Impressions of 4th of July At CPYC

Life has a way of forcing us to re-examine ourselves continuously. This applied to this year’s Forth of July Celebration poignantly. While the yacht club was rocking one of our members lost his mother.

I never got her first name from Alex Pfaeffle but the story of Alex’s family is an American success story and an inspiration to us all. Mrs. Pfaeffle, a native of Nicaragua, was widowed young and had a family of 8 children and one adopted child to raise alone. She came to the USA and “every year brought another of us children into the country”. After one year in the country she bought a five bedroom house in San Bruno, where the family still resides. Alex recounted that in all the years in this country, in spite of the financial constraints caused by a large family, his mother never received unemployment and never accepted food stamps. A proud, hard working family. Alex has two brothers and three sisters who live locally and are close. Mrs Pfaeffle was 98 years young when she passed.

Back to less heavy subjects. Half Moon Bay was clear and cool the morning of the forth but I dressed appropriately. It wasn’t until I made it to the car that I began laughing at my own outfit. Black clogs, white socks, bright yellow jacket, green shirt, kaki shorts and a cowboy hat! Can I claim to be color blind?? Well, my fashion consultant got a chuckle on my behalf. In my defense I did ditch the clogs and jacket before arriving at the club. But, hey I wasn’t the only one with strange fashion sense. John Watson shows up in a red, white and blue shirt, OK allowed on the forth, AND RW&B shoes! Wow, I can’t compete with that. Faye had a great “Baitful Dead” T-shirt and a great story to go with it. Carry Pratt comes down to the dock in wedge heels and proceeded to tell us that they really are boat shoes. They were Sperry’s, had non marking soles, but boat shoes …. OK I give.

I strolled into CPYC at 10:00 am on the Forth to find a whole crew of people already hard at work. Chuck, stream

covered in sweat, had set up the dunk tank, and the jumpy house.

Carly, had the beer concession and the sign-in table set up. When she started giving orders the moment she saw me I knew it was going to be a good day. Faye Stevens, Renea Johnson and Craig Thorson were hard at work in the kitchen(s). I apologize in advance to any volunteers who missed mention but thanks all!

My job was to open up the dock for dingy sailing. so with the help of Joe Pratt, Mark Green and a pony keg of Longboard things started to take shape. On a humorous note, this was my first time opening a pony keg and in spite of an engineering degree  I’m immediately soaked with beer. After finally figuring the thing out and getting the keg tapped, I made it back to the club to wash out my shirt to the catcalls from Chuck and friends. In the immortal words of John Belusi, Animal House, “Seven year of college down the drain!”

Bill of Happy Assassin, prepped the Bar-B-Que and Wayne Weathers cooked our meals while singing all the hairs off his forearms. I’m told that is the latest look this year.

The club had over 85 people show up so this was a good sized affair, thanks Chuck!   Carry entertained the crowd at lunch with the tale of the huge flag flying off Ada Helen.

According to Carry, Joe’s reaction when she bought the largest flag she could find: “not big enough”! Can’t wait until next year to see what Joe comes up with. Faye gave us the history of her “Baitful Dead” shirt by recounting a stay at a lonely harbor where a derelict fishing boat was being prepped for the season by four characters blasting the Grateful Dead from early morning through the evening. Faye’s purchase of the shirt was to commemorate that experience. Gary Edwards, got his boat Panda Angler out of the boatyard without paying the invoice after his meeting with a 4X8 while traveling at speed. Matt Martell showed up briefly and didn’t place Gary under arrest before leaving to take care of official Foster City business.


Linda Terry showed up with her friend Ingrid. I proceeded to tell Ingrid the tale of Jack Verducci, Linda and myself sailing out of Oyster Point this winter. We almost lost Vita e Bella on that trip but Linda was unfased by the adventure and eager for more. Linda informed me that she will be coming out for Beer Can racing this summer. I suggested that she wait ‘till October when the winds calm a little. Her response “what’s the fun it that!” For those who have never met Linda. She is about 4’8’, 90 lbs., maybe, and “of an indeterminate age”. Quite a gal.


Steve Basuino was caught sailing an Opti. Once Dad was in the boat, Steve’s son Chris had to jump into another boat to race the old man. It was youth over age as Chris kicked Basuino butt around our improvised race course. I tried to get Linda Basuino out in an Opti, with Steve waving and mouthing in the background going “no,no, no”. Linda eventually got a ride around the harbor in a Zodiak while Renatta, her guide dog, entertained the crowd. stream

John Douglas sat around looking forlorn while Joe Pratt and Laurel Reid played around in an Opti. We plied him with beer which took the sting out of it. Mark Green who rigged a pair of lasers showed off his skill level by putting the laser on it’s side while a young man who learned to sail in Laurel’s program spent 3 hours sailing the other laser up and down the fairway.

Barry Chandler brought Sparkler 3 his Grand Banks woody over to the guest dock and went out with his wife Stacey in an Opti. Being the cocky person that I am, I jumped in another boat to race him and got schooled by losing to Barry racing back to the dock. Despite reports that the beer on the dock “tasted like crap”, to which our Vice Commodore retorted:

“what did you expect, it was Longboard and I was trying to get rid of it. You should have had a Bud.”

The pony keg was empty when returned to the club. I missed the dunk tank but Chuck, Carly and Joe Pratt took turns. Rumor has it that Joe went in with a cigarette in his hand while Chuck decided his brew needed to be diluted. stream

Torin and Judy Knorr and many others stayed for dinner where piles of meat were grilled. The bar was hopping from opening at 2:00 through closing at 11:00 p.m. Guests from Monterey Yacht club were having a good time. stream

Eventually all good things come to an end. I didn’t even hear the end of the fireworks as I collapsed on Liquid Asset for a sound night’s sleep.

A good time was had by all. To see all the pictures clicker on the “flicker” button on the main page of Thank you to Gary Edwards, Panda Angler for being the unofficial photographer for the day. See you next forth!

Jim Manishin

About Coyote Point Yacht Club

Coyote Point Yacht Club is located at Coyote Point Park in San Mateo, south of the Bay Bridge and north of the San Mateo Bridge. Views of San Francisco and the San Mateo Bridge/Oakland provide a pretty setting for events in the club house and outdoor activities in our backyard. BBQ facilities, showers for men and women, and free ice are available.
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