Uncle Louis Cleage’s Yacht

Somewhere in my letter collection, I remember a comment of my father’s, something like, “Louis joined the capitalist class” when he got the yacht. I thought it was in the collection of letters he wrote home but after reading through them several times without finding it, I think it might have been in the old, crumpling, photo album. I can’t find that either, but either way, that puts the purchase of the yacht during the late 1940s, after the end of WW2. I was only on the boat once and I got sea sick. I also got train sick and bus sick.

Louis Cleage on his yatch.

Louis must have sold the boat in the early 1950s because I don’t remember it later.  My uncles used to talk about going over to Walpole Island,  unceeded territory at the mouth of the St. Clair River, and sitting around talking with the First Nation People.  There was mention of campfires and my Uncle Hugh almost staying or being left.  I remember a boy in my 6th grade art class who was from Walpole Island. His name was Frank Shipman and he opened a jar of glue for me when no one else could get the top off.  Later he moved to Wabash street.  I do not think it compared with an island between two rivers.

Two boys from Walpole Island.

I am adding this memory from the comments from my cousin who remembers a ride on the boat.

Louis took Skip, me and two other boys on a cruise up the river into Lake St. Clair. Had to be the summer of 1947. As I remember the boys resemble boys in that photograph. They were around Skip’s age (10 or 11). Louis docked his cruiser on the Windsor side at that time. The cruiser was a nice boat – lots of room. I enjoyed myself except when we got near a lake freighter – the water got very choppy, and I started to feel sick. Other than that it was good time. I wore a life jacket.

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14 thoughts on “Uncle Louis Cleage’s Yacht”

  1. Joined the upper class, that’s good. My sister and her husband certainly weren’t members of the upper class with their boat, although I guess they did to meet a few people lije that on their yachting travels.

  2. It’s funny the little things that stick in the memory, pardon the pun. I wonder if Frank went on to solve larger problems in life? Motion sickness is horrible. I remember it too well. Fortunately I got over it but now have vestibular problems which give me stomach somersaults once in a while. Nice memories.

    1. I always worried that he got killed in Vietnam. I hope he didn’t. I stopped with car sickness for years and years but it has resurfaced since I moved back to the city. I can ride for miles in the country.

  3. Your “yacht” photos makes a perfect fit for the theme. My dad owned several sailboats and motorboats, but he definitely did not join the capitalist class. With all the maintenance of engines and sails, cleanup from storms and fishing, it seemed more working class to me. He loved it though because it kept him busy.

  4. I’m not good on boats either and was even sick on a ferry as a child, so you have my sympathy. Strangely I seemed to grow out of the motion sickness but not the discomfort of being on water. I bet you’ll find that letter next week!

  5. Louis took Skip, me and two other boys on a cruise up the river into Lake St. Clair. Had to be the summer of 1947. As I remember the boys resemble boys in that photograph. They were around Skip’s age (10 or 11). Louis docked his cruiser on the Windsor side at that time. The cruiser was a nice boat – lots of room. I enjoyed myself except when we got near a lake freighter – the water got very choppy, and I started to feel sick. Other than that it was good time. I wore a life jacket.

    1. Now you are the first one still with us, who remembers a trip on the boat. Thank you for posting this. I remember that he docked on the Windsor side. I should add your memories up there in the post proper.

  6. That’s a very nice and spiffy looking boat. I know when I sailed back from Hawaii in the ’60s my entire family had to take dramamine the first day. That left us all in our bunks missing dinner…which was probably a good thing.

  7. The comment added another dimension to your recollections and the photos…excellent to have! And I bet you’ll run into more info as you aren’t looking for it…as always seems to happen.

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