Langis: “About three-quarters the way down, I thought we were going into the crowd. We didn’t know where the finish line was, and all I could hear was Gary yelling, ‘Keep going, keep going!’”
Heline: “I was just hoping the finish line came before we crashed.”
Ward: “The picture captured it well. All of us were wondering, ‘How are we going to stop this thing?’”
Vartabedian: “It was like the Flintstones. I was hoping my feet would keep up.”
Davis had cause for worry.
“I could see by the looks on their faces that they were all in,” Davis said. “I was concerned about how this bed was going to come to a halt. And it occurred to me that that was the least of their concerns.”
The Pirates crossed the finish line without incident, and Schonemann quickly stalked the timekeepers as each bed crossed. Talladega Nights in 1:06, Natural High Fitness in 1:11, Fish Plum Island in 1:12.
Schonemann noticed people around his bed, studying the wheels, the design. Some even took photos. It was an inkling the Pirates had done something special.
The next day’s Daily News headline screamed: Pirates sail away with first place.
Adding to the legend, the bed no longer exists.
“It’s been disassembled, retired,” Schonemann said. “The parts have been thrown away.”
An exhaustive search on Google images for Schonemann’s bed proved fruitless.
Asked if the Pirates of the Merrimack will ever return, he cannot suppress a grin. “Why? What’s the point?”