Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Year Has Passed...

It's hard to believe that a year has gone by since I last saw my Dad. It was Sunday morning, October 26th, 2008 and I was leaving Seattle after spending my last week with him. As we both awoke that morning, he was in good spirits and talkative. I had no idea that he would die in three days time; who would have, as he appeared much as he always did,with his strong voice and his sweet way. After chatting for some time about the book he was reading, he offered me some fatherly wisdom in sort of a round about way. Looking back after he died, I realized that he was trying to give a bit of advice and encouragement, much like a coach would give to his prized pupil who was setting off on his own journey. It was his way of looking forward, as he probably could not bear to say goodbye forever. There were things that I wish I had told him, and I was sure at the time that he was not near death-he was strong, and I thought months away from passing.

Now as I look back I see that he lived a long and full life that spanned nine decades. That is a long journey, though just a blink in God's eye. He was blessed in many ways, and in his heart I know he was grateful for all of his friends and family. He was such a social creature, really quite interested in other people and their stories. He always talked about his friends and family to others, as if he was so proud of them. This always struck me as such an altruistic quality-a man who believed in the goodness and love of his fellow man.

I too am grateful-grateful for the loving father that I had, and all the good memories we shared. Now he remains a peace of my heart forever.

I'll be sure to raise a toast in his honor this week, on October 29th, in memory of his last moments with us. I hope you all will join me, as you remember Charley in your own special way.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Welcome The "Charley McIntyre"

The newest member of the family of Pocock Racing Shells has come out of the Pocock shop, and onto the water. The boat is a Quad Hypercarbon Racing Shell, and she is called the "Charley McIntyre". If Dad was here to see this he would be smiling from ear to ear! It is such a tribute to his friends, his family, and his fellow rowers that they gave their generous donations to make this happen.

The boat has not yet been formally christened-that is scheduled to happen sometime this summer-but there was an informal ceremony at the Pocock Racing Shell factory on May 8th. Bill Tytus, the owner of Pocock, was on hand to dedicate the new boat, and he told some funny stories of Dad from years past. We then raised a toast of Irish Whiskey, and then Bill poured what was left of Dad's last bottle of Irish Whiskey on the boat.  One for the Road, you might say.

The shell was then transported down to the Pocock Rowing Center by Bill's son John Tytus. Myself, my brother Joe, my brother in law Dave, and John then carried the boat down into the boathouse. This is the lightest four man boat that I have ever carried, in fact it can be lifted by two people! This is important, so that it can be carried by the Junior girls, who will be racing the boat at the US National Rowing Championships in June. The girls have already won the first race that the boat was entered in, this past month, at the Pacific Northwest Regional Rowing Championships!

However, the first lucky souls to row the boat were Charley McIntyre Jr., Joe McIntyre, Dave Fitch, and Molly McIntyre Fitch.  And what an honor it was to be the first to put The Charley into the water, and row her up through the Montlake Cut past the old UW shellhouse! The boat handled superbly, with the help of Dave steering in the bow for the first time. The boat is light, stiff, and very responsive to the pressure placed through the oars. When we put the pressure on, you could feel the boat lift up in the water and run smooth and fast.  Dad would be singing her praises if he was rowing with us. And in a way he was, as part of him rests inside that boat. She's a winner for sure, just like her namesake was.

I look forward to the formal christening ceremony this summer, and especially look forward to seeing the girls win a national championship in The Charley this year! 

Best to All,

Charlie McIntyre Jr.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Memories of Alpental

Charlie Jr. Here... I was up in Seattle last month, and went up to Snoqualmie Pass for the day with my sister Molly. It was a foggy day below 3000 feet, but it was sunny and warm at the top of Alpental. As many of you know, Alpental was Dad's home ski area, only second to Sun Valley on his favorites list. He moved over to teach skiing at Alpental in it's inaugural year-1968-The Winter of Love.

It was my first time back to Alpental since I went there with Dad a year ago. I could feel his presence there that day. For me, Alpental holds so many memories of my Dad, as that is where he taught me how to ski way back in 1973. To honor him, I scattered his ashes into the mountain winds at some of his favorite spots:

Edelweiss Bowl-where Dad would sing the song Edelweiss from The Sound of Music, before he set off down the hill.

Chair 3-along the treeline where Dad would carve his Round Turns and discuss his philosophy of Skiing. One of his favorite spots for teaching his students.

The Top of Chair 2-where I threw his ashes into the wind, and they were blown down into Internationale, his spirit descending down that great ski run.

