Chandler: (n) a dealer in supplies and equipment for ships and boats.
Looking back, I realize my oldest brother was a chandler. He was only in his twenties when he decided to open a marina. He sold boats, fixed boats, tied boats, and also sold boating equipment.
My oldest brother was a chandler. I do not know if he loved boats or not. I don’t recall him talking incessantly about watercraft. He did like to fish.
But what prompted him to take the big leap of faith in his youthful years, to establish such a business for the folks who wanted to sail the waters of Hoover Lake, near Columbus, Ohio? (We called it a lake–actually, it was a reservoir.)
My brother ran his business for several years, and then a bigshot came to town with more boats, more equipment, more floor space, more advertising, and more of whatever more will buy. My brother could not keep up. He lost his business.
He was a determined man of discipline and taut feelings. If he was truly devastated, he never let anyone know–at least, not me.
But he never quite found anything to replace his marina. Perhaps it was a chandler he was intended to be–and by intended, I mean desired. Once that was gone, he found himself selecting from Column B.
Yes, perhaps that’s where we all lose our zest for life–wearily thumbing through Column B to try to find something that comes anywhere close to what we once had in Column A.
Yet it feels good, now that my brother has passed on, to write this small article and tout him as the chandler he was.
I think he would like that.