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Thread: How many of your heroes have left?

  1. #1
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    Default How many of your heroes have left?

    One of the sadder things about life, is that those who were your heroes, your inspiration or your mentors, pass on. Its like being on a ladder, time takes us upward a step at a time, and for each step takes away people who were on the steps above us.

    My Dad. Top of the list but from there, in no particular order. Brian Pearson ( Keyhaven Potterer), Meade Gougeon, Phil Bolger, Leonard Cohen, Mama Cass and Mary Travers, John Lennon and Joe Cocker. My list is a lot longer than I could possibly write down.

    its humbling too that people who are still climbing that metaphorical ladder, look up to us as time takes us upward.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How many of your heroes have left?

    The first two came to my mind before I'd read the post, the second two are spot on, personally my next would be Uffa Fox and the two Jacks - Holt and Chippendale, Bernard Moitessier, Eric Tabarly and John Peel

    Great idea for a thread

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How many of your heroes have left?

    My dad didn't get on the list, though his father, and my mom's father did.
    JFK, MLK, Robert Kennedy.
    The four students at Kent State.
    Jimi, Janis, Jim Morrison. Laura Nyro.
    Jim Clark.
    John Lennon. Still puts a knot in my throat.
    Ken Kesey, author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and, more personally relevant to me, Sometimes a Great Notion.

    Phil Bolger, and his mentor, LFH. Bolger and his co-conspirator Herb Payson convinced me that I could actually build a wooden boat. I did it, in 1982, and I still have it.
    Pete Culler. Bud McIntosh.
    Tristan Jones, who may have been a notorious fabricator, but who wrote stories that entranced and entertained me wonderfully well.

    I'm glad they were here, for however long or short a time.
    I'm grateful for the mark they made on my life, for their art, their leadership, and the inspiration I still receive from them, each one and so many, many more.

    I look forward to reading your lists and thoughts.

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    Default Re: How many of your heroes have left?

    Quote Originally Posted by john welsford View Post
    One of the sadder things about life, is that those who were your heroes, your inspiration or your mentors, pass on. Its like being on a ladder, time takes us upward a step at a time, and for each step takes away people who were on the steps above us.

    My Dad. Top of the list but from there, in no particular order. Brian Pearson ( Keyhaven Potterer), Meade Gougeon, Phil Bolger, Leonard Cohen, Mama Cass and Mary Travers, John Lennon and Joe Cocker. My list is a lot longer than I could possibly write down.

    its humbling too that people who are still climbing that metaphorical ladder, look up to us as time takes us upward.

    John Welsford
    We've all lost quite a few heros and mentors - some right here, like Chuck, Norm Messinger, and others.

    Mac McCarthy certainly had a huge influence on my early boatbuilding. Still does.

    Of late, I'd add David Moses Bridges - a bark canoe builder from Maine.

    Just a side note - I went to High School with Cass Elliot's daughter and am still in contact with her - it is obvious that her mom is still Owen's hero.
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
    -William A. Ward



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    Default Re: How many of your heroes have left?

    Bill Garden, prolific NW designer, he died a couple of years ago at 95. I was fortunate to be able to spend time at Toad's Landing, his island design studio, and boatshop. I was brought to my knees when I opened an unknown packet which contained a copy of his first book 'Yacht Designs', accompanied by a note which said he had read my address to the first Olympia Wooden Boat Symposium and said some kind words about that...followed by "best wishes in your boat building career, and may you marry a rich wife!" Spent a lonngg day trying to convince him to let me move my boat shop to the island, but it was not to be.
    Treasured that, I did...but alas had already married the love of my life who gave me riches in 4 children and is a rock in our business.

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    Default Re: How many of your heroes have left?

    Two giants in my eyes......Tilman and Hasler.

    They don't make them like that anymore.

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    Default Re: How many of your heroes have left?

    Heifetz and Menuin. My step-dad and 3 scouters who set me on my personal path. My mother and grandmother who imparted a very healthy sense of skepticism and independence. My grandfather who taught me how to be still.

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    Default Re: How many of your heroes have left?

