Me and Tom – Tom and Me

cbyusBy Charlotte Byus
Long, Long ago, when we purchased our first sail boat, Silent Mistress, we met many new friends on J dock and one of those was Tom. Tom was from Oklahoma and when his marriage ended, he moved to Texas, near Dallas. Most of Tom’s career was in banking and when he retired, he moved to the Seabrook area, purchased a 40′ foot sail boat to live on and started selling boats.

On Sundays, many of us would gather at the club house for coffee and sweets. Most of the time, we would sit out on the covered porch, especially when it was raining. Rain never stopped a sailor. With coffee in hand, we would head to the porch, which was rectangular in shape, so we could chat freely and everyone could hear each other.

Once Tom and I discovered our tacky and mischievous nature, we started sitting on the railing next to each other so we could quietly tease “those who enjoyed being better than others.” Especially those who loved one-upping other sailors. You get the picture? What you need to know is RR would sit on the other side of me and make sure I knew when we were going too far.

Of course, our first teasing was to each other. My career was in Credit Unions, so I would call his work a four-letter word, you know “BANK” (4 letters). In fact, most of our teasing was for each other. A fine example was when we both attended a seminar years before when a banking organization suggested upping the price of your fixed assets to increase your assets over the liabilities. We enjoyed many a good laugh over the fact his bank did this for year end.

Very few sailors sitting around us paid much attention to us – good thing.

When the weather was rainy and cold, some of us would head to Frank’s Cafe on Nasa Rd 1 and 146. Bless her heart, Mary always drew the short straw, and had to wait on our group. Tom and I would always fight over the orange marmalade jelly, there was never enough for both of us. We would dump all jellies out of their stand to try to get the most of said jellies. This would really upset Mary and she tried to make us put the jellies back in order. You know all the grapes together and so on. One time, we sailors were the only ones in that dining room … hmmm, wonder why? So Tom and I decided to sort all the jams and jellies so each table only had one type of jelly, like grape and so on.

I’m older now so I truly understand Mary, and I need to apologize to this lady who was just trying to make ends meet her small social security. Mary has been gone for years and so has my friend Tom, so Mary, please forgive me. And to Tom, thanks for the laughter and fun.


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