STYLES CHARTING THEIR OWN COURSE BY JOHN GANGONE
BACK IN 2005, my wife Barbara and I took a long weekend and headed to New Orleans to do all the usual tourist things. We went o the cemetery where Marie Laveau — the original voodoo queen, infamous in New Orleans lore — is entombed, and afterward, as a lark, we visited a voodoo priestess. Sitting in a quiet room full of
candles, the dramatic woman began telling us stories about where she was born,
what her life has been like, and how she had become a voodoo priestess.
To our surprise, she also told us some accurate personal things about ourselves that only we
could know. “Voodoo is not like what you see on TV, or like the stories you’ve heard about
bringing the dead back to life,” she said. She told us more about Marie Laveau, a Roman
Catholic who made medicines from plants and roots and gave them to people for all sorts of
reasons — if they were ill, wanted a lover, or even if they wanted to get rid of a lover. Whatever
it was, Marie Laveau had something for just about everyone.
I asked the priestess if there was anything in voodoo that could help me in my
life. She lowered her voice and asked me to think of something that brings me
joy. I told her I loved boating and being on the water. “Well then, that’s your
voodoo,” she said, and explained that voodoo can be made up of things in
our lives that make us feel good, make us smile, and clear our heads.
Several difficult years followed my encounter with this priestess. I lost my
job of 32 years, and it took more than two tough years to find my new position. But it finally happened. Once Barbara and I were back on our feet, we
purchased a 2000 Sea Ray 330 EC. I’d never forgotten our encounter with the
priestess, and how what she had said ended up giving me so much hope. We
MY VOODOO QUEEN
The right little boat at the right time creates a fragile magic
that helps melt this couple’s cares away
decided to name our boat Voodoo Queen. The
boat is a work in progress, but it never fails
to make Barbara and me smile. It’s kind of a
fragile magic being aboard her. I can’t explain
it, but we get this spiritual feeling that just
makes us relax and feel happy.
These days, you can usually find us cruising and fishing aboard Voodoo Queen on the
east end of Long Island, New York, from the
Peconic Bays to Block Island, and through
Long Island Sound. She can sometimes be
found at a berth at Lighthouse Marina in
Aquebogue. If you see us, stop by and say
hello. You might feel her magic, or become
more inspired to embrace more of the magic
in your own life. The right boat has a
way of doing that.
John manages a self-storage
facility in New Hyde
Park, New York. He and
Barbara have been living in
Huntington, New York, for 17
years, and he’s been boating
and fishing for four decades.
on Voodoo Queen.