The Montauk Catamaran Company Chronicles, 12/17/14: In Praise of James Poulos
(The Montauk Catamaran Company Chronicles is an ongoing series of posts detailing the construction of Mon Tiki Largo, a James Wharram Designs Pahi 63 MkII. The author’s current boat is the catamaran Mon Tiki, a JWD Tiki 38, which he built in 2012 and currently operates as a day-sailing charter in Montauk NY. You can see all the posts in this series by clicking here.)
I have mentioned before my friend and fellow boat-builder Dave. When Dave and I met we were at either end of the film business: I made movies and Dave owned and ran the recently shuttered Montauk Movie.
Back in 2004 Dave had a Bush/Cheney bumper sticker on his truck, which puts us on different sides of the political aisle. But we’re also both life-long small businessmen, and what’s interesting to me isn’t the things upon which we disagree; it’s how much we have in common in our respective notions of what makes life worthwhile, and how government can and should be organized in service of human flourishing.
Anyway, when Dave and I work together we talk about stuff, and when we were working together a couple of weeks ago, at one point in the conversation Dave said, “So you want people to write about you?” which he inflected as a discovered observation, and I replied, “Yes.”
Which brings me to James Poulos.
If memory serves, the first comment I ever directed towards James was something along the lines of, “You strike me as the kind of guy who fantasizes about sniffing girls’ bicycle seats, but can’t work the nerve to do it.”
Since then James and I have met in person a couple of times, flirt with each other on twitter, exchange e-mails, and occasionally chat on the phone. Our friendship, in my view at least, is in large measure, built on our shared desire for fame.
Also since then James’s creative output has included (and this is not an exhaustive list):
One self-produced solo album
One self-produced duo album
Two studio-produced band ablums
One studio-produced EP (duo and session players)
Countless columns for various national media outlets
Countless columns for his regular regional writing gig
The “Free Radicals” newsletter and podcast
And endless stream of quotable aphorisms and pithy observations on Twitter
Played dozens of live-shows throughout Southern California
And now apparently there’s some sort of Political Theory book in the works (I hope I haven’t said to much on that score.)
And by-the-way, James is also a half-time single parent of a 5 year old boy. (I still remember his tweet following his birth announcement tweet, “Theory, meet practice.”)
Like my friend Dave, there are things that James and I do not see eye to eye on, especially where Team Blue vs Team Red politics are concerned. But like Dave, I admire James. I admire his unabashed desire for fame, and I admire his work ethic.
Now to the boat shop, aka my driveway. The sun is back out and Dave is on his way over.
(James’ records have always been a regular part of the playlist on the Montauk Catamaran Company boat shop. My friendship with James has also rekindled my long dormant love of playing music. Below are all the instruments I’ve acquired since knowing James. In the summer we keep them on Mon Tiki and sometimes take them out for impromptu jam session with guests.)
New Jersey and Pennsylvania S
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