The first time I met Ken, I was told to â€œBe nice to him, he might buy your dinner.â€
I donâ€™t remember all that much about the dinner, but I will say for certain that Ken probably mentioned he wanted to build a boat.
Ken has always wanted to build a boat. And over the years he has. He has built little row boats, even canoes. He was quite well known for the Bidarka Kayaks he made. A skin on frame style that was measure for the individual who would paddle it. Ken measured the boat to fit the person it was for. Big person, big boat! These boats were (and still are) beautiful. He either gave these boats away or traded them for money. I know he preferred to gift them.
I remember once a â€œcustomerâ€ drove off with a kayak Ken had built, strapped to his car top. Ken stood watching both boat and car drive away â€“ he looked down at the handful of money the man had given him and said, â€œNot a fair trade.â€ All I got was money â€“ that guy has a boat!
For the 30 years Iâ€™ve known Ken, he has talked and dreamed about boats the way I talked Tai Chi. Heâ€™s always reading books, magazines, or scanning plans and drawings about boats. He goes to wooden boat festivals and walks the docks often, â€œJust looking.â€
But Ken has never built HIS boat. He usually ends up helping someone else build THEIR boat.
2012 – the summer of Kenâ€™s boat â€” Pearl.