The world lost a legend yesterday.
He was a Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame member.
He was a 4 time Lightning World Champion and 8 time Lightning North American Champion.
He was 5 time Lightning Canadian Open Champion, and I have no Idea how many other regattas he won or how many first place flags he earned.
He was a gold and a silver medalist in the Pan Am games.
He was a 1968 Olympian.
He was a Champion in the Albacore and Flying Dutchman fleets.
He was an assistant to the 1996 Olympic team.
He was in the Navy.
He was a man who had a heart attack, on the water, near the end of a race he was doing well in...not only did he not die, but one of the first things he asked the doc was when he could get back to sailing.
He was a man who started his own business doing something he loved, and made a life-long career out of it.
The world lost a legend, I, I say goodbye to a grandfather.
Goodbye to you my partner in crime.
I will forever remember:
- sneaking the good chocolate or the good cookies before dinner
- stuffing extra ice cream into whatever flavor float we were making
- eating ALL of the chex mix while guarding it from others.
Goodbye to the one who shared my love for water and water sports, for sunshine and summers at the beach.
Goodbye to mister, to a tiger, and to the other one who is trouble.
I will forever remember our sparing matches, even at the dinner table. You always had a dose of wit and words ready for me. There was never a shortage of growls nicknames or comebacks on either side. Who is going to call me an elf at Christmas this year? You are the only one I let get away with that kind of thing.
You could hold your own with anyone, and taught me how to do the same. You wouldn’t have understood the reference but, all we do is win gramps, it’s true and I definitely get that from you. You were always trouble, and taught me how to be stubborn and trouble in the best way possible too. I will forever remember being one of the many you called trouble, especially since it was your last word to me as well.
Goodbye to a Grandfather who was always around.
I will forever remember and be thankful for you coming to:
- So many dance recitals
- Birthday dinners
- Chorus Concerts
- Long Graduations and Awards Ceremonies
- Bad Band Concerts
I will forever remember the months I lived with you and Gram in the summer so I could take sailing lessons at the club.
Goodbye to a Grandfather who encouraged me to be my best, in anything from swim to school, and shared whatever knowledge he had to help me be the best.
Goodbye to my favorite pair of blue eyes.
I will forever remember:
- How they changed shades like mine
- How they could be piercing and match the sea or the sky
- That moment in Greece when you matched the radiance of the Medittanean, you don’t know but I wrote about that time for my essay that got me into college.
Goodbye to a man who had so many stories.
I will forever remember:
- So Many of the Great Allen RoadTrip Adventure Stories
- So many of the stories that spoke volume of your wit, whether you were pranking someone or problem solving or jerryrigging something. You taught Dad those skills, and the two of you did your best to pass some of them on to me… even if Karl got most of that.
Some of our trips too:
- I remember when Dad and I almost lost you in the Airport on the way to Greece
- I remember our family trip to St. Croix
- I remember being little and sitting in the car with you talking about swim and about music and I don’t remember where we were leaving from or going to but I remember you playing opera in the car, like always, and I remember you telling me about the auditions at a school in town and asking if I wanted to go listen to the great singers with you.
- I remember swimming from our cottage to the club and back with you, working on my stroke, always instilling a desire to improve.
- I remember that time I thought I was going to the cub to help you take the boat out of the water before the lightning storm just for you to tell me to hop in when we stood at the dock and then take me out for a quick sailing lesson before the storm and before coming in.
- I remember our walks on the beach. Linked arm in arm, or walking to our own rhythms and embracing the freedom, either way you were always the best beach walking partner.
I remember you. You are forever a part of me, you are forever remembered, you are forever loved.
Of your myriad of accomplishments I will always be the most proud and thankful for the following: for giving me two men who were consistently around as I grew up and who I could look up to, yourself and my Dad. You built strong boats and you built a strong family. I am proud to be an Allen and always will be. I only changed my name on here to hide from grad schools, don’t worry I’ll put it back. Sorry you won’t see me graduate or go to graduate school. I know you’d be proud. You’d also ask me if I was top of my class yet and ask why not every time I say no. You’d also tell me to make sure to always have a big stick, and to beat all the boys away with it. Don’t worry gramps I know that high standards have a purpose and I will always make sure to invest my time in the things that deserve it, if I’m gonna put the hard work into it than that is the only way to go.
So, let me tell you, I’ll meet you on the water on one of those pretty good days you always spoke of. One of those days where the sun sparkles on the water like your eyes did when you were being clever. One of those days when the wind is equally fierce and gentle, like you. You’ll be there, telling me not to pinch, and telling me when I should really be tacking and definitely telling me to feel the boat and telling me to make it go faster. You will always still challenge me to be the best in anything and everything. Though you will not physically be there and join us for a cook-out after, it will still be one of those good days because we did it all; enjoyed the beach, enjoyed the weather, enjoyed sailing, and enjoyed being with each other…and you will be there with us all, you will always be in me.
Red skies always at night, Fair Winds and Following Seas First in War, First in Peace, First in the Hearts of the BCC, Go Rest Now in Peace.