    A great idea for a thread. In addition to the other sailors, I'd put Sir Francis Chichester on top of my list. He still is an inspiration to me, his accomplishments as an aviator, then late in life as a sailor and circumnavigator. I have plans to build a gaff rigged yawl, and I get concerned about how many strings I will want to pull, as I am a bit of senior and won't be any younger when it's built. Then I think back on Sir Francis and stop my whining.

    I'd have to place my science idols on that list: Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan, and Stephen Gould. They were like breaths of fresh air, sounds of reason, in what are most unreasonable times. (side note: as a nerdy high school freshman I had dinner sitting across from Asimov, lambchop burns and all!)
    Steve B
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    DowneastTSCA.org

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    RIVUS 16' Melonseed

    "If a man must be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most." E. B. White

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    Default Re: How many of your heroes have left?

    I'm generalising a little bit, but it is interesting that these lists are almost exclusively Dad's, musicians and boat designers/sailors.

    Pete
    Don't underestimate the power of stupid people in large numbers!

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    Default Re: How many of your heroes have left?

    For me it would be Helen and Scott Nearing, very inspirational for a younger me.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

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    Default Re: How many of your heroes have left?

    Quote Originally Posted by epoxyboy View Post
    I'm generalising a little bit, but it is interesting that these lists are almost exclusively Dad's, musicians and boat designers/sailors.

    Pete
    Reflects the lives and subsequent interests of the participants. In another demographic you'd find a lot of football players, in another churchmen.

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    Default Re: How many of your heroes have left?

    Old Bingey...

    (Rob White)

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    Default Re: How many of your heroes have left?

    Ed Burnett was a truly great designer and willing to contribute much to these pages for free. I never met him, but miss interacting with his expertise.

    When a true expert takes the time to share their vast experience with me it makes them a hero in my book.

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    Default Re: How many of your heroes have left?

    Blondie Hasler for one, closely followed (or led) by my father, aviator, boat designer and forward thinker.
    No day passes without a few thoughts of them.
    Hasler's Operation Franckton was a bit of a disaster, but inspired many in the dark days of WW11. He went on to sailing adventures with Junk rig boats and inspired many in the sailing field.

    My father inspired quite a few to build their own boats in the 50s & 60s in the plywood revolution. Apart from that, he had a filing cabinet full of interesting ideas that have, in some cases, made it into the current sailing scene. Wingsails and foilers in the 50s for a small sample. I remain in awe.

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    Default Re: How many of your heroes have left?

    Hal Roth.

    I'd include his wife Margaret but I believe she is still alive.
    Alex

    "A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. We do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again" Aran Islands Fisherman

  16. #16
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    Default Re: How many of your heroes have left?

    Quote Originally Posted by epoxyboy View Post
    I'm generalising a little bit, but it is interesting that these lists are almost exclusively Dad's, musicians and boat designers/sailors.

    Pete
    I tried to keep my list somewhat pertinent to this forum, like I said though my list is a very long one. Authors, aeronautical engineers and designers, sailors, personal friends, architects, racing car and motorcycle drivers/riders. Every field in which I have an interest, has "heroes" in it who've inspired me and who I miss.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

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    Default Re: How many of your heroes have left?

    Quote Originally Posted by J.Madison View Post
    Ed Burnett was a truly great designer and willing to contribute much to these pages for free. I never met him, but miss interacting with his expertise.

    When a true expert takes the time to share their vast experience with me it makes them a hero in my book.
    Agreed and sorely missed.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

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    Default Re: How many of your heroes have left?

    John, you're such a troublemaker. I'm leaving tomorrow for Meade's service in Bay City. The only remarks I've prepared so far:

    "As a rule, I don't have heroes.

    Meade is my hero."

  19. #19
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    Default Re: How many of your heroes have left?

    Forumite Paladin contributed quite a lot to this forum and I miss his insights. He had an affection for Captain William Short's Great Pelican design and I think of Paladin now that I will soon be building the Yangtze Pelican. It's kind of weird when an old thread gets revived and I find Paladin's sage advice still present on the forum.

    Would also like to mention Jan Gougeon as well. It's kind of rare when two brothers like each other enough to be able to work well together. Meade and Jan left behind a great body of work that had a huge influence on boat building.

    And brothers working well together also makes me think of Orville and Wilbur Wright.

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    Default Re: How many of your heroes have left?

