The Talented Mr. Johnson

For a while now, my cousin Brian has been wanting to introduce me to Mr. Johnson. He’s had Mr. Johnson living with him for a time and thinks he’ll be just the person to help get my shantyboat project going.

I’d been thinking about powering this little craft, particularly as I put the finishing touches on the hull. There is a place in the plans where an outboard is drawn in dotted lines like a ghostly visitor in comics. I even started working on the motor well, the little box that gets attached to the stern of the boat where the motor attaches.

So I started asking acound, Anyone know of a good cheap outboard, just a little thing that might push my little barge boat around?

Cousin Brian was dying to introduce me to Mr. Johnson.  Here he is.  He’s a 9.5 HP outboard. I forget what year. Mid 70’s, I think.

Brian thought he should come live with me. He demonstrated Mr. Johnson’s prowess in a barrel of water in the driveway of his suburban home. Mr. Johnson revved and smoked and burbled just like a good motor should.

Brian — who is a master of boats and outboards and fishing and BBQs and other manly stuff — taught me some of the things I need to know about Mr. Johnson. He had me take a photograph of the correct oil Mr. Johnson wants mixed with his gasoline, though I immediately forget the proportions.


And I need to get me one of these: A gas container with a fancy attachment doodad.

Here Brian poses with Mr. Johnson, demonstrating, the people he thinks will be drawn to my hillbilly shantyboat.

I think he might be saying in a hick drawl:  “Hey, Cleatus, you gotta take a look at this. Ain’t that the durndest thing?”

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