Last Gasp Special Investigation Confirms – No Fake Props Were Used In The Photo

A few weeks ago Woody Boater featured the second annual Hagerty Last Gasp Week which was once again a huge success. Woody Boaters from around the country submitted some great photos and video of their last opportunity to get out in their favorite antique & classic boats before the end of the season. Thanks to everyone who participated.

On day one of Last Gasp Week, fellow Woody Boater Mike Mayer from Lake Oswego, Oregon submitted a photo of his 1929 Chris-Craft “Sideways” which featured some brightly colored leaves in the water. Alex Watson, our intrepid reporter from Northern Michigan, questioned the authenticity of the photo, suggesting that the leaves in question were fake plastic versions made in China.

So we traveled to Lake Oswego, Oregon to investigate the serious allegation. As you can clearly see below, we are happy to report that the leaves in Mike’s original photo are in fact real, and not fake plastic.

During the investigation Mike & I discussed what would be the best method of breaking the news to Alex Watson, considering he is now “Land Locked” at home in Michigan and unable to use any of his classic boats for at least 8 months… So we decided that the best way to get back at Alex was to simply go for a Woody Boat ride in November on Lake Oswego and do a story on Woody Boater with photos. First task, remove the REAL leaves from the boat cover.

We don’t have video, but if you scroll though the next few photos quickly, it kind of like one of the those vintage flash books.

In a matter of a few minutes, Mike peeled the cover off “Sideways”…

He installed the stern pole… 

Popped open the engine hatch for a sniff… and fired her up.

And before we knew it we were cruising across the perfectly flat lake, the only boat in sight in the late November afternoon, with the crisp scent of fall in the air. I have never been to Lake Oswego before, so it was fun to get a guided tour from Mike of the private lake aboard his 1929 Chris-Craft… It was great!

In a brochure from the Lake Oswego Corporation is say’s – “Live Where You Play” touted the the 1927 ad campaign from developer Paul C. Murphy, as he marketed the property surrounding Oswego Lake as an upscale residential district. Thanks to Murphy’s vision, today the architecturally stunning waterfront homes of Lake Oswego, Oregon offer a unique community highlighted by it’s residents’appreciation of their lush environment and their recreational use of the lake…

This particular waterfront home caught my eye as we cruised along the lake shore… check out the cool boat house door.

Lake Oswego is a private lake, which allows water craft up to 22 feet long, with no jet skis allowed. The lake itself has an overall surface area of 403 acres, has an average depth of 26 feet with 693 lakefront properties. The best way to see and appreciate the Lake Oswego is from the water (by boat), as there is only limited public access to the lake.

There are a number of antique & classic wooden boats that live on the lake, we noticed a few during our short tour hiding in their boat houses. Some of our viewers here at Woody Boater are also residents of Lake Oswego.

It was interesting to see the many perfectly landscaped properties along the edge of the lake, kind of gives you that country club atmosphere…

The canal towards Half Moon Bay, the historical region of Oswego Lake with some interesting older and remodeled homes from the early days of the development.

Then we saw local resident Wayne Purdy in “Vixen” his very cool 1937 Chris-Craft 19′ Custom Runabout, enjoying a fall ride.

Mike said he is hoping to leave “Sideways” in the water for a few more weeks, depending on weather, just so they can stretch the boating season out as long as possible… Mike, his wife Nicole and their family enjoy using their 1929 22′ Chris-Craft as much as possible throughout the year, and that’s what it’s all about folks.

After our tour of the lake, we tied the boat up and returned to Mike’s boat shop – Lake Oswego Boat Company for a quick tour. It’s an impressive shop with a number of antique & classic boats currently under restoration.

So there you have it, we have confirmed that the leaves are authentic and Mike’s last gasp submission was the real deal – No fakes.  And as for Alex Watson… Buddy we were thinking about you the entire time we were cruising around Lake Oswego, and wished you were there to join us for the tour. Oh yes, we did save some leaf samples which will be sent to you over the winter (collect via FedEx overnight) for inspection…

All in fun of course…  Thanks to Mike Mayer for the wonderful and memorable day on Lake Oswego.

