A huge shout out to fellow Woody Boater Brandon Wabeke for sending in a fun story. I guess one to many Sausage ebay days have made many think, Hey I can do better than that at least. YES YOU CAN! YOU NEED TO READ ON! This story is amazing. Thanks Brandon for bringing it to us. ALL HAIL ZIP!
Welcome to the Jungle!
Last year, I set out on a trip from Grand Rapids, MI, down to South Carolina to purchase a 1939 Chris Craft 15.5ft that was in need of restoration. Upon returning home, I was anxiously ready to begin researching as much as I could about this little runabout, which meant no “monkeying around’ and right to work, so I thought. Colonel Tooey
(that’s his real first name not a rank) was the original purchaser of the boat back in 1938. Tooey owned a boat dealership in Geneseo, NY and was proprietor of the tour boat company at Long Point Park on Conesus Lake.
Later on, he felt the need to expand with a new and exciting business venture idea that wasn’t just limited to driving around the lake enjoying the beautiful scenery and sounds of fun. It became apparent to him that something was indeed missing within his tourist business and that was…..MONKEYS! He purchased six macaques, traveled down to Florida, released them on small island in the Silver River, and called it Monkey Island to draw tourists to the Jungle Cruise.
He thought they would stay on the island, but what he didn’t know was that they were really good swimmers that spread quickly to surrounding areas. So much so, that state officials were prompted to wrest control of the situation, but were not completely successful in doing so, even to this day.
In the end, we will never really know whether Tooey would choose do it all over again, but what we do know is that he was a fascinating individual with Walt Disney like ideas that had some really cool boats, enjoyed giving others a ride on the lake at the expense of some loose change, and even someone the members of Guns N’ Roses would be proud of.
Now back to Colonol Tooey, This guy is a very very cool dude.
Also a shout out and thanks to Douglas Morgan for granting us permission to share his fun collection of photos. And
Boat information courtesy of Chris Rodman. You can see even more of Tooey’s stuff RIGHT HERE
Like below! UGH… This is gonna consume me now.. Dammit. I have an actual job!
AND of course now I am looking for RIOT! Here is a very sweet one HERE at Sierra Boat Co. But she has her own history. These are very very cool boats and very iconic.