It was a very warm day, a bit of a breeze, but no so bad as to deter Les from his plans. He'd decided to go to his camp, and take his small sail boat out on the lake. He was living in an apartment just above me at the time, and we often would get together and talk. He was a gentle man, and a very smart one too.
So with his plans already made,, he asked if I had ever went sailing before. I told him I hadn't, so he asked me to join him. I liked Les, and I liked the water, so if I had a chance for being with a friend and sailing, I was all for it.
Les owned one of the local drug stores,in town, and had been the pharmacist there. Many will remember him for being a friendly guy, who almost always seemed to have a smile on his face.
Les had been diagnosed with MS, and at the time, the tell-tale signs were getting more and more noticeable, but he was a great man, and a brave one, at least to me. He didn't seem to let it all get to him. I was actually surprised he'd want to go sailing, but then after I thought about it, why wouldn't he?
So off we went, but first, a trip to the liquor store. Les went in and grabbed a 24 of Blue, threw it in the trunk of his car, and we were off! We arrived at the camp, only to find it was locked, and he didn't have the key with him. The cmp apparently had the keys to the boat lock inside. Well, the memory to me is a little sketchy, being that this was over 30 years ago, but somehow Les got the keys to the boat.
We slid it into the water, placed the beer between us, and off we went.Raising the sail, and having a great time on the lake. We drank several beer, and we all know what beer goes in, double comes out. So Les had to pee, so between him rocking from his MS, the boat rocking from the small waves, it was a sight to be seen. He almost went over the stern (that's the back if anyone isn't versed in boat talk) :) I grabbed him by the waist band of his shorts so he wouldn't fall over, and after, we had a bit of a laugh at it all.
We spent a few hours that day, having a few beer, talking, and just drifting around the lake. It was one of those days you never forget, and wished you could do it all again. Sadly, that won't be possible now, Leslie Ernst died a short while ago, a very nice man, Les, I'm sorry I couldn't be there to see you off for your final sail, you will be missed.
My sincere condolences to Les' family........