Monday, May 15, 2006

Meet the Paddlers
Another in the series
Greg Fojtik
Greg is a combination brewer (Sprecher), husband, sea kayaker, humorist and craftsman. He is also a neighbor of mine and a great paddling companion. He is usually out with the Sunday morning group (year round) and can also be found on the Milwaukee River in Glendale (we live on opposite sides of the river...hmmmm).
When you first meet and paddle with GF, you get the impression that he is a quite man with little to say. Then, just when you are secure in that belief, he comes out with some statement or other that drips with dry wit (is that an oxymoron....the statement, not Greg?). You will sometimes be treated to one of these quips on the Milwaukke SeaKayakers Yahoo site.
Jennifer, his wife and sometimes paddling companion, seems to be immune to Greg's are his two cats.
It is as a craftsman that Greg always amazes me. Greg builds boats. In fact, Glendale has threatened to rezone his home as a marine manufacturing facility if he builds one more. Just now, he is building one more.
He has turned out a wooden boat and a couple of skin on frames (see pics). Just now, he is finishing a strip construction kayak built from scratch. I tell you, it looks like a fine piece of furniture.
Time and time again Greg has come over and, with seemingly no effort at all, fixed a project that I had managed to turn into a work of garbage. And, he gives of his skills and time generously.
You will want to meet this man, and then you will wonder why you wanted to meet this man, and then--when you least expect it--he will help you or say something off that wall that will make you glad that you did meet this man.
(Run on sentences are a hallmark and regular feature of this Blog site).


Alex said...

You had me at Sprecher brewer. That alone makes me want to paddle with the guy!

Greg Fojtik said...

Golly... People being nice to me... This feels so...unearthly. Hi, Alex. You're famous! You carry the banner for Wisconsin G-style paddlers with your pithy comments on the QAJAQ USA site. And I really got a kick with how you, on the forum a couple weeks ago, so gracefully dispatched the suggestion from a gentleman on the east coast that all your rolling tricks are all fine and dandy for us pond paddlers in the midwest, but that we don't know what it's like to be in genuinely difficult conditions.
Dick, you're too kind. Now I have such an image to live up to. You should have said simply -- "Greg... He's a no-good schmuck and that's all he'll ever be." I would have been fine with that.