Thursday, January 19, 2012

Lost Laurel

Check out this website called Lost Laurel.  The writer says he is, "a graphic designer currently obsessed with documenting the history of the modest neighborhood where I lived from 1978 to 1987, Steward Manor Apartments. As an ancillary project, I’ve started Lost Laurel as a way of also documenting and sharing the numerous stores, restaurants, and other businesses of Laurel past.

Hat Tip to Andy Hoglund.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

First You Need To Row A Little Boat

So I'm looking for a new hobby to fill my days after I retire next year.  I built a couple of beautiful wooden kayaks 25 years ago.  They were made from 3mm marine grade plywood, mono-filament fishing line, fiberglass tape and two-part epoxy.  A joy to build and to paddle.

So I'm thinking that another small boat project might be just what I need to keep me busy and out from under "She-who-must-be-obeyed's" large, flat feet during the day.  

CLC's Northeast Dory Under Sail

I've always had a soft spot in my heart for small wooden craft that can be rowed or sailed easily by a single person.  The boat needs to be reasonable to build, easy to handle, lightweight and able to carry a good load of people and gear on calm days on the bay.

[He has a soft spot all right but it's in his damn head! - She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed]

[Please ignore her.  - rick]

Chesapeake Light Craft over in Annapolis sells the Northeastern Dory kit.  A dory is the perfect working boat for the bay and it looks like a boat project that I just might be able to finish before Laurel DPW's special pick-up boys need to come to get me.  The boat is 17 feet long, weighs about 100 lbs and will carry 800 lbs.  It's estimated to be about a 500 hour building project for a semi-skilled boatwright.

But this has led to another problem with "she-who-must-be-obeyed" who stated unconditionally that I was not going to make her basement laundry room all dirty and smelly with my boat "cr@p"!  Her retort also caused me to measure the basement door and realize that while I might be able to build a 17 foot boat in the there, I would need to wait for a flood to float it.  It seems that the basement door and windows are all too small to get the finished boat out of the bottle.

So I'm now building a boat shed in the back yard.  A 20' x 12' man cave and workshop 150' away from you-know-who. [Watch it buster - SWMBO]  A nice warm place where a little dory can be born admired and stored.  A quiet place to sit on a nice day and just appreciate the small things in your life, like working with sandpaper, cutting with finely sharpened saws and the joy of watching a boat come to life under your own two hands.

Richard Bode wrote a perfect little book in 1995 entitled, First You Need To Row A Little Boat,
that explains his love for sailing as a boy and how learning to sail was like learning to live and to love.

Watch this blog to keep track of the boat shop being built and the little Northeast Dory coming to life on Laurel Ave.  Stop in anytime, I will have plenty of sandpaper, strong hot coffee and a comfortable place to sit and think about boats and life.


Sunday, January 08, 2012

And Now For Something Completely Different

It was a nice day to do a little research. I wondered what was going on in Laurel in January 1912? One hundred years ago. But I fell asleep after reading a few Laurel Leaders from 1912. That led to a dream, a time warp and then hearing a Laurel radio station from the past, long before there were commercial radio stations. How strange. Perhaps I should stop eating at Red Hot and Blue before napping ...

January 1912 News from Laurel MD