photo by William James Ignatius Oberg
On November 6th, the folks at La Gondola in Providence, Rhode Island were busy; they hauled out all three of their gondolas for the winter.
To the uninitiated, that doesn't sound like much, but hauling a gondola is most definitely not like hauling the family waterski boat. A Venetian gondola is designed to float in the water - out of the water, she is a delicate piece of rolling art (and thirty-six feet long). Hauling three of them in a day is an undertaking.
I like this photo for so many reasons.
First it's an interesting reverse image - taken through the rear view mirror. With highway and guardrail in both views, it takes the viewer a minute to realize that most of what they are looking at is a reverse.
The second reason I like this shot is that it shows something most people don't see - gondola trailering in process.
What I really love about this shot, is the shadow on the road.
Maybe I should display it more clearly:
The complex curves of a Venice-built gondola are like no other shape on earth.
It's a beautiful shape that could only come from the creative hearts and minds of Venetian builders.
Some of the best representatives of that group are the Tramontin family.
This crescent-shaped boat was built by the Tramontins;
she is a wedding gondola with an amazing story of her own
(which I hope to share with you in the future).
Among gondoliers, boatbuilders are highly revered.
After all, it's one thing to row gondolas,
It's quite another to build and repair them.
Matthew Haynes and William Oberg of La Gondola do both - they row and build.
William tells me that the photo was taken on Route 6,
on the way to their winter storage location.
Looking at the photo a little deeper, I noticed a car behind the gondola - following rather closely.
So, what do you think?
a. the "follow car" of another staff member,
b. a curious tail-gater (I sure get a lot of those when I tow a gondola),
c. an unmarked police car trying to figure out if there's a reason to pull this weird thing over.
Or am I missing something?
What do you think, my friends?
And thanks for posting these photos! Yes, it took most of the day, but we got all three out of the water AND into the shop for the winter, with a stop for lunch in between!
I loved these photos too, like you, because of the shadow of the gondola on the highway. It's a great perspective that I usually don't get to enjoy, being too stressed about getting the boat to its destination safely!
And to solve the mystery, that is either Luciano or Rosario behind us, making sure that nobody else comes up too close. It is always fun, though, checking out the looks that we get from passersby, and waving and talking with them if we're in traffic.
Thanks again, Greg!
Matthew "Marcello" Haynes
La Gondola Providence, Inc.
with Alberto, Luciano, Rosario, Rafaello, Serafina, Ivano, and Alfonso in Providence, RI
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