    David Lewis, for the amount of adventuring he managed to fit into the second half of his life - a real inspiration.

    Eric Shipton, for all his small expeditions on next to no money. I think there's a story of him getting a grant from the Alpine Club for something like 150 pounds for six months or a year of Himalayan exploring, after he returned, he did has accounts, found he hadn't spent it all and mailed a cheque for the balance back to them.

    Also his writing:

    "He is lucky who, in the full tide of life, has experienced a measure of the active environment he most desires. In these days of upheaval and violent change, when the basic values of to-day are the vain and shattered dreams of to-morrow, there is much to be said for a philosophy which aims at living a full life while the opportunity offers. There are few treasures of more lasting worth than the experience of a way of life that is in itself wholly satisfying. Such, after all, are the only possessions of which no fate, no cosmic catastrophe can deprive us; nothing can alter the fact if for one moment in eternity we have really lived."

  21. #21
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    Default Re: How many of your heroes have left?

    At my age there is a long list of those whom I treasure the memories of who were both friends and mentors. One was Roy Edgar Riley who owned my boat "Red Witch" before it became my own. Roy was a sailors sailor and could do all manner of amazing things with a boat such as rigging and splicing wire plus making her go fast and how to clean a varnish brush correctly! I miss Roy but, there is also L. Francis Herreshoff, Lyle Hess, Hugh Angelman and Vern Leckman. All were friends and all influenced my thinking about both boats and life. Vern Leckman tought me the finer points of drafting and model making. Pictured here is Vern and one of his models of the whaler "Charles W Morgan". He was a genius at making a model look old. Here the sails of the CW Morgan are dirty, torn and patched. One of the boats on deck has its bow stove in. Amazing work! Vern had a lot to do with designing Disneyland and others of their theme parks around the globe. Vern was the best designer, architect and craftsman I have ever had the pleasure to know!
    Jay

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    Default Re: How many of your heroes have left?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Schweiss View Post
    Bill Garden...Spent a lonngg day trying to convince him to let me move my boat shop to the island, but it was not to be.
    Treasured that, I did...but alas had already married the love of my life who gave me riches in 4 children and is a rock in our business.
    Hi Paul,

    Was that when you had your shop in Tacoma? I remember visiting you there and staying overnight with your family when you invited me out to consider working for you (which you may not recall). The guy who worked next door to your shop (a contractor or furniture maker?) said you really needed somebody else in your shop to make it grow and stabilize, but Margaret and I weren't brave enough to make the jump across country. I regret that now in many ways.

    It was my first time in the PNW and it was eye-opening for a New England boy. I was 'officially' out there to give a talk at the PT Festival about the Apprenticeshop's new building, restoration shop project and building the Norwegian boats with you.

    "Bitchin'" was the common term used to describe it out there. Everything was bitchin', this boat was bitchin', that camper van was bitchin', the chicks are ALL bitchin'. It was a great term, although VERY dated now. It all made me laugh and was a special time early on in the 'wood boat revival' years.

    It would have been simply terrific if Bill Garden had let you move your shop to his island. I suppose you and Berit would have home-schooled your kids... or perhaps you did anyway.

    Regarding heroes past, I miss Dave Foster for his patience and humor, Seth Persson for his metal-working and lofting skill and eagerness to pass it on to a young guy, when he was really under the gun and should have shooed me back to my assigned work, Rod Stephens for his exact, demanding standards, and Sonny Hodgdon for his natural ease, semi-humiliating pranks and teaching me how to make half models.

    But mostly I ANTICIPATE missing Maynard Bray and his cohort up this way (Giffy Gull, Sam Manning, Ralph Stanley, Doug Lee, etc.) who I've gotten to know a bit and appreciate immeasurably. And Halsey Herreshoff who first encouraged me.

    It's been a hell of a ride with the revival of wood boat skills and appreciation over the past fifty (?) years and I'm forever thankful for it.

    I will now knock every piece of wood in sight in hopes I'm not calling forth the grim reaper!! :O
    Last edited by rbgarr; 09-16-2017 at 08:49 PM.
    "When I was a boy with never a crack in my heart."

    -W. B. Yeats

  23. #23
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    Default Re: How many of your heroes have left?

