The Block Island Times

Kindleman Sailorman, Matt Gineo

By J. V. Houlihan, Jr. | Jan 31, 2013
Photo by: J.V. Houlihan, Jr. Matt Gineo in his element

Matt Gineo can be seen wearing many hats in and around Newport Harbor. At the epicenter of Old Port Marine's office on Sayers' Wharf, you'll find Matt behind the counter talking about: Yanmar engine sales, and repairs, local political stuff, dogs, ferryboats, launch schedules, moorings and Kindles. More about the Kindle thing later.

   I first met Matt about thirteen years ago, while he and his daughters Lauren and Sophia were doing some varnish work on a classic wooden racer called Oriole II. He and the girls were volunteers at the Newport Museum of Yachting over at Fort Adams. He told me at that time, that he and his kids could sail this amazing boat because of their volunteer efforts. I thought that this guy was a character, a real Type A guy, excitable, with a head spinning full of ideas and a jock's attitude along with an inquisitive mind. These qualities do not make a boring guy.

    Oriole II, a no compromise racing machine, was designed by L Francis Herreshoff. She is 40 ft. at the waterline and of the 30 square meter class. This is a very serious boat with an even more serious sail plan. Built in 1929 by George Lawley and Son, this is Matt's kind of boat; he is a serious racer. For example, he has won numerous times in the Herreshoff Regatta and the Museum of Yachting, Classic Yacht Regatta. His daughter Lauren, has competed in two collegiate World Championship Regattas while sailing for URI. ( I used to see Lauren tearing across Narragansett Bay on her windsurfer, when we were out sailing our boat.)

   So yeah, this is an excitable guy who loves to sail, ski and read. Matt has an engaging mind, he's always looking for the upside of something, for example, Kindles! Over the past few years, Matt has been grinding my brains regarding Kindles: use, function, portability, design, practicality, etc. I told him that he should've been marketing these things. The other day when we saw each other at the docks near our sailboat, Matt said, "Hey Joe, did ya get a Kindle yet?" I replied, "Nope, but I published two of my books on Amazon this week."  And so went our conversation of the upside of publishing ebooks, cutting out the middleman, marketing the book your own way, and not compromising the content of the work. (At our age, if we don't know what we want to say, then maybe we shouldn't write.) Oh yeah, Matt is also a writer/photographer and he writes sailing articles for a Japanese magazine.

   While Matt was plowing forward into the future of publishing and reading on a Kindle. I was the laggard. But what Matt was saying was starting to make sense to me. We talked about how some people our age would not dial into this technology. We both know as writers, that you must dial in; non-negotiable, if you want to get your work out there, and get in the game. We agreed that some people back in the 1800's would've dismissed Johannes Gutenburg's press and would still want to read whatever paper manuscripts the old Irish Monks were scribbling stories and histories on, in stone huts in Ireland, not that there is anything wrong with that. Bottom line, the Kindle is an effective tool.

   So this summer when you take the new High Speed Ferry Islander, from Newport to Block Island or vice versa, keep an eye out for Matt Gineo, while in or around Newport Harbor. He could be driving a launch, selling Yanmar deisels at Old Port, or cruising to Block Island on the Islander, for lunch with his beautiful wife. Or you may see himself and I, still having our intense discussions regarding me finally buying a Kindle. Which I may do in the final analysis. In fact, I will buy one Matt, for Cindy! She needs a Kindle more than me! I keep tripping on her books at home.

Nota Bene: I ain't out of the game yet.

To be continued


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