Thanks to you Dad, for bringing us all to The Mountains.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Year Ago.....

A year ago on Christmas Eve, Charley boarded a plane bound for Kauai, Hawaii to visit his two sisters, Muriel and Barbara. Charley's baby sister Barbara, sensing the shortened time together, arranged a magnificent holiday for Charley. It was a beautiful gift of time spent together in a splendid setting.

Charley had a wonderful Christmas with Muriel, Alvin Sr., Barbara, and Alvin Jr. Charley described his trip to me in great detail upon his return. He enjoyed the lazy afternoons spent with Alvin, Muriel's beloved husband of more than fifty years, looking at the ocean and lamenting their beautiful surroundings. Mostly though, he very much enjoyed time with his sisters.

I was in Alameda, CA last week both working and spending time with my Aunt Barbara. It felt like we were on a marathon slumber party and I wore bags under my eyes to prove it. We had such fun together. I felt Charley's presence very strongly when close friends, Joann Pheasant and Marijo Gillan joined the fun. The four of us shared a meal together and our memories of Charley in front of a warm fire.

That night, Aunt Barbara and I fell asleep passing Charley's reading glasses back and forth between us. We both miss him terribly, we decided, but agreed he is in a much better place.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Soft Hands

There are many technical subtleties, plus years of training required to reach the level of mastery in sculling once enjoyed by Charley McIntyre. For Charley, the sculler's catch was the holy grail of sculling.

Arguably, one of the most critical elements of the sculler's catch is the relaxation of the hand on the recovery phase of the stroke. It is an important prelude to the relaxation required to make the sculler's catch. Any gripping or tightening on the oar, on the other hand, guarantees a very slow and inefficient catch, resulting in poor sculling.

In this photograph of Charley together in a double with Christi, he provides us with a clear illustration of total relaxation. He maintains contact with the oar, only with the top of the palm of his hand. He makes it look easy and effortless, but trust me, it's not!

Those of us who had an opportunity to scull with Charley are very familiar with the sensation of letting go of the oar just before the entry. In a single, it feels like you are suspended over the edge of a cliff holding onto a string, whilst Charley instructs you to let go for a very brief moment.

Charley spent countless hours teaching me to row. I am not certain how close I came to mastering the elusive "sculler's catch." It hardly matters now. What's matters most is the joy of time spent with Charley McIntyre devoted to the pursuit of the perfect stroke.

Shannon McIntyre Woods

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving..........

I woke up this Thanksgiving morning at 4 AM, thinking about Charley. My routine is predictable. I look up at my ceiling and say aloud, "I miss you so much Charley. I miss you every day." It may seem a bit odd. How do I know if heaven is up or if he can even hear me? Still, each day begins the same way as I go through my little exercise of looking upward and talking aloud.

My family spent Thanksgiving with my Uncle Charley a few years ago. Ray and I loaded up the kids and some food. We had decided to bring Thanksgiving to him and he loved it. Today I am truly thankful for my Thanksgiving memory with Charley.

As we celebrate our first Thanksgiving without him, let us be grateful for all the wonderful years we shared together. Let us follow Charley's example of graciousness and gratitude, even in the face of insurmountable odds. Like Charley, let us be thankful for even the smallest blessings.

Keep the faith!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Eulogy from Charley's Memorial Service

It will be four weeks ago, tomorrow, that Charley passed out of the Old World and into his New World.

I miss you with each passing day, I long for you with each passing hour...

I hold your memory close, and in my sorrow you comfort me.

The Seasons of a Life

We’re here today to honor a good man…
A Teacher…
A Father…
A Friend…

Charley McIntyre’s true passion in life was teaching. He loved to share his knowledge and skills with others, and he was fascinated with Technique. He was attracted to Intellectuals and Artists alike, and he was compelled to learn their ways and absorb their knowledge. People like George Pocock, Ernie Burgess, and Jo Scaylea. Dad had special friendships with them, just as he had special friendships with each of you. And with his warmth and his charm, he would make you feel like he was really interested in what you did, and what you had to say.

Dad could talk for hours…whether it was about rowing styles, or ways to ride your skis, or about all of the interesting people he has known in his life. And Brother, let me tell you, he has known many people. He had a knack for meeting people and making friends. The first friend he made in Seattle was a young lady down at Lake Washington in the late summer of 1949. Dad was rowing up through the Montlake Cut of the Lake Washington Ship Canal when he noticed a light haired woman swimming just outside the path of his oars. He stopped rowing and waited until he could get her attention. She lifted her head out of the water and said hello, and that was the beginning of his friendship with Fran Hawkins. Fran became close friends with Charley’s family and his first wife, Ann Cummins.

