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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Change order boat mystery solved

This image has been making its way around the Internet. And now I know who took it -- a Canadian visiting Ohio in 2007.

Today, I received an email from Mississauga, Ontario (in the Greater Toronto Area) whose writer says he took the "change order boat" picture that has been making its way around the Internet largely by viral emails.

This image and earlier postings relating to it have been the most popular keywords and page searches leading to this blog (other than the obvious "construction marketing" word combination), since I first posted the reference last year.

While I know the email writer's identity, he has requested I not publish his name. However, his letter is worthy of posting here:
I ran into your website with the picture of Change Order.

The history of the picture is simple. I am a management consultant who does a lot of work with construction companies. Mostly finance and organization.

I was on assignment in Vermillion, Ohio in late July 07 eating at the Red Clay on the River restaurant patio over looking the water. I noted the boat and tender moored in a slip across the water and given my construction background thought the boat and tender and names highly funny. Shot the picture with a digital camera that I carry, sent some copies to a few close friends and associates who I thought would appreciate the humor.

This year (March 09) I was with a client in New Jersey, who had the picture in his office and said “see my boat”? My immediate answer was that it wasn’t his boat since I shot the original image. I knew it was my original from the girl in black in the picture, the placement of her leg behind the piling and the bow of the boat just entering the picture on the lower left.

I have no idea who owns the boat other than he appears to be a successful contractor with a great sense of humor.

The interesting part of this story is that I had no idea the image would resonate as it has. I found that you can Google the picture and find it which is how I happened on your website. I know the power of the Internet but had never really experienced how things of interest can travel so widely in cyberspace. There is a small part of me that wishes I had 10 cents for every computer this picture has been sent to. I might be in Tahiti with a beach house etc. Oh well. But I am happy that many others seem to have enjoyed it.
So, we can trace this picture to the U.S. Midwest and to a Canadian who just happened to be there. The world is smaller than we think. My correspondent concluded his note with this PS: " ... and yes we Canadians also have a sense of humor."

Note: I have since discovered there are two change order boats, one owned by Paul Frazier of Bronze Construction, In Memphis, TN. (not the one pictured). The person who discovered the boat also agreed to have his identity published. See this posting which resolves the issue as much as possible.

9 comments: said...

I live in Vermilion Ohio on the river and assure you this boat is not picured in the Vermilion river across from the Red Clay. It is not the Vermilion river. Mystery not solved.

Construction Marketing Ideas said...

Brian Ernest responded in an email to me: "Mark

I can assure you that the boat was in Vermillion. I am absolutely not mixed up on the location. The picture was shot around the latter end of July 07. I attach an excerpt of my credit card record (not for publication) for the period. So I am pretty sure that it was Vermillion. I was also accompanied by another consultant who remembers the situation. So your blog friend is not correct. I don’t know if the waterway next to the Red clay is actually the Vermillion River or a canal dredged in from Lake Erie but I am positive about the restaurant location.



Unknown said...

I, for one, am not surprised the owner of this boat has not come forward. Change orders play prominently in many construction disputes. For an active contractor to have this photo circulating (or to own the boat in question) could prove a real credability problem in front of a jury.

Naturally this is a joke... but so are dozens of stupid emails and comments that result in litigation or materially alter a party's position in litigation.

Maybe this guy's made a killing and doesn't need to work. Or maybe he's an accountant, attorney or other consultant who doesn't actually issue change orders. Otherwise, I'd change the name of my boat in a big hurry!

Unknown said...

One other thing. I've seen a different photo of the same boat, without the girl pictured here. Instead a tall blond guy is leaning against the boat. Just and FYI.

Unknown said...

If I am not mistaken I shot this picture on the Mystic River in Mystic, CT. Harry Gates Gates Construction Corp. Little Ferry, NJ. I could be wrong.

Unknown said...

I thought I snapped this picture at Seaport Marine on the Mystic River in Mystic, CT. Could be wrong. Harry Gates Gates Construction Little Ferry, NJ Now Great Lakes dredge & Dock.

Anonymous said...

I saw this picture for the first time in 2004, not solved...

MS said...

I can say "MYSTERY SOLVED" with certainty. That photo is taken in Charlevoix, MI on Lake Charlevoix in the harbor ( called Round Lake). The gas dock is on the south side of the marina and when you leave it that is the view you get. When leaving the gas dock, I am guessing it was sometime in the 2006 - 2008 time frame, I saw the same boat and dingy there tied up in just about that same location. I took a photo because I thought - who would actually be in the business and name their boat that - unless it was a joke. I am looking for my original photo to see if it might be this one, but I am unable to locate it. I will keep looking to see if I might actually be the one who took it. Even if it is not my photo I am quite sure of the location.

Unknown said...

The "Change Order(s)" boat name is not unique. I passed such a boat/name combination on the I-5 highway in Oregon 30 years ago. Five years later I talked to a contractor with the same boat/name combination in Watsonville, California. He assured me that his boat had never been to Oregon.
Parenthetically, I used to own a print shop and sometimes printed change order forms for contractors.