Friends in rich places

November 24, 2009
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I didn’t know how it worked. It wasn’t supposed to work. And yet it did, strangely enough. And it didn’t have anything to do with me. At least not in the way I wanted. What I am talking about the Castine yacht club, a sailing program for Castine’s elite. Or at least Castine’s filthy rich.

What our family would do was apply for a scholarship. You fill out a form, and if you were lucky, they would get a few weeks free. Usually after a few weeks I was tired of the program (it was not worth the money, let’s just say that) and I would go home without a dime being spent.

One year, no such luck. I went to boy scout camp scholarship registration week. My mom talked to the club president about paying their own way, and instead of an answer, she got a barrage of number s and dollar signs that made my face turn white. We didn’t talk about the yacht club for a long time.

About a week after the barrage, my dad brought home good news. Someone I have never known or probably seen before had paid for the whole summer. They had seen me in the newspaper for winning the spelling bee or going to jrNYLC or something and decided to shell out a couple hundred dollars for someone they had never seen in person. I guess I have a guardian angel. Or just someone with a couple hundred dollars to spare.

I went 6 weeks that year. Even though I was fed up with the system and stewed the entire time, I stayed, so this unknown person would get their money’s worth. Eventually I couldn't stand it and quit while I was still ahead (and without spending a dime, as always.) but I didn’t quit earlier because I had friends in rich places. And those types of friends you do not get angry.

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