Well, since it ain't gonna happen...I'll let you know we tried. I thought an interview with Ben would have been great. This is the letter I sent to him.
April 14, 2005
My name is Ron Polli, Iím friend of Lucy and Mark Bosma. Iím also the offshore editor for Extreme Boats Magazine. I had a conversation with Mark and he said that you would be interested in sharing some thoughts with me, and the readers of Extreme Boats Magazine.
I donít know if youíve ever seen our magazine or not. The magazine is just two years old but we are really doing a nice job and are giving Powerboat Magazine a run for their money. We differentiate ourselves from the other magazines by exposing the high performance boating lifestyle. My angle for this story is to position you as the most extreme boater of all time.
If youíll agree to an exclusive interview, Iíll assure you the following.
1. The article will be about you, and no one else.
2. You will get to read and approve the final copy before it gets printed.
3. If you donít want to talk about certain subjects, we wonít.
4. The article will be about what you tell me, I wonít be getting anyone elseís input to counter your side of the story. This is your story, told by you.
Ben, you are a mystical figure within the power boating world, no one knows the whole truth expect you. I hope you take this in the light it was intended. If you donít respond to me, Iíll understand. To bring some information into the light, Iíd like to explore these subjects with you.
1. Where did you grow up?
2. What did you do before starting Apache boats?
3. Please tell me a story about building, designing and constructing Apaches.
4. Please tell me a story about racing Apache boats Ė Vees and Cats Ė favorite races and memories.
5. Please explain how there became two Apache Boat companies. One that built under 40í and the other over 40í.
6. Who was your favorite throttleman to race with?
7. What was your greatest win?
8. Who was your greatest competitor and why?
9. What happened during the Miami to NY run?
10. Please explain some of your dealings with Don Aronow.
11. What you believe happened to Don?
12. How did you get into the boating building business?
13. How did you get into the drug smuggling business?
14. Can you tell a story or two about smuggling drugs using go fast boats?
15. When you get out of prison, what do want to do?
16. If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?
17. Are there any other topics that youíd like to talk about?
Basically Iíd like to do a story about your adult life. If youíll agree, we can use these questions to get started. You can also add any questions that you would like to answer that I should have asked. Based on your answers, Iím sure Iíll have many more questions. Also keep in mind, it might be interesting to write this article as an autobiography, as though it was directly written by you. Letís see where it goes. Iím thinking weíll go back and forth a few times over the next few months so this article should be in the issue thatís handed out at the Worlds in Key West next November.
I had to get formal permission from the prison to do this interview with you through the mail. At some point, as we get further along, Iíll try to get permission to visit you and with your approval, take some photos.
My ultimate goal is to clear up the confusion and lack of information regarding you, the Apache brand and offshore racing in the 1980s. Iíd like to give our readers and inside look at the formation and life of Apache Powerboats through the eyes of its founder.
Hopefully this will be an experience thatíll weíll both enjoy and learn from. My publisher has agreed to make this a major article between 4000 and 6000 words so thereís plenty of room for you to tell your story.
Please send your correspondence to:
Extreme Boats Magazine
P.O. Box 4130
Brick, NJ 08723
Attn: Ron Polli
I look forward to hearing from you.
Extreme Boats Magazine