Small Town Story


There are a lot of fun things about life in a a small town, and one of the most fun are how most people seem to be the keeper some bit of local lore. These bits can be profound, but they also are able sink down into the muck of generational gossip. Fun often requires discernment.

But there’s also the lore that is just plain silly, as I discovered on a recent stroll through Riverton 1. I walked up to a yard sale, pointed to the sailboat parked in the driveway, and joked with the home owner about how awesome the boat’s name was.

He beamed at my remark. “Oh, there’s a story behind that!”

It turns out the boat in question belonged to the man’s son, and was the second boat he’d owned. The first was rotting on the bottom of the Delaware River.

“He put the boat in the water and it just started taking water,” the man said with a grin. “And down she went!”

Undeterred, this man’s son went ahead and purchased his second vessel, also launching it into the Delaware. It didn’t sink, which lead to the boat’s official name, “Floaty Boat.” I love it.

I’ve been taking pictures of this boat the past several summers, and knew there had to be a joke behind it. Now I know.

Floaty Boat on the river
Panasonic G7 with 14-42 mm lens • 42 mm • ISO 200 • ƒ/8.0 • 1/400 sec

  1. I live in Palmyra, right on the border with Riverton. The two are really one contiguous population center.