Letters – by Our Readers



The photo in the April Yachtsman Magazine feature “From Way Back” of the young man in a V-Drive is probably an Orsi family member.

Sitting in the Family’s Stephens V-Drive, there is no doubt about the grin and intentions of a young Tom Troglia.

Ni Orsi, Jr. was the water skier in the family. He was also a great snow skier.

Marc Jantzen

Hello Marc,

Thank you for your message, and yes, the Orsi family was very well known in the Stockton Area to be huge water sport enthusiasts. However, in this case, the photo is actually Tom Troglia as a child sitting in his family’s Stephens V-Drive at the Stockton Water Ski Club. His family water ski raced for years and his brother held a title as Pacific Coast Champion for two years. Tom’s father was the ski club president in 1960. Thanks again, if for anything else reminding us of Ni Orsi Jr. I was just getting into the marine business at about the time of his departure from it, so unfortunately, I did not get to know him very well. But I was told stories of him by many that did know him.


Hi Jackie,

First of all, I am quite jealous. Bill and Ty once gave me a cover and have given me a few inches of ink from time to time. As I am no longer a Bay sailor, I understand why Bill didn’t call on me to fill a whole column. I am a convert, but I still sail sometimes.

I was a single hander on my Beneteau 32 First, an older French made boat. I berthed in Brickyard Cove for a number of years. I never raced with my friends in Richmond Yacht Club. I preferred night sailing to a party at the bar.

I was courted by the Master Mariners, but I ran out of money before my wooden 50-foot Monk motor sailor was operational. Corinthian YC invited Sue and I to join their fabulous facility. How can I respect a Bay club that would have me for a member? It’s an old joke, I love the place.

When the French Kiss and I took on a mate, we rocked the Bay for a few years before wandering upriver. The downwinder took fewer than a dozen jibes all day. It was a lovely “sled ride.” The second time, we found friends and learned to raft up.

The Mandeville experience hooked us! We met our friend later at a “funky” facility operated by Caliente Island Yacht Club at the time. We joined the club and had so much fun we bought a house on Taylor Slough.

Now, I had a problem. The boat house included with the property demanded a really cool 40-something motor yacht. Being a woody lover, I fell for a 1963 Tollycraft Adventurer, lapstrake, 43-foot cruiser. Many of us in Bethel Island get to live with our boats (I still have the Kiss.)

We have been actively cruising with the Classic Yacht Association, obviously a woody loving crew. We cruised to many yacht clubs as members of Diablo Yacht Club. The host clubs were always wonderful to us and our people.

We met a lot of people who had fancy jobs. We know people with fancy boats, glass and wood. I can’t recall any “fancy” facilities in the Delta. Maybe two who are a little pretentious. Even Tinsley Island is a “funky” version of the St. Francis experience.

The Delta has lots of good food. I can testify that almost any event on Bethel Island will feature some very fine cooking. Fancy implies, but does not assure, good food. We have our own way of doing things in the Delta. Good food, cheap drinks and good times are the norm.

We also have some “pirate yacht clubs.” A Taylor Nautical Association party will have better food, drink and music than you are likely to encounter most anywhere. Park your sailing yacht at the Rusty Porthole and we will show you our island.

Velvet Drive, crash box gears, big block marinized reverse turners, wheels and twin screws are in my vocabulary now. We cruise at about ten knots. Faster boats are more prevalent here than my kind of cruising yacht. I have had the privilege to ride in a 21-foot DCB at 116 mph on Franks Tract (v10 with cat hulls.) I believe that is faster than Hydro Dave took Bill Wells.

As Bill and Ty will testify, alcohol may be involved in Delta entertainment. But of course, this is for you Captain Pat, we are anchored securely, tied securely to a dock or maybe just hard aground (LOL) before the skipper enjoys his rum. You may discover why a comfortable bunk is the key to enjoying the restaurants, bars and yacht clubs of California’s Delta.

Jack Hanna
Periodic contributor to BDY


Okay, I believe you. It’s always good to learn a new language and to visit new lands. I’ve never been to the Rusty Porthole. How is this possible? I don’t know. See you this summer. 



That has to be Tom Troglia in the V-Drive in this month’s “From Way Back!” He still has the same grin! I wonder where that V-Drive is today?

And the second photo must be at Mimi Miller’s (really Art Mirassou’s home) on Sandmound Slough. I only know this because I read the Bill Wells column in Bay & Delta Yachtsman! He’s mentioned a couple of times that Mimi used to let the Classic Yacht Association tie up on her dock when they were in the area.

Blair Hake,
Stockton, CA

Aerial photo above Mimi Miller’s place on Sandmound Slough, clearly displays one of the layover locations of the group’s weekend cruises.

Hey Blair,

Very good knowledge, my friend. Yes, even though on a young lad I can also see that Tom Troglia grin. I grew up boating as well and cherish every one of those summer days on Wyoming lakes. Knowing Tom now, I can’t help but think how neat it would have been growing up here instead and chumming around with a young Tom. I too wonder if the boat is still around. Maybe with some effort we can locate it. It was a Stephens V-Drive with a 406 Ford with six Stronberg two-barrel carbs. It can’t be that hard of a task. Haha!

For the second photo, your information proves to a tee that you pay attention to Bill’s column. You are correct on two accounts. It was referred to as Mimi Miller’s place, and yes it was Art Mirassou’s property. However, by the time this photo was taken he had already passed away. Mimi was the caretaker of the property until she crossed the bar much later. Something you did miss however is that Bill Wells is actually in the photo on the deck cooking breakfast. Yes, too small a detail to notice and I understand, but I must point out the fact that you overlooked his boat Ranger on the far right. Thank you for the note Blair. We always enjoy hearing your take and perspective on all things Delta.



Here are the results of the CSBA Isleton Delta Chapter “Barry Canevaro Memorial Striped Bass Derby.”

The target length was 25.5 inches. 66 anglers participated. The winners are:

#1-Clint Scholting 25.25 inches

#2-Mark Wilson 23.875 inches

#3-Chapin Fowler 23.25 inches

#4-Charlotte Retzlaff 23.125 inches

#5-Neal Koepke 22.5 inches

Kenneth Baccetti

That is great Ken, looks like it came off real well. What an excellent way to honor Barry! It is good to see there are still some fish around too!

Best regards,

Kneeling are co-chairmen of the derby Michael Phillips and Robert Williams.

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