I wrote this on Sept 23 under the title Winter Plans
I’ve been making a bit of a study of looping and Loopers. I’m not quite ready to join that club. If I complete the Great Loop I suppose I’ll recognize the occasion, but it is not really a goal, and not really the right identity for me. I do want to recognize the strong community and identity that Loopers have. I’m a member of the AGLA and I think they’ve done a lot to create that identity. From the Trent Severn to Chicago everyone along the way knew about Loopers, and at times it was convenient and helpful to self-identity as a Looper. I was chatting with my old boss and friend Bruce about this and he whipped out the Groucho Marx classic about not wanting to be a member of a club that would have me. That sort of sums it up nicely.
When I got underway I thought about getting an AGLA burgee. I didn’t, because I was in home waters and didn’t want to display that label until I got into the US. Plus I hate cross border shopping. The plan was to revisit when I got here.
I ordered my burgee today and will fly it proudly. I want to identify as a member of this group. I’m also getting a burgee from Guelph Community Boating Club. And I’ll get a Canadian flag and a US courtesy flag.
My newfound enthusiasm is in part driven by seeing all the recreational power boats cruising by here on the Calumet River. Many don’t have the first clue about courteous operation. But Loopers are recognized and generally respected by the yard crew. And although I’m trying to stay off Facebook there is a AGLA group there and it’s really cool to see the community of Looper watchers – people on towboats or views of the rivers spotting Loopers. I think that’s cool.
So even though I may not loop I’m ready to fly the flag.