A few days ago we received an e-mail from our friend and fellow Woody Boater Wilson Wright on Lake Jackson, which is on the north side of Tallahassee, Florida. Wilson was the longest-serving president in the history of the Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club, which celebrated their 40th anniversary this year.
Wilson wanted to wish us all Happy Holidays and share a great 30 year-old vintage photo he had from 1984 – the e-mail read as follows:
Texx: If you all are looking for headers for one of the day’s between now and Christmas, here’s one that might work.
It’s a photo my wife took of me in my first Chris-Craft from our dock on Lake Jackson here in Tallahassee. We used it for the cover of the December 1984 Brass Bell. (The Brass Bell is a quarterly publication produced by the Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club for it’s members) The original photo is (I guess) in the club archives.
So as not to spoil the Santa thing for any kid that might have picked up the publication, the caption said “Santa arrives on Mirror Lake (it was like a mirror that day) in the Northern Hemishpere in a 1950 16′ Chris-Craft Riviera.”
Here’s what our lake looks like today… In the ’84 picture the boat was in four or five feet of water… Today I mow that same spot and even farther out… Strange… the tree line doesn’t seem like it has changed that much. Cameras weren’t as good in ’84 as they are today and you can’t see the neighbors dock (if they were even there) in the ’84 picture…. and the ’84 pic is scanned from the Brass Bell, not the original photo which as I say is probably in club archives.
MERRY CHRISTMAS! – Wilson Wright
Seeing the e-mail and photos from Wilson Wright made me stop and remember the first time I ever communicated with Wilson.
In 2004, right after I purchased my grey 1952 Chris-Craft Riviera, in an effort to learn more about my boat I immediately joined the Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club. At the time, the club used a forum (like a chat room) based on software called MemberClicks, which allowed members of the club to communicate and exchange information related the Chris-Craft marque. The MemberClicks site (which some of you may remember) was nothing like the popular Boat Buzz Forum that the club uses today, but it worked if you were patient.
At the time I had some questions regarding my Riviera’s hardware, and I was determined to get it right in terms of originality (the restorer I was relying on at the time was useless when it came to originality) so I carefully prepared my questions and posted them on the MemberClicks site, hoping I would get a response.
I must admit I was somewhat intimidated at the time, as I was new to the classic boat hobby, and didn’t want to come across as a complete newbie (idiot).
And much to my surprise, two days later I received a clear and respectful response to all my questions from a fellow named Wilson Wright. From that day forward I always appreciated Wilson’s help and dedication to the hobby.
The Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club continues to be one of the best sources of information in the hobby, and the Brass Bell is a premium publication. Earlier this year, the Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club was inducted into the Hagerty Classic Marine Hall of Fame along with Jean Hoffman and Syd Young.
Anyone who will take the time to dress up in a Santa suit and cruise around in a wooden boat in Florida for a photo shoot is good in my books. You’re quite a character Wilson. Thanks for all you have done over the years to make the hobby a better place.
Happy Holidays Everyone – Texx