“In the end, we are all just sticks in the mud.”
Seems like a rather odd comment coming from a young man I mentored back in the early ’70s. He lived in the projects in Newark, New Jersey, and would have been hard pressed to even find sticks or mud. The first time he ever saw the ocean was with me at the tender age of 16.
As it turned out, the phrase “stick in the mud” had come from his mother, hoping to infuse new ambition in her son. Her mother, a native South Carolinian, had shared it with her as a young girl, and it stuck.
I was reminded of that comment, ironically, the other day when out tooting around the peninsula. I came across this week's image and remembered Darrell's comment to me, lo those many years ago. Our pilings are, after all, sticks in the mud, too.
And they are everywhere we go here along the coast of Maine. It's always been a marvel to me how piling patterns were foreseen by our marine creatives. Put one here, put one there. Imagining how the floats and runs and boats will all intermix and coexist, year in and year out. At the time of this photo, obviously, it was “year out.”
But soon that will change and the sticks will become anchors for all sorts of stuff around our wonderful coastline. We will begin to see strings of floats rafted behind work boats buzzing along to their summer homes, preparing welcome backs to a flotilla of nautical vehicles.
“Driven to refusal,” as Captain Skip Rideout described pile driving completion. A phrase that also brought back memories of my youth and my friend Darrell. It would have been nice for him to see our “sticks in the mud” and this magnificent part of the world.
Perhaps he did.