Art without engineering is dreaming;
Engineering without art is calculating.

Steven K. Roberts, N4RVE

1946 Memorial Day Dismasting in Erie

As I digitize the massive film library of my father, Edward H. Roberts, I find lots of glimpses of events from times long past… often wishing I had been able to do this while he was still alive to answer questions. This is one of those.

Through the 1940s, he actively raced his Star-class sailboat, Dabih, in Lake Erie. There are some glimpses of that time in my post about his sailing years, and a few videos are in the pipeline. But this is not about his boat… it is an event that took place on Memorial Day in 1946. If you know any of the people in these photos, or what caused the dismasting, please contact me so I can add details to the story. As it is, I have only these ten frames captured from my dad’s 8mm home movie.

(The tools I am using to digitize my father’s library of about 150 films have become the basis of a business… if you have old movies you’d like to recover or share, please contact Harbor Digitizing for more info.)

Barely readable from the old 8mm blur, this reads: ERIE YACHT CLUB 1946 MEMORIAL DAY.
I don’t know who this dapper fellow is… but the camera lingered on him for a while.
Festive flags and a drummer. The EYC Commodore in 1946 was Clarence M. Krug.
Not sure, but I think that is an Erie Yacht Club hat on the fellow holding the kid.
The stars of this narrative… smiling at my father as they passed in front of their boat.
And then, sometime later… no time stamps on movies back then. Something happened out there, and the boat is now dismasted in East Slip.
The crew is surveying the damage, not happy.
A scene no sailor likes to see.

And that, I’m afraid, is all the information I have about the dismasting in Lake Erie on Memorial Day, 1946. Do you have history from Erie Yacht Club events that can let us identify the boat or the participants? Writing this 73 years later, with only a faded bit of film, I’m curious to hear the story.

My father’s Erie Yacht Club hat from the forties.