John Fitzgerald, Master Craftsman

Larry Meyer

Wooden Canoes are in the Blood
Some of us in the Norumbega chapter received from our own John Fitzgerald an email this weekend that left us in awe of his craftsmanship. I’m not talking about his canoe restoration work, about which he is, well . . the polite word is obsessed, but rather his ability to meet the heavy demands his canoe rebuilding program places upon his matrimonial obligations.

I quote

“The Assabet is up nicely, I'm tempted but lacking a shuttle.

I'm Home Alone this weekend!! - I opted out on a trip to Wintery Syracuse to see the sisters-in-laws. I typically bail out of this annual trip using yard work as an excuse, but instead the canoe shop was in full swing today. I put two new ribs in the Bob's - stained to match. and finished the planking replacement on the OT 50 lb. Now with a little sanding and varnish both will be ready for canvas.

Probably a good thing I didn't go. I found a leaking gate valve on the furnace this morning and I would have come home to local flooding had I gone.”

Now, those of us who are married have to marvel at the artistry of this. I don’t even know what a gate valve is! The guy sends the wife and kids off through a blizzard to wintery Syracuse for Easter weekend so he can stay home and do “yard work” (yeah, like shovel the snow off the yard. But then again, his canoes are in the yard) and has to throw in this gate valve business so his butt is like triple covered in virtue. What he doesn’t say is that he messed up his furnace himself diverting steam to his steam box.

I can just see the final scene now. The wife and kids will return home exhausted late Sunday night and find John in the basement, just wrapping his final “emergency” repairs to the furnace, covered in fuel oil, dirt and dust. John will tell his sad tale of woe, his weekend of blood, sweat and tears, get first dibs on the bathtub and a rubdown for his aching muscles.

But I feel sorry for him. The downside of this is his wife wasn’t around to provide the shuttle he needed to do the Assabet.

He is just a martyr to marriage.

So a tip of the hat to our own Fitz! A master con . . .I mean craftsman.
Marital bliss.

Gee Larry, I trust my secrets to marital bliss to you and you splash them all over the Wooden Canoe world!

In my defense, this could have been very serious. Had the gate valve run all weekend, some canoes might have gotten wet!!

SWMCN (she who married canoe nut) and I have a mutual agreement - I get out of a trip to see the sis-in-laws and she doesn't have to go to the Allagash and use the out house during bug season! See it is all give and take!

I did take a few liberties while my better half is outta town.

See attached.:eek:


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