For more information on Lake Oswego you can click here. For more information on Lake Oswego Boat Compnay LLC you can click here or on the logo on the right side of the Woody Boater home page.

Also – Stay tuned to Woody Boater this afternoon for all the details on the upcoming Boat Buzz Unplugged event which is planned for December 3rd, in historic Newport News, Virginia.  This will be a popular wing-ding for the Chris-Craft guys.  Make your plans to attend now!


29 replies
  1. Rick
    Rick says:

    This should serve as a warning not to try and cheat to get a coveted award! You just might get a visit from the hard riding Texx to check you out. Think Nicholas Cage in Ghost Rider.

  2. chad
    chad says:

    Sure… the leaves are real. But is the LAKE real?

    Lake Oswego Corporation? Sounds fishy to me.

    Alex, I got your back.


  3. Philip Andrew
    Philip Andrew says:

    What a great story to wake up to. My god those homes and the surrounding trees are beautiful. Thanks for yet another interesting and well shot story Texx. Love how all the photos enlarge. Thanks.

  4. brian
    brian says:

    Chad –

    Actually, the lake is not real, sort of. There was a dam installed years ago which raised the water level of the original lake, then known as Sucker Lake.

    Sucker Lake is still there technically, it is just about 20 plus feet below the surface of Oswego Lake.

    And to clarify, it is a private lake. The tax paying citizens of Lake Oswego do have “access” to the lake via two small swim parks. There is no boat access for those who do not live on the lake edge or those with deeded rights to use the water though.

    Most residents do not have access. It is the only body of water in the entire State of Oregon in which citizens do not have access.

    Our boat, Zoomer, spent it’s entire life from 1930 to 1998 only on the lake. It has not been on the lake since because the home that our family purchased (still in the city of Lake Oswego) does not possess lake deed rights.

    The Lake Corp is indeed real and they protect the lake’s private use only mantra like a bloodthirsty pit bull.

    Frankly, I do not care to have access or not. It is crowded and I would fear having my kids run over when tubing as the rule is that the boats must go about the lake in a counter-clockwise direction. Plus, there are fees up the yin-yang and additional taxes and it is a major hassle to boat on the lake one day and then go boating at another lake the next day as one has to get the boat cleaned prior to putting it back into the lake, plus you have to make appts; to use the one ramp etc etc.

    Keeping it private ensures that the uber-rich have their playground which only drives up the property values in our entire city, so we actually do benefit in the end.

      • brian
        brian says:

        Respectfully submitted to Someone:

        Offering up written information and/or criticism regarding the Lake Corp, Oswego Lake, the uber-rich, the middle class, and lake access or the lack thereof does not make one jealous of the parties involved – especially if said author goes out of their way to stress that fact.

        If I offer criticism of Herman Cain it does not infer then that I am jealous of his situation and desire to be in his shoes.

        Nein, Nein, Nein.

        I can assure you that the opposite is true.

  5. Alex
    Alex says:

    Thanks Chad. You’re a true friend.

    And Brian, thank you for the crack research. Check’s in the mail.

    To add, from my own research, Oswego Lake is not even a “Lake.” Technically, it is considered a “reservoir.”

    And so it seems, once again, Mr. Mayer has, ahem, mislead the upstanding WoodyBoater community. First, the fake foliage and child abuse. Now, the lacking lake.

    He wrote, still laughing over “Sucker Lake.” Ha! Quelle double entendre!

  6. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    There seem to be a lot of these man made resevoirs popping up as “lakes” on woodyboater ever since Matt and Texx discovered Grey Poupon.

    Also, I think the last line from Phillip was a dig on Matt. Just sayin’.

