Search
  • flmuseum

A Sailor on Owasco Lake



Part of the wonderful thing about the Finger Lakes is the incredible amount of history, both general and personal, that surrounds these beautiful lakes. It is not uncommon to hear from families that have spent generations growing up in a certain house, on a specific lake and that their best memories are tied so closely to the region.

I was blown away by the story for this month's Owasco Lake blog. Submitted by Lisa Lange and Hank Osborne, these guest bloggers embody what it means to have deep roots in the Finger Lakes. A beautiful song "Sailor" written by Hank himself, describes the love his father had for sailing on Owasco Lake, as well as for his family. There isn't much more that I can say to do the story justice, so I will share what Hank and Lisa have shared with me. Their words could not be more perfect. Thank you for sharing, Hank and Lisa, and to all of you reading, enjoy!

Sailor

There’s a breeze on the water

Sending waves to the shore

Calling out to the Sailor

Who’s hunched over by the door

He’s moving slowly on his walker

Going out upon the deck

He thinks of time he didn’t falter

Or have pain with every step

And his children, and their children

And their children gather too

On this land that’s been his family’s

Since 1872

He looks upon the water

To where his boat is moored

And he wonders if this ancient mess

Will let him climb aboard

CHORUS

And the Willow Point breeze

It keeps blowing through the willow trees

I remember chili on the tailgate

Of his Jeep Wagoneer

And skiing down on Whiteface

Breaking more than just my fears

We were sailing on Ontario

With a line squall coming in

So we dropped the jib

And we reefed the main

And we pointed her to the wind

With my back against the rigging

I felt the lightening go up my spine

But that sailor just kept sailing

Till that storm was far behind

Now he looks upon the water

To where his boat is moored

And he wonders if this ancient mess

Will let him climb aboard

CHORUS

And the Willow Point breeze

It keeps blowing through the willow trees

There’s a boat on the water

Sailing way from the shore

The hand upon the tiller

Feels the pain of age no more

There’s a morning breeze arising

He is sailing with the wind

He has hoisted up his spinnaker

And it’s filling to the brim

And his children, and their children

And their children gather too

On this land that’s been his family’s

Since 1872

We look upon the water

To where his boat has gone

And the wind blows though the willows

And the willows sing along

To the Willow Point breeze

CHORUS

And the Willow Point breeze

It keeps blowing through the willow trees

(c) 2015 HTOsborne

*The song is available on the iTunes, Amazon, Spotify under Hank Osborne*

"The song was written in the two years prior to the passing of our father (L. Devens Osborne), and was inspired by his love of sailing. It was a medicinal song for me, and I kept it secret from the family until his passing in 2015. The lyric “…he looks upon the water, to where his boat is moored…” refers to the long list of sail boats he has moored on Owasco, at Willow Point. My great-great grandfather (David Munson Osborne) purchased Willow Point back in 1872, although I believe he moved to Auburn in the 1850s. The photo provided is a family gathering photo taken at Willow Point for LDO’s 90th birthday. The chorus lyrics “And his children, and their children and their children gather too, on this land that’s been his family’s since 1872” were written (somewhat prophetically) prior to that birthday party, but that’s exactly what happened, four generations gathered to celebrate."



0 views

3369 Guyanoga Road

 Branchport, NY 14418

communications@fingerlakesmuseum.org

Tel: 315-595-2200

A Cultural and Natural History Museum