This is the waterfront I grew up with.
The Newport of my youth was a working waterfront. fishing boats, commercial boats and yachts co-existing side by side in the same water and the same docks.
Today, the is not a shred of evidence of this life.
I am about to start my 9th transatlantic race on 7 different boats. I have sailed with a number of people as a result; and have warm memories of each race, each boat, and each and every person.
It is a fraternity that one can only join by competing.
I had news a few days ago that another of that fraternity had died. Peter Van Dyke passed away. A loss to our group.
This is in response to those who asked:”Who are you?” It is a least a dimension.Boats have always been a part of my life. Naturally interwoven with the story of Newport.
The Newport Bridge which opened in the summer of 1969 and changed forever the personalities of the towns of Jamestown and Newport.
In as much that one can now drive to or from newport at any time one wishes. It changed the pedestrian life forever. In the days of the ferry, one could walk on the ferry in Jamestown and walk off in downtown Newport. A peaceful and quiet integration that is forever lost.
The photograph of the ferry with the bridge in the background; I took leaving Newport on the yacht “Carina” for the start of the 1969 trans-atlantic race to Ireland. I returned to the bridge being open, the ferry gone and Woodstock having changed the world.
I grew up hearing about Bucky Reardon, a legend of the Newport waterfront. Much later our paths crossed on a number of occasions. Bucky was the mate on “Bolero” while she belonged to John Nicholas Brown. Fred Lawton was the Captain. Bucky revered Fred Lawton, who was an even greater legend.
Bucky later was the paid hand on “Figaro” for Bill Snaith.
In 1977 when I was sailing on “Independence” vieing for the America’s Cup; Bucky turned up with a new kind of deck shoe called “Barnacles”. They were frankly better than topsiders and we all started wearing them. Unfortunately our syndicate had a contract with Sperry Topsider so the Barnacles appearance was short-lived.
I would phone Bucky about once a year. Really I wanted to hear his stories of the past. They were fine stories of the era before us. Stories for another day. Today we remember Bucky.
James “Jim” “Bucky” Reardon died Nov. 30, 2012, surrounded by his loving family.
He was born on June 9, 1931, in Newport, R.I., son of the late John and Marion (Baxter) Reardon.
He is survived by his loving wife, Janet (Brady) Reardon; five children, Kathy (Robert) Kurisko of Massachusetts, Kara (Ken) Navan of New York, Kevin Reardon of Florida, Sean (Cherie) Reardon of Virginia, and Liam (Nicole) Reardon of Massachusetts; seven grandchildren, Christopher and Timothy Marciante, Kayla, Julia and Nicole Navan, Kate and Lauren Reardon; a brother, William Reardon; and two sisters, Patsy Robertson and Suzanne Reardon of Newport, R.I. He is predeceased by a brother, John Reardon Jr
At a young age, Jim discovered a love of sailing that took him around the world to win such races as the America’s Cup, Fastnet and the TransAtlantic. He was a member of the Royal Ocean Racing Club in London, England, Cruising Club of America and the Storm Trysail Club.
Jim married Janet (Brady) Reardon on Nov. 11, 1961. During their 51 years of marriage, family and faith was his key priority while raising a family in Larchmont, N.Y. After he retired, he enjoyed time in Cape Cod, Massachusettsm, and Burnt Store Marina in Punta Gorda, Fla.
He graduated from Providence College with a degree in mathematics and was a former shoe buyer at R.H. Macy & Co. Recognized for his attention to detail and one who delivered results, Jim’s mantra was, “I deliver.”
Visiting hours will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, in the Hallett Funeral Home, 273 Station Ave., South Yarmouth. A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5, in St. Pius X Church, Station Avenue, South Yarmouth. The burial will follow in Chandler Gray Cemetery, Chandler Gray Road, West Yarmouth.
At the request of the family, in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Sisters of Mercy, 21 Searles Road, Windham, NH 03087; or Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital, P.O. Box 1893 Memphis, TN 38101.
I started sailing with John Brown in 1962, on his Block Island 40 “Volta”. It was also the year of my first New York Yacht Club cruise. “Volta” won also everything during the cruise that year, what a way to start. I continued working on the boat as a summer job until 1967; after which I continued to commission and de-commission the boat for several more years.