
    Others to find is the 1958 or 1959 Century Resorter 19 from "Funny Farm" this boat sold on ebay a few years back…
    The 1966 Century Resorter from "Second Hand Lions" I never herd anything about this boat…
    The Chris Craft Riviera that was in a 1950s Jerry Lewis Movie…
    The boats made for "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade". One of the survivors was near Clayton, NY in the Mid 1990s… I have photos of that boat.

    Lots more for Woody Boater to find..

    Ok to make Rick happy… does anyone know anything about the Chris Craft Vermilion stain… Is there any stain out there that is close…

  9. Texx
    Texx says:

    Frank – We can start searching for those other "Movie Boats" next week… With Matt's approval of course.

    Wait, maybe we should wait until next week to submit the request for approval… Matt's had a busy week.

  10. Ken Miller
    Ken Miller says:

    Matt, my "Geraldo" comment was as much about the hockey-fight atmoshpere that erupted on a normally tranquil blog. My apology that it was taken personally. And, for the record, when I posted this week I did so under my name. But emotional "larceny"? Really?

  11. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Weather real or in a movie, I do not think that 13 year old boys should be given the keys to a classic wooden boat. That would include a bunch of you out there who act that age. Grow up!!!!!!

  12. pat curtin
    pat curtin says:

    Dear Ken Miller,
    I read all your boat buzz stuff and looked at all the pictures. I really loved the picture of the rudder off the crash boat as you called it. Must be a new kind of rudder with three blades, it would give you great control. I am getting old and my eye sight isn't what it used to be but it looks almost like a propeller to me. Seeing that I have the original picture and all the other originals of the pictures you put on boat buzz and i don't remember giving you permission to use them. But what the hell,go ahead,it is OK. Make sure you put a story under each picture, if you would, because I just love them. I love your crash boat story but it is a little off. You must have been there the day we did that stunt gag to know so much about it. There is only one problem, I don't remember anyone there named Ken Miller, could I have missed you? By the way Ken, I gave Matt Smith permission to use any of my pictures, news paper articles and adds I placed, so please don't tell him not to use them,thank you.
    I think it is wonderful that you know everything that was said by me to Jim Hendricks, you must have been very close to him to know what was said. You should write a book about it.Ops sorry, you said you got the scrap book at a yard sale, what luck you have!
    Well i could say more, but I will save that for a latter time. Ken, you have yourself a great day and keep the stories coming.
    A little note about hockey fights, Ken, I started playing hockey when I was five years old and loved the sport. Played for another 30 yrs, you know pee wee, high school, juniors and senior leagues, so I know about hockey fights, maybe we could talk about them some time.

  13. Ken Miller
    Ken Miller says:

    Well, no, I never said I bought the album at a yard sale. As for my relationship to Jim Hendricks, your comment on that was about as correct as the origin of Hendricks's album. I can't imagine you being very close to Henry Fonda, as he had never even met Hepburn before pre-production rehearals. He admitted to spending much of his time with Tom Hayden. And then he was dead shortly after. Obviously your memories are golden. I'm glad you have them. Take care.

  14. pat curtin
    pat curtin says:

    ken they tell me you are an expert on the movie on golden pond, even wrote an article for the brass bell boy that's great. could you give me the dates you were on the movie set when we were shooting. funny thing is ken i have a crew list of every one who worked on the movie and your name isn't on it, did you go by another name then? i am going to make this real easy on you,i have a question and i am sure you would have the answer. you said Fonda died shortly after the movie, how many months was it from the time we warped the movie till the time he died? now we will test your golden memory! i would like to know your term for short time. can't wait for your answer. if you get that right i have a couple more questions

  15. Ken Miller
    Ken Miller says:

    Mr. Curtin,

    Attempts to respect your views and allow you rant at will, throw rocks at respected members of the classic boating community and then, once satiated, return to your private life and leave the rest of us to ours obviously do not work. I can imagine the reason is your lack of communication skills as you revealed by hanging up in the middle of a telephone conversation where a rational person was attempting to reason with you.

    I was willing to say "have a great day" and be done. But as you wish for a response, I will comply. Here goes Matt.

    What does the period from the time the movie "warped" (I assume you meant "wrapped"?) to the time of Fonda's death bear on any of this. Wasn't your original intent here to expose a virtually unknown "movie" boat and verify its provenance? The answer you are requesting will certainly not do that. If you are questioning my credibility, fine. You were there and I wasn't. Just as I was not there when you offered to establish further provenance on hull #1802 (the Hendricks boat) when Mr. Kohout had the boat for sale on Ebay if Matt would buy it and you could share in the profits from its later sale. This was straight from Matt himself.

    Matt, if you're going to publish both sides, publish both sides. As for the issue of anonymity, everything I have posted so far has been under my own name. If it's character and credibility that is being called into question here, surely the other comments in this blog illustrate that (to quote one) "Mr. Curtin's reputation precedes him".

  16. pat curtin
    pat curtin says:

    well ken we talk again! you remind me of the guy who brought a knife to a gun fight.
    I knew you didn't know the answer to my question.
    ken, if you had just left out the smart ass remark about " my memories are golden " i would have let everything drop. My mind is just fine and my memory is good.
    I know how you got the stuff from the movie, the yard sale thing was just a shot. having that stuff and going on the internet to look things up about the movie, does not make you an expert. keep in mind there are a whole lot of things that are wrong on the internet.
    ken, to bad mouth Matt Smith,shame on you
    well ken i could say a whole lot more but this is getting boring,so this is my last comment to you. you can rant on but my advise would be to keep your mouth shut.
    i can't wait to read the new brass bell!
    Well ken you have a good life and this sure has been fun for me bye bye

  17. Ken Miller
    Ken Miller says:

    There's another article in the following issue of the Brass Bell, enjoy it, too. Welcome to the newest member of the CCABC.

