My affiliation with Dick Knight had many aspects. Sometimes it got me into trouble.

One night way back when he was the Chappy Fire captain and I was his lieutenant, we were launching fireworks off the beach at the south end of Cape Poge Bay. The wind was breezy off-shore and blew the rockets out over the water, except for one that for some reason arched back up into the wind and set the beach grass behind us on fire.

Since all of the members of the Chappy fire truck were present at the time, our first question was who should fetch the fire truck. That brought up other issues, such as, won’t the chief then know what we were up to? So, we beat the fire out the old-fashioned way with our jackets. We have all been sworn to secrecy so keep this to yourself.

Sometimes that affiliation got me out of trouble.

Shortly after the flagpole was installed at the ferry point, a long-time Chappy resident inquired of one of my ferry captains about its origin. She was aware that I was involved and asked in a somewhat sarcastic tone if I thought that I could just stick a flagpole up any old time that I felt like it. My captain told her that Dick Knight was involved in the project, too. “Oh, well it’s wonderful!”

There is more to the tale of how Daryl first met Dick when she hired him as crew for a yacht delivery. I’m not sure which of his cousins told me this story, but that relative was very careful to give all of the nautical details. They were docked in a narrow harbor, bow in. Open water was downstream to the left. To depart, sailboats would back out of their slips. Naturally, they would back to port going astern with a right-handed propeller. When clear, they would turn to starboard and head up to a turning basin. They would reverse direction there and head out into open water.

The storyteller said that Dick was eager to impress Daryl and wanted to be at the helm departing. Dick was confident that he could back out to starboard and save the trip up to the turning basin. Apparently, he ended up backing straight into the muck a couple of boat lengths opposite the slips. He was unable to unground the vessel using all of the tricks that he knew. He handed the helm over to Daryl who immediately got the vessel free. From that day on, Dick worshipped the deck that Daryl stood upon.

I always loved watching those two sail past the ferry with Daryl at the wheel and Dick scurrying around on deck tending to the sails. One year, the boatyard was having difficulty replacing the starter motor in Aquila. When they finally got the sailboat back to Edgartown, I watched them sail past the ferry.

Ordinarily, Dick would start dousing the sails at that point and get the engine running in preparation for motoring up to the mooring. But instead, they continued on up the harbor under full sail. As they neared Aquila’s mooring, the sails began to luff, the boat slowed to a stop and, even from that distance, I could see Dick pull the mooring painter up. The sails flapped for a while and eventually came down. I assumed that the starter motor must not have gotten fixed and that they had no use of the engine.

When I saw Dick later, I sympathized with him for not getting the starter fixed even after all that waiting. He said that it was fixed, but that Daryl just wanted to sail up to the mooring. I assured him that he was the luckiest man that I knew to have married a woman who would choose to sail up to the mooring. That wonderful Dick Knight grin slowly spread across his face and he agreed.