Last year I was privileged to travel with my Dad to compete in the World Masters Rowing Championships in Croatia. We raced together in the double sculls as a father/son team. Dad pulled his heart out in that race, even though he knew his lungs were full of cancer, for it was something that he wanted to do for both of us.

I spent every day with him for a month on that trip as we wandered through Europe; listening to his interesting stories and commentary. He may have repeated his jokes a few times, but the stories were new every day. I would listen to him and smile, just relishing in the comfort of being with my father. That gift was truly special.

When I was a boy Dad would come watch my soccer games. Afterwards he would take me down to the Seattle Tennis Club and set me loose for the day. I would hunt down tennis balls while he slipped off for a long nap.

I remember sitting with my him as he watched the Flip Wilson Comedy Show in the locker room. Dad would laugh uproariously at some joke that I didn’t get; yet I would laugh along with him, because it felt so good to do so, and it made me feel closer to him. Throughout his life, his laugh always had that effect on me.
As we would walk out of the club, he would always step into the bar and grab some nuts and pretzels. Years later when the club was remodeled, they purposely moved the hallway away from the bar, so as to discourage Charley McIntyre from making off with all the nuts.

Like some character out of an old movie, Dad had a warm, familiar way about him.
He was a simple man, and he enjoyed the simple pleasure of living. Dad was a Hummer. He would often walk around humming a tune…hearing old big band music that he loved so much.

Now among all of his interests, Dad had one true passion in Life…One True Love…

…And That Was The Doughnut.

Yes, it’s true, he was obsessed with Rowing.
But the path to that Man’s Heart was through his tummy, and there was no love like Charley and The Doughnut.

Often times he could be found at The Madison Park Bakery, with doughnut in hand. Dad had a Phd. in doughnuts and a Masters degree in persuading others to buy them for him.
Eventually he was kicked out of the Bakery for instituting a Free Coffee Refill Program for “Seniors”, and for allegedly making a series of inappropriate remarks. Can you Believe That?

A funny story comes from a time when Dad went flying with his daughter Bridget, The Pilot. As they are waiting for the ok to takeoff from Boeing Field, Bridget revs the engine to full power, checking the propeller and the engine magnetos. It is so loud inside the small cabin, that you can barely hear the take off command from the tower through your headset. As Bridget looks over to Dad and gives him the thumbs up for takeoff, she notices his chin down on his chest…amid all the noise, he’s managed to fall asleep!

Dad could fall asleep almost anywhere. He would nod off at mass, in the waiting room at the doctors office, or his favorite spot-the old couch in the men's locker room at The Tennis Club. Rumor has it that he wore out more than a few couches over the years at the club.

Now As far as we know, he never once fell asleep while rowing.

But he did row in his sleep.
He loved rowing so much, he once told me that he would dream about rowing. Perhaps he would dream about a boat that he could both row and sleep in.

Dad rowed more miles on Lake Washington than anyone since the Native Indians plied the waters in their dugout cedar canoes. He knew the water like the back of his hand. It was there that he found true peace…It was there that he was at home.

Today we honor a man who had the ultimate life…

He rowed almost every day of his life, he was surrounded by his friends and students, who shared his love for the sport, and he was revered by his family.

He will be missed…yet remembered by all.

I like to think that he’s up in Heaven right now rowing on Endless Waters.

Monday, November 24, 2008

It's Never Too Late.......

Eight years ago I decided some space had opened up in my life that I wanted to fill with a new form of exercise—rowing. Though I knew nothing about rowing when I was in college, and had never even watched it, I somehow still had a fascination with it. For one, I love being on the water. My husband and I built our own 36’ sailboat, which we launched in 1979, and one of my happiest occupations while cruising has been to row my Minto dinghy about the bays we anchor in. Rowing seemed like the perfect way to get me on the water during the winter.

My husband and I both are longtime inhabitants of the Madison Park area, and his advice was to seek out Charley McIntyre. So I did. Charley wasn’t the least bit fazed that a slim, not-so-tall by rowing standards (5’6”) 60-year old was wanting to learn to row. So teach me he did. First the nice “stable” double wherries, with Charley stroking. Then the single wherry on a line, as he strung me out from the dock and I thought I’d never been in anything so unstable in my life! Gradually I got my bearings and my balance, Charley deemed me ready to begin rowing with a group. I looked at several boathouses and groups, but it was Charley’s group of mixed gender, non-competitive rowers that both looked attractive as a group to get to know, and had a schedule that fit for me.

