Residents of Pier Four affectionately call Chris Poma “the mayor.” Chris and Sara Poma bought their 60-foot houseboat in 2008 and stay on Pier Four along with their terrier during boating season. “I had mowed two acres of grass for years and grown a 50 by 75 foot garden. One day I decided that I wasn’t going to mow again. We downsized and divide our time on the boat and in Florida and Arizona,” Poma said. Poma’s staying on “Our Lily Pad” during boating season gives residents the feeling of security and community.
Poma has shared more than his tools. Pier Four residents have been surprised with platters of fried crappie and all the fish fry trimmings. “We probably fried five pounds of fish that night,” Poma said. Then there is the annual summer barbecue hosted by the Pomas. Families on the pier bring casseroles, salads, and desserts to add to the shoulders and slabs of ribs that Chris cooks.
Poma described the overall atmosphere on Pier Four. He said, “We get together and enjoy talking, but it’s usually a calm, quiet crowd who enjoy sipping a glass of wine before we turn in.” A common sight is a group sitting and chatting on the Hadley’s deck in the cool of evening.
When Justin Bunch, 23, bought his 26-foot Grampian sailboat, he moved it from Pier Four to Paris Landing Marina which is closer to his home in Trenton, Tenn. Bunch found that he missed the KDM activities and moved “Victoria” back to Pier Four. “I enjoy everyone here and the sailing activities that go with it. I found it easier and quicker to drive to KDM than to sail to it,” Bunch explained.
Bunch’s pier neighbor, Kerry Lynn, recently needed to install a new outboard motor to his sailboat. Within minutes of arriving with the new engine, four skippers from Pier Four were there helping.
When Steve and Renetta Smith announced their plans to marry three summers ago, Bobbie Weatherly contacted fellow pier neighbors Melinda Lynn and Jane Flint to help her get a party for the Smiths started.
“I will never forget that night,” Steve Smith said. “That meant so much to Renetta and me for our sailing friends to throw a party for us.”
Steve Smith has returned the gesture of friendship many times by helping sailing friends scrub their boat bottoms, climbing up masts to repair lights and cooking breakfasts for fellow sailors.
Smith said, “We all have businesses and jobs that take up our weekdays. We look forward to our weekends. We may go for months without seeing each other, but we all have that love for sailing that ties us together.”
At the end of a long winter, the soft spring winds return and fellow sailors return to Pier Four to scrub and polish their boats. Happy to see each other, they start a new season of sailing, boating and fellowshipping with friends on Pier Four.