  7. jimmuh
    jimmuh says:

    Choices, choices…
    Do I want to be on Alex’s side for “truth” & “full disclosure”….or do I want to be on Mikes side with the “uber rich” …..? (a no-brainer…UBER RICH!!!)

    Ah well, let the leaves (and the taxes) fall where they may….

    • MikeM
      MikeM says:

      Hey JIMMUH, I think Brian was uber-exaggerating when he classified everyone that uses the lake as uber-rich. Most of the people that use the lake are low lifers like me who live “a couple million dollars” away from the lake and have an easement. And I don’t think anyone’s been runover by a boat. Either way, I’m glad to have you on my side. That Lily is one tough kid!

  8. brian
    brian says:

    For the millionth time, I apologize.

    I was just trying to clear up a few things and then I muddied things up a bit by not stressing that not everyone who has lake access is uber-rich.

    (However, one would be hard pressed to find a lakefront home for under a million and there are 640 or so lakefront homes. I do not have the numbers of folks like Mike who have easement rights in neighborhoods not directly on the lake. There are probably like, four or five of those folks.)

    I do know that many neighborhood easement boat slips are full up and that in order to obtain one a new resident must wait until a few folks… keel over… (or is that Canadian Over!!?) before they can get a slip.

  9. brian
    brian says:

    Rich / poor doesn’t matter.

    Mike in Sideways with the fall colours in the background (the header) is a beautiful photo.

  10. Tom Mertaugh
    Tom Mertaugh says:

    Reading the pages I see you mentioned Wayne Purdy, in his 19′ Custom. We sold that boat to him and shipped it from Hessel out to Lake Oswego at least 10 years + ago!! How neat!! Also the homes on the lake are breathtaking!! Now the good stuff. I personally have boated here every month with the exception of February. So you know what that means. I think we will be ordering and installing on Alex’s boats, fuel heaters, hand and thumb warmers, rear window defrosters turned forward, heated front and rear rows of seating, and titanium bow skid plates. Stay tuned!!

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      Tommy – How cool is that… Wayne Purdy’s 19′ Custom looked and sounded great gliding across Lake Oswego on Friday.

      If you install a few 12 Volt adapters in his boat, we can hook Alex up with a Harley-Davidson dealer that can sell him some electric gloves, jacket, underwear… Better yet he can add it to his Christmas Wish List.

      I wonder what happens if he spills beer on his electric underwear in a wooden boat?

  11. RiverRat
    RiverRat says:

    My closest lake has the same problem, too crowded in the high season, nicer in the off season. I know of another lake where it is all one way in a clockwise rotation.
    Any way you cut it . it is nice to be on or near the water.

  12. Tom Mertaugh
    Tom Mertaugh says:


    The man who bought a 19′ Custom from us was named Wayne Purdy, and it went west. I am sure it would be the same boat and Wayne. It did have a red bottom too. I am sure the boat had an “H” or an “L” engine in it when it left here???

  13. Alex
    Alex says:

    Texx, no kidding, over the last couple years, I’ve had Tommy install, discretely, 12 v under-dash power outlets on a few of my boats. Marion E, and Lush Life. The outlets were for safety reasons primarily — supplemental power if my portable GPS, VHF radio, or cell phone batteries run out. But now that you and Tommy mention cold-weather accessories and apparel, it opens up a whole off-season of possibilities.

  14. Wayne Purdy
    Wayne Purdy says:

    Yes, it is the same 19 foot custom that I bought from the Mertaugh’s in I believe 1999. It has still has an L engine in it. Since it is a pain to have the boat cleaned and inspected when I take it to another body of water it spends most of the time here on Lake Oswego. The reason for all the cleaning and inspections is to try to keep out invasive plants and organisms that have ruined so many waterways in the country. I hope they succeed.

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      Hey Wayne – Thanks for chiming in to Woody Boater today. It was a great to see you out in “Vixen” last week, enjoying a fall ride. She looked and sounded great!

      (I was the guy standing on the dock at the marina with the camera waving at you…)

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