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" Tow-Line Tate , The Very First Mate "

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Old 12-15-2007, 01:02 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Anywhere On the River.
Posts: 29
Default Can You Tie the Fool's Knot?

Cap'n Tate was the best story teller ever I heard tell a tale on the DELTA QUEEN. He was featured in a long December issue of Playboy, the mag, after he captivated the writer, Richard Rhodes, sometime around 1971.

One time I was short-splicing a line, on deck, and he came by and asked me if I could tie the "Fool's Knot". Saying I couldn't, he showed me a time or two. It's seemed a silly knot of no practial value, but I kept at until I master it.

An hour, or so, later, Tate ambled by and asked, Boy, ya learned the Fool's Knot, yet?

You means like this? My hands flew as fast a did his when he first showed me.

Now, do you know how to long splice?, he asked. And with that, the gruff old pilot sat down next to me and taught me to how long splice. I had passed his test to see if I was interested-enough to learn a knot so simple that "any fool could tie it".

If I hadn't learned to tie his Fool's Knot, Tate would not have wasted another minute on showing me anything more. I use that very same test to this day; if a newbie doesn't learn that knot, Like Captain Tate, I know that they do not possess a genuine interest in larnin', and that is as far as they go with me.
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