• Charlie McCarthy on Don Aronow

    by Charlie McCarthy

    I am very excited to be working with the people here at Serious and look forward to sharing some great stories of the past with all the members.
    I know they had planned on reprinting an article I wrote about Don Aronow a few years ago and maybe that is a good place to start. Tomorrow, March 1st, would have been the 85th birthday of Don, had he lived. It has been 25 years since he was shot to death on the very street he made famous, NE 188th ST, in Miami.

    Over the years, many people ask me…”What was he really like?” or “What did he do, or really like, that no one ever talks about?”
    The answer is easy…Don Aronow loved the sea. He loved being near it, in it, on top of it, you name it, he loved any association with it. He was the Chief Lifeguard at Coney Island for many years, he grew up near Sheepshead Bay, New York and always had some type of boat, from the very simplest, to the “Tainted Lady” his custom sports fisherman that was his last boat, before he became involved in offshore racing.

    He was a great skin diver and one of the first people in the country to be able to dive with the new SCUBA system invented by Jacques Cousteau. He was in the United States Merchant Marine and spent a lot of time crossing and recrossing the Atlantic on big cargo ships. Don being Don, he missed one of the return trips from Africa as he had organized a small “adventure” with some of his shipmates and they didn’t make it back to the port in time for the sailing.

    Even in the 60′s and 70′s Don would always make sure he completed his daily swimming laps in the pool at home, before heading out to the shop for the day. He shared with you and me, that great feeling that we all recognize of just being on a boat. As big as a ship or small as an ocean racer, he shared our common bond of the love of the sea. He is gone, but certainly not forgotten and his legacy continues to this very day. RIP my friend.