The rest of the story...

Here's where I tell you all the stuff that wouldn't fit in a 2-minute TV story.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Lily's Boat

Click here to see the story that aired on Fox 21/27.

Lily Garrecht wants to study architecture in college, and she thinks the itch came from the time she's been spending with her father, Bill in their garage.  

Bill and Lily Garrecht work on their 1955 Chris Craft
There, they have spent countless hours over the past two years, lovingly restoring a 1955 Chris Craft.  This isn't just stripping the finish and applying new varnish.  This is a complete restoration screw by screw and board by board, and it's a true father-daughter project.

The Garrechts already have a replica wooden boat.
What struck me the most about this -- beyond the amazing quality and difficulty of the work and the expertise that it requires, is Lily's unusual love for the project.  You sort of expect a guy Bill's age to enjoy woodworking and motors and so forth, but how often do you see that in a 17 year old female high school cross country runner?  You can say I'm stereotyping if you want -- but stories happen when there is something unexpected -- when man bites dog.

The frame is original.  All the wood is being replaced.
Not only does Lily enjoy this work -- but she is atypical in the sense that she thinks watching TV is a waste of time.  Ditto for video games and most of the other things parents and society at large are complaining about with respect to teenagers.

"When I was little I always wanted to build things and I wasn’t the kind of person who wanted to be in the kitchen cooking or downstairs with my mom sewing.  I always wanted to be outside doing stuff with my hands," Lily told me.

This really is a great story at so many levels.  The father/daughter team, Lily's atypical approach and the boat restoration itself.  We cover that in more detail in the TV segment.

I hope you'll check it out and enjoy it for all the reasons I did.

For more information on wooden boats and the vibrant antique boat community at Smith Mountain Lake check out this report.  Also, many thanks to George Blosser who seems to have a bottomless supply of old boat stories.


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