  18. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    not much has changed on golden pond. i found the sign from the marina that was used in the movie. it was upstairs in the boat house, my mom told me that my uncle Richard Moulton was a stunt driver in the movie. does anyone no if this is true.

  19. pat curtin
    pat curtin says:

    Richard Moulton was not a stunt driver in the movie.
    He worked in the marine department and was my best employee ,hands down. I put Dick in charged of the camera barge and he was great. His helper was a fellow named Mike Remalar and those two really made my life easy. What a great team they were!
    I found out a few years ago that Dick had passed away at the old soldiers home in Tilton and I was real sorry to hear that. He was a great guy!
    Dick was a pretty famous fellow – world war II – dog sled racing – Admiral Byrd and the South Pole.
    Dick was given an award by the shooting company for his work on the movie. He was the only person to receive one.
    I wish we had more people like Dick Moulton, this would be a far better place.
    Pat Curtin

  20. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    I am assuming the following, from Mr. Miller's comment, is true since you didn't respond to it, Mr. Smith.

    Just as I was not there when you (Pat Curtin) offered to establish further provenance on hull #1802 (the Hendricks boat) when Mr. Kohout had the boat for sale on Ebay if Matt would buy it and you could share in the profits from its later sale. This was straight from Matt himself.

    You also confirm in an earlier comment by yourself that you did, in fact, try to buy it.

    Care to respond now?

  21. WoodyBoater
    WoodyBoater says:

    No.. I will let my 1300 stories to date speak for themselves.. I invite you to read them all.. Then visit one of the kind sponsors.. and buy something.. Your honor.. HA!

  22. pat curtin
    pat curtin says:

    well Matt, this guy is two weeks late on his comments so they must have just let him out of the home or he just read the brass bell
    i think i should say it one more time 1460 – 3 spoke wheel 1802 – 2 spoke wheel
    the brass bell story is wrong in many ways!
    wrong hull numbers and many more things that i will go into latter
    i think that this anonymous is either very close to the bass bell story or very close to 1802
    like i said before, i have no respect for someone who hides behind anonymous making a statement like this
    wonder what they are hiding!

  23. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    This anonymous who is “2 weeks late” has no horse in the game. I am not a buyer or seller of any of these boats and am not in the legal profession. I do read the Brass Bell and realize that many of those articles Mr. Curtin did not participate in, but he did and was not Anonymous in the following articles:

    Brass Bell February 1982 Issue: Mr. Curtin made it clear that there was a “Chris Craft Sportsman” and a “sacrificial old Chris hull, prepared by Curtin”. There was no mention of any additional U22’s anywhere in that article.

    Laconia Evening Citizen July 1982: The article clearly states that after the filming, “Curtin purchased all the boats used in the movie, including the Thayer IV, a beautiful mahogany 22 foot Chris Craft Sportsman. Other crafts used in the film a U.S. Mail Boat, the Mariah, a canoe, a small outboard, and a replica of the Thayer IV used as a prop to smash into the rocks in the film.” No mention of additional U22’s by Mr. Curtin.

    Laconia Evening Citizen August 1983: Mr. Curtin is shaking the hand of Mr. Hendricks next to the boat and the caption says “the boat which Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn used for their excursions on Golden Pond.” Sounds like the “main boat” to me as reported by Mr. Curtin’s local paper, with his input. No mention of other U22’s in that article.

    I would hope with the aforementioned in mind, and your recent stories Mr. Smith, that you can understand why this situation is questionable. I think it is very possible that Mr. Curtin, who clearly was unable after several attempts to purchase 1802 and profit from it, decided to pursue another angle. As an advertising customer of woodyboater he figured out a way to use you to help give another boat the credibility that would be needed to make money on another “Thayer IV”. Mr. Curtin even had a friend of his come along on the trip to help secure the right story. Whether any of you make money on this “new” boat remains to be seen but since you all now have, with some success, insinuated 1802 is not the main boat, you can certainly understand why this perception might be valid by me, Mr. Miller or anyone else who has watched this “new boat” story unfold.

    I have no goal of a relationship of any kind with Mr. Curtin and my best chance of accomplishing it will be to remain anonymous, whether he likes it or not.

    What perceptions are true regarding this story will probably be evident when we see what happens with the "new" Thayer IV and who profits from it.

  24. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    I appreciate your offer but, as you suggested earlier, I will let your 1300 stories speak for themselves, just as I have let Mr. Curtin's many stories and posts speak for him.

  25. WoodyBoater
    WoodyBoater says:

    I understand.. Its a small community.. I hope you see here that we are open to all comments as long as they are not offensive.. I allow all comments even if they are attacks and ones that call me dishonest.. Or dumb.. Ha.. which I am by the way, but don't tell anyone..I do have a mountain of stuff on this that was just to much for the web, if you ever want to talk, enough folks out there have my phone number.. This is the best part of the hobby.. Each boat is an individual work of art.. There history and construction is like a fingerprint.. That is the magic.. I do appreciate that you have spoken up and taken a position.. Right or wrong.. its all part of the fun.. Your honor…

  26. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    I know it may not seem like it Mr. Smith, but I do appreciate your open forum and respect the way you allow for differing views. I have read many of your stories/articles over the past 3 years and feel our hobby is fortunate to have woodyboater. Thank You and Happy Holidays to you and yours!


Comments are closed.