Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Rowing in Chicago, "a beautiful sport."

Ann Kinnealey goes for a row.

     Fishermen are known to be wise, sometimes uncannily so — even the urban anglers ringing Lincoln Park Lagoon.
     “It amazed me that the fishermen started calling ‘Annie! Annie!’” said Ann Kinnealey, recalling herself rowing past them. “I wondered: How do they know who I am?”
      We were dockside at the Lincoln Park Boat Club on a recent Sunday, admiring her sculling shell, resting upside down on a pair of slings, its hull a shade of rich nail polish red that glowed in the morning sunlight.
     The answer was apparent: “Annie” was painted on the hull. A tipoff. Other answers about rowing were not so easily obtained.
      “Use your imagination,” said Lev Sklyanskiy, an instructor at the club. “How much does that boat weigh?”
        I scrutinized the long, thin craft. Factored in that it was probably very light, so the polite person would err on the heavy side.
     “Ahh ... 100 pounds?” I guessed.
     “And how long is it?” Kinnealey chimed in.
     “It’s ...” I stalled looking at the thing. Easily two stories tall. “Fifteen feet long?”
     “Now try to lift it,” Sklyanskiy said.
     Together, we raised the boat easily off its rests: “29.9 pounds,” he said. And 26 feet long. Ouch. At its widest, 14 inches — no estimation there; I used a tape measure.

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  1. "That’s why I love Chicago. You pull a stray thread and a new world tugs out." Perfect.

  2. I would say, "I wish I said that," but then would have to listen to the echoing, "You will, you will."



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