Barney Briggs stood well over six feet tall. His head topped with a tawny shock of hair and garnished with green crinkled eyes that could sell anything to anyone even if you didn't need it. He grew up on Bryant avenue in Minneapolis surrounded by concrete and houses built too close together but thrived in the neighborhood.
He was a well-fed teenager when the Empire of Japan decided to interupt shiploads of American sailors eating breakfast to cause another river of bloodletting in the world. Barney was shipped off to the Panama canal zone to ride out the business far away from anywhere bullets or bombs would cause harm.
Times were thick with hope when the heros returned and Barney went to the fresh lake fantasy of northern Minnesota. Barney was bopping along to a big band beat, at the well-known but rarely patroled Bar Harbor Supper club. The Mafioso that were on the lam loved the place.
A pretty young woman named Virginia caught his eye one night and later that year said "Yes" when Barney asked for her hand.
Life for Barney and Virginia went along in the same track as most post war families had, when Barney made plans to move to his beloved family to the north-lake country. In 1969 Nisswa spoke quaint volumes to Barney. That was the place. A cabin was built on the lake, his kids were enrolled in school, indoor plumbing, electricity, jobs secured.
Well into his new, settled life, Barney had begun to feel a void. Boats were needed in that part of the state if a man was to impress the neighbors or the kids. No one was told that night when He went to the auction. Century boats! They were on the block! Lord Almighty! A Resorter! A 1963!
At auctions, a person needs to understand the rapid fire prattle or keep his hands down. Barney, having been fueled by a covey of manhattans raised his hand at 1500. "Going once, twice sold!"
Virginia was not pleased when Barney's prize was brought home. She asked how many times he had bid and what had happened to his common sense. Barney just filled it with gas and backed it into the lake to the delight of his kids and the suprise of his neighbors. His move to the lake country was complete. The kids and Virginia jumped in and the fun began.
The fun lasted for years. Late in life, Barney tried to sell the old resorter to his daughter who harbored more sense than Barney had at the auction. Later, Barney found his long lost common sense and gave it to her. It occupied garage space for 14 years.
Barney and Virginia had sent some solid genes in to their gene pool. Their daughter, again using the common sense and good judgement her father had suppressed so long ago, brought it to Sunrise River Boatworks where able hands will fix and polish the Century better than it was in 1963. It will be named Barney’s Bid, and will find its way back home to Gull Lake.