Editorial: Steve Burch’s Retirement

Steve Burch | January 4, 2019

What do you do with a guy who retires, but doesn’t leave, doesn’t fill up his cardboard box and drive off into the sunset?

I moved him into a cubby-hole in the back of Production here at GON offices, gave him a flat, hard chair, and told him not to make too much noise. It is from this crowded little cubby-hole that I will launch my retirement. I actually have a plan, sort of. At least I have a name for it. That seems like a good start.

I call it 3,000 Days. Those 3,000 Days begin on my 70th birthday; Feb. 1, 2019.

I know you are sitting there puzzling out the calendar, so let me help. Three thousand days gets me to about April 1, 2026. I like the irony that it rounds out to April Fool’s Day.

I have populated the next 3,000 days with a number of projects, and I want to share them with you. The details of those projects will unfold themselves in time, but I also have names for a few of them.

You are going to see the finishing touches of the reconstruction of a houseboat I call the Busted Flush. It is going to be one of the nerve centers of these next 3,000 days. Its companion is a fishing boat that, when functional will be called the Sweet-Em-Ocean; better make that the Sweet-Em-Ocean I. I call this version “I” because I expect there will be a new version someday in the future.

This name embodies where I feel most at home. The Em is from Emma, my lovely, bubbly wife who is blind to my faults and failings, and who supports my hopes and daydreamings.

The ocean is the place that makes me alive. Somehow I fit there. It is so counter-intuitive, but the thing is I love to spend time utterly alone on the ocean, and yet, I so enjoy sharing that experience with my friends. So those are the two Sweets in my life.

Both the Busted Flush and the Sweet-Em-Ocean are berthed in Key West. I expect to spend about half my time down in Key West on the Busted Flush and the Sweet-Em-Ocean.

I am also going to spend a great deal of time in the Megel. The Megal is a 2015 Silverado 2500 diesel LTZ. It is by far the best vehicle I have ever owned. I got 70,000 miles on the first set of tires, and it now has 75,000 miles. I think it is good for another 3,000 days.

I also have a project called the Busted Bus. It began life as a school bus from Fort Valley, spent its professional life in Kentucky, and for the last five years has been growing lichens and wasp nests behind the GON offices waiting for me to remodel it.

But it hasn’t been lonely.

There is a wreck of a 14-foot Ski-Barge that needs lots of help back there with it. It is to be gutted and rebuilt and will become the “dingy” for the Busted Flush. It’s primary function will be to take me diving for lobsters. For that reason, its name will be the Busted Bug.

That takes care of the big projects that flesh-out things in Key West.

Here in Georgia, for the other half on my time I have plans for a 30-foot tri-toon boat set up for fishing including kids and the handicapped. It is something I have always wanted to be able to do. It, of course, also has a name. I call it the Tintanic. You’ll just have to see it. The operative word here is “see it.”

Which brings me to the real fun that I plan to have over the next 3,000 days. I want to take each of you with me. I have been playing with new-to-me toys called a GoPro camera with a snap-on microphone. I put it on my head, so it is looking where I am looking. It is fairly robust, almost water proof, and only has three buttons, so I hope even I can use it. While it takes very good video and audio, and it leaves my hands free, it is goofy looking. So I named that, too—those of us wearing this contraption “Coneheads.”

You will find these adventurers and projects through the GON website, but you won’t find it under my name. Now that I have achieved retirement status, I have changed my moniker to Toffy.  But don’t look for it yet. I am still using training wheels on these toys, and I have a special event planned for my birthday.

It was back in the mid-70s when I last jumped out of an airplane. If the weather cooperates, the next time will be on my birthday, in the sky’s above Sugarloaf Key. If the camera and I survive the jump, that will mark the launch of these Toffy Today videos. They should be posted about February 3rd or 4th. See you on Day One.

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