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Don Aronow the man , myth , and legend

Old 12-29-2003, 03:46 PM
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Panther, t2x used the words truth and probably in the same sentence.Seems a little too vague for me.T2x, start another story
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Old 12-29-2003, 05:58 PM
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Originally posted by T2x
Random replies and thoughts:

1. Brownie and Don were friends....don't expect a true friend to "dish" to complete strangers who are working on little more than morbid curiosity.

2. I'll give you the Cigarette-Harley comparison as a good one........................ It's more about the brand than anything amazing about the product...but there is a charisma....

3. The performance boat industry would be much like it is today......had Don not been involved....... the evolution of the Mercruiser products would have pushed the envelope regardless.

4. I am finding out that many of you consider Don a hero or a legend........ true or not, perception is, of course, everything..... but have you ever stopped to consider why you feel this way? As I said.....if Crouse hadn't trumpeted the bigger than life tales to you..... Don would not be in your consciousness. Did you know that Dick Genth was a fighter pilot...... or that Odell Lewis rarely wore shoes?...... or that Billy Sirois was one of the two best boat racers of all time?...... no?.....why?
Simple answer....none of them bothered to hire a PR guy....... IMHO y'all bought into an early infomercial...and years of echos.

5. Don was a big guy, a good boat racer, and a marketing maven....... and maybe that's enough.

T2x.......I am not asking Brownie to give us a complete rundown of his relationship and inner most thoughts about point was and is....that if anyone had any insight into the man, he certainly would be one of them, and if he thought he might feel inclined to share his opinions on what has been expressed on this thread.....we would be very interested in hearing what he had to say......thats all.....I am not asking him to betray a is obvious to me after reading your posts and Too Olds comments that Don is not exactly high on your most admired people in offshore history be it....everyone is entitled to their opinion....and although you may be more qualified in many aspects, I can take it or leave it......I appreciate your candor for sure.....that is one of the things that makes this website what it is....guys like you and Brownie giving us a glimpse of what things were really like back in the day so to speak......thanx...Rich

Last edited by Spitfire1; 12-30-2003 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 12-29-2003, 06:04 PM
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In truth my vote goes to jc for the 41 apache. The bottom started as a 33' cary. narrowed and streched.
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Old 12-29-2003, 06:18 PM
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Default me
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Old 12-29-2003, 06:29 PM
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Originally posted by magnum-bankshot me
on its way.
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Old 12-29-2003, 08:24 PM
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Originally posted by magnum-bankshot
In truth my vote goes to jc for the 41 apache. The bottom started as a 33' cary. narrowed and streched.

Do you know "for sure" who did it? Maybe Bob S. can help me out?
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Old 12-29-2003, 09:17 PM
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I think it is funny reading credit being taken away from Don for designs. He had designers working for him at many of his companies and paid them to do there jobs. Thus, the designs belong to the company and the company and credit for said designs belong to Don. Do we all think Enzo Ferrari is a fraud because Pinnin Farina did most of his design work? No! He was a leader who compiled a workforce, that formed a company, that made a moving work of art, that we call Ferrari. Much the same as Don had designers (Either as independents or employee's) who created what we know today as Magnum, Cigarette, Squadron, Apache, Etc. History recognizes the men that bring a product to the people. That is the name that is recognized. Tesla made the light bulb, not Edison, but did not market himself, Oops! Don may not have put pen to paper, but he paid for the ink and earned bragging rights.
T2x, I as a NFG to a dying sport who's heroes are long in the past and current runners are more willing to compare trust funds at the docks rather than battle with balls in the water (Go ahead boys, start bashing me) respect the racers of the past and that includes there faults. Don was a self promoter... Thats great, I have more respect for him now than ever. The fact that he was confident enough to hire Crouse to build a larger than life image shows verve. He wanted to lead the pack with a big name, and command presence. That is commendable of an industry leader. And when you own as many companies as Don did, you are a leader. Your opinions have been less than inspiring but have not been taken as insulting. You lived in an era and area that most of us did not and are shedding a bit of reality on our Mythical character. But truth be told, I still think the guy did great things (Building companies and self promotion) and, the stories he left behind are worth telling, accurate or not!
Thank you for your opinions and reflections.
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Old 12-29-2003, 10:08 PM
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Good post
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Old 12-30-2003, 12:55 AM
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A friend of mine's father still has two of those Donzi's he bought new in the 70's here on Lake Murray . One is OB and the other I/O. We lived on those boats when we were kids, a lot of memories. I have kidded him over the years about selling them (rarely if ever uses them now) and he say's they will NEVER sell. A lot of attachment to those old boats. They were the Chit back in the day.
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Old 12-30-2003, 10:04 AM
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I dont think anyone is calling Don a fraud. Not even close, nor are we debating his keen marketing ability, but this is a historical post and we history buffs like to hear the facts.

For example, how many atomic bombs did we drop on Japan at the end of the 2nd world war... most would say 2, but the truth is 3. Does that mean that one who would write that is being critical of the us... not at all. By the way, the third bomb was dropped shortly after the first two, once Japan surrendered. They ammassed thier ships in a cluster and we dropped a big one on them to distroy thier navy.

As far as designing boats, Don DID come up with the idea to cut the Cary 9-4 profile down to 8-6 which is what most cigarettes, apaches, warpathes, etc, etc are today. Don Designed that. Period! While he has been critisized for the USA 39, those who used the boat in patrol/ interdiction, myself included, think it's one of the best utility boats ever built. Her 12' beam made her a stable craft for boardings and she had just enough speed to get you where you had to go and not enough to keep the cowboys from hurting themselves.... Anyone who thinks you need speed to catch smugglers has been watching too much "Miami Vice". Smuggling boats...go-fast smuggling boats, unloaded, are some of the slowest in thier class.

The Customs product....this was designed to do exactly what it did, and designed by Don,,,as in his idea, his vision. There were no un-met expectaions on the part of the Customs service.

Anyone who thinks that I, Rich or John are being critical, think again. Don was a friend, and unlike many on this forum, I not only knew him, but sharred many meals with the man and found him to be a facinating individual with a keen sense of human understanding.
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