    Hi Dave, that was certainly at the time when I had that little shop in Tacoma. Bill Garden was always willing to help and advise, and while I had built several dozens of boats by then, there was a thirst not only for more knowledge on my part, but trying gauge my efficiency at turning out these boats and charging a fair price for them.
    Dave Foster will be missed, he mentored a number of apprentices who I believe have continued with the trade. Maynard should probably be designated a National Treasure, may he live forever.

    Say...I am getting close to building my shop here...wanna jump off another cliff?

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    Default Re: How many of your heroes have left?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterSibley View Post
    Agreed and sorely missed.
    Peter, I have been a few times recently to a local shed where Ben Harris is building a boat to Ed's "Frolic" design. I understand that when completed in the spring it will be shipped to Perth. So that will be another Down Under. There is already a lovely double ender in Tasmania. Jeremy.

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    Default Re: How many of your heroes have left?

    Where to begin. Most of mine are musicians or actors. I could be here all night, but here's a small sample..

    Jimi Hendrix
    Janice Joplin
    Lowell George
    BB King
    Sam Mitchell (a dobro and ragtime guitar player from Liverpool and a close friend)
    Stevie Ray Vaughan
    Walter Becker
    Lots of old blues guys

    Harry Dean Stanton
    John Hurt
    Robert Hardy
    Hywel Bennett
    Alan Rickman

    John Ollason (my wife's Phd supervisor and a close personal friend.)
    Somewhere between Murder and Suicide, there is a place called Merseyside.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: How many of your heroes have left?

    Hello Isla, Yes, I agree, it is sad and often painful to see one's old friends and mentors, sail over the horizon! I guess it is better to just remember the positive input they shared with us while they were here!

    I am curious to what kind of wood work you do?
    Perhaps, you could post some photos?
    Jay

  27. #27
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    Default Re: How many of your heroes have left?

    My dad. George Criminale and Roy Sellers (old Star sailing buddies of mine). Paul Elvstrom. Paul Bryant. My mentor out at work, Joe Greer. My wife's Uncle George, who was the night editor of the old Birmingham Post and as fine a man as has ever lived.

    I guess if I list them I do have a few. Never really thought about it that way.
    'A disciple of the Norse god of aesthetically pleasing boats, Johan Anker'

  28. #28
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    Default Re: How many of your heroes have left?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    I am curious to what kind of wood work you do?
    Perhaps, you could post some photos?
    Jay
    Jay, these days I'm retired and I'm just a hobby woodworker. I suppose I always was because I had a regular 9 to 5 job and did some woodwork in my spare time. But I had a website and managed to sell some of my stuff, hence the Isla Woodcraft name. I used to make Shaker and Arts & Crafts furniture, and garden furniture like benches and Adirondack chairs. I also do some turning and carving, and I even build the occasional small boat, just glued ply, nothing very interesting. Maybe I will start a craft thread and post some pictures there. It would be an opportunity for some of the other folk to display their skills.
    Somewhere between Murder and Suicide, there is a place called Merseyside.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: How many of your heroes have left?

    That would be good Isla, I managed to feed my family for 7 years with ''craft woodwork", no mean trick, it's a hard game . Lots attempt it but not many succeed.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  30. #30
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    Default Re: How many of your heroes have left?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Schweiss View Post
    Hi Dave, that was certainly at the time when I had that little shop in Tacoma. Bill Garden was always willing to help and advise, and while I had built several dozens of boats by then, there was a thirst not only for more knowledge on my part, but trying gauge my efficiency at turning out these boats and charging a fair price for them.
    Dave Foster will be missed, he mentored a number of apprentices who I believe have continued with the trade. Maynard should probably be designated a National Treasure, may he live forever.

    Say...I am getting close to building my shop here...wanna jump off another cliff?
    Dave's greatest 'successor' (apprentice-wise) has to be Donn Costanzo:http://woodenboatworks.com/

    Your drive for efficiency was the virtue I learned best from you at the Apprenticeshop. It wasn't the program's greatest strength, not was it Lance Lee's particular interest to instill.

    I hope to get out your way this winter. Prepare to fend off boarders with cutlasses brandished.
    "When I was a boy with never a crack in my heart."

    -W. B. Yeats

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