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A Walk Down Boathouse Row

August 17, 2011

It’s funny how things come together sometimes ~

Last evening, I was at loose ends–two sons with football practice in two different parks, a daughter with soccer practice at yet another park, and two babies who desperately wanted to stay at home and ride bikes with their friends. Typically, the feeding and dressing and complaining begins around four-thirty and lasts until everyone is either dropped off or picked up, chased down and/or captured just before six. It’s enough to make scraps of a perfect day.

At some point, I turned to Facebook and sent up the white flag, begged for a coxswain. Turns out, not everyone knows what that is.

The role of a coxswain within a crew is to:
Keep the boat and rowers safe at all times by properly steering the boat (according to the river or regatta rules and safety for the crew)
Be in command of the boat
Coach the crew when the coach is not present
Provide motivation and encouragement to the crew
To provide feedback on the crew performance both in and out the races
Make any necessary tactical decisions
Organize and direct the crew at all times, including when putting the boat away etc.
Be responsible for the vessel; in the event of a collision, the coxswain is accountable under maritime law as ‘Master of the vessel’ (although the stroke may be sometimes the captain of the boat).

I desperately needed motivating and encouraging, organizing and directing.
No one actually volunteered, but at least one person secretly told me where to go all evening. Ha!

So, that’s where the story began and then, somehow, today, it ended on scenic Kelly Drive in Philadelphia at Boathouse Row where the elite crew teams from LaSalle and U Penn and Drexel (to name a few) manage their teams on the Schuykill River.

It was a fluke that we ended up down there, in the shadow of the art museum, among the joggers and dog walkers and cyclists, but it seemed kind of poetic to me (free verse, obviously) and definitely interesting beyond coincidence.

Our original destination was Reading Terminal Market where we gorged ourselves on Bananas Foster Whoopie Pies, Meyer Lemon Pound Cake with Sweet Tea Vodka glaze, Bassett’s Ice Cream, Barbecue, Turkey (sandwich with dressing and cranberry chutney), and fat perfect croissants from Metropolitan Bakery. If these photos didn’t exist, I might think that being on the river was just a hallucination or a dream from a calorie induced coma.



But back to the point …

From “coxswain” to crew. Walk with me.








And what better way to end than by finding a Sweet Briar Rose.

Some things are just meant to be.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 18, 2011 5:48 am

    I love that you named all the sweet treats before the turkey sandwich- still got your priorities straight!! And I will be your coxswain anytime, though I fear I was never built for that job, they are always the tiniest people on earth.

  2. August 18, 2011 5:55 am

    That is almost actual order … The cake came first and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Come steer my ship and I will take you to that delicious wonderful place!

  3. August 18, 2011 6:18 am

    “Life’s short . . . eat dessert first.”

    I haven’t missed Philadelphia (except the few friends I have left there) since you started posting photos and blogging about the places I used to go. The area held memories of a marriage gone bad that eclipsed all of the good years and good times. Thanks for bringing back the good memories.


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