By Appointment Or Chance
You know how some things catch your eye, and you become affixed to them and you don’t really know why?
When I was in Ocean City, New Jersey, a couple of weeks back, the F.L. Abbott Sailboats building was just such a thing for me.
The classic 1950’s structure was up the block and around the corner from the Asbury Avenue house we stayed. The first night we were there, I was walking my dogs. I could smell the nearby ocean in the humid evening air and a slight mist was rolling in. I walked the pups up to the corner and turned right, to go to the next block.
I looked across the street and there was the building that said, simply, F.L. Abbott Sailboats. A person’s name, and what they did with their life.
Like a young boy at a school dance, I was smitten.
The next morning, as I again walked the pups, we went up next to the building so that I could have a look inside. I realized it (the building? the business?) was for sale.
By Appointment Or Chance, the sign in the window read. Again, how classic. How quaint. I immediately started hoping Chance would come my way that week.
But alas, no.
I haven’t found out to much about this establishment or its owner except what I read in this blog post from Mid-Atlantic Musings. It sounds like Fran Abbott was quite a fixture in the South Jersey sailing community for damn near a half-century. Wish I could have met the man who worked with his hands and clearly did something he loved with his life.
The well-worn, well-used tools still hang on the pegboard. Shelves are still lined but dusty. A sailboat floats over the main shop floor. Broken shells out back. The sea in the air. A life well-lived, apparently, and embedded in the ocean community.
By chance or appointment.
Here’s a bit of a photostory, visuals of the historical endgame of a man and his business who, it seems, touched many in the New Jersey sailing community.
Ahoy, Mr. F.L. Abbott.
© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2013