I’ve been happily a part of the Charley McIntyre Rowing Club since then, slowly learning to hold my own in an eight, quad, double, and finally, one of those lovely, slender singles. Charley is one of the most graceful rowers I have seen. A row in the double with him at first always seemed to be an exercise in patience, because he would move so slowly. But I learned that the slow speed gave me something extra—it gave me time to watch, balance and learn to feel his movements. Not that he always rowed slowly—he could pour it on when he wanted. The most remarkable row I remember was a row through the cut in the quad with Charley stroking. In the cut he would usually have us do a push for “60” strokes, and the 60 we did that day was both the fastest and smoothest I have ever seen us row. How did it happen? I have no idea, but it was magical. We all just slipped in behind him and somehow achieved that flow.

I will treasure his quiet, calm directions, and even miss his Ole and Lena jokes, and the fact that from season to season, the man with the most prodigious memory I’ve ever seen could not sort out the different kinds of ducks we would see, always having to ask our bird expert, John Lundin, what he was seeing. I’m sure others on the water will miss his unsolicited rowing advice.

Thanks, Charley, for gifting me with a wonderful way to be on, and in, the water, and for knowing that it’s never too late to get started.

Kae Hutchison

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Charley's Poem

Gentle Poise, Awaken Now On The Calm Waters of Your Dream

Silence, As You Lay Your Thoughts on The Empty Canvas Before You

Smooth is Your Stroke, As It Paints 
Ripples Across The Surface of The Lake

Here In The Shadow of The Great Mountain You Search For The Path of Your Life

Shrouded In Early Morning's Light, 
You Glide With The Grace of The Great Lake Bird...

Your Wings Pulse Gently Above The Water
Touching It's Surface Lightly With Each Stroke-
Drawing Wisdom From The Lake Spirit Within, 
Then Moving On With True Enlightenment

Your Body, Like a Tree of Red Cedar, Light as Your Dream,
Floats Freely Above The Water- Held in Communion With
The Lake By The Roots of Your Soul

                        Oh Glory!    Oh Grace!
        Your Motion Flows With Gentle Poise

Here In The Morning Mist-You See Truth In It's Creation
             Here In Your Dream-You Are Free

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Let the boat run.......

I met Charley McIntyre and rowing in Seattle by the circuitous route, much like all good things in life. I learned to row through a sorority sister in Long Beach California during a ten day vacation to southern cal in 1997.

Upon returning to Seattle, I asked a mutual friend which boathouse to join up with. Pocock was the answer. For a year or two I was a member of Seattle Yacht Club. Then I met Tom (my future husband) and was introduced to Charlie McIntyre Rowing Club.Charlie encouraged me to become a better rower like all good teachers: he caught me doing something right, gave me a tip to improve on, all in a quiet, easy way. No yelling, this coach, he would distract me with stories. I would get caught up in the talk, it would relax me and the harmony between oar and water would wash over me.

Charley was a master at moving the boat with efficiency. He would tell us, 'keep the stroke, just work a little harder'. It is a motto not only for rowing, but for life. I learned to let go, and let the boat run. It became a metaphor for my life. Find the sweet spot, relax into it, let go. Charley taught me much about myself and about life. He showed by example how to live a life of grace and courage.

In the last couple of years, I watched Charley handle setbacks of divorce and illness with kindness, wisdom, and strength. It was an honor to be with him. Like all great athletes, he made it look easy. Being behind his stroke was poetry in motion. When he coached and coxed our boat, he brought out the best in each individual. Not so much by specific words, but by moving us to pull together, feel the boat, catch the rhythm.

I'm pleased that Charley is on smooth water now, able to see clearly without glasses. He is missed, yet I am so grateful to have known him as coach, fellow rower and friend.

Karen McElhinney


Special thanks to Karen for her direct involvement in Charley's care. With her nursing background and expertise, we felt very comfortable leaving Charley in her hands. Charley sure enjoyed her great company!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Happy Birthday Charley!

For Charley, rowing was a lifelong friend that never left his side.

"It feels wonderful. I've never let up. I've done it all my life," McIntyre said. "It's like mastering a good golf swing. You can do what you can do. It's a skill. It's an art. It's truly an art."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Charley's Memorial Row Nov. 16, 2008

The Charley McIntyre Rowing Club (CMRC), friends and family participated in the Memorial Row for our founder and namesake, Charley McIntyre, who died October 29, 2008. It was held on Sunday, November 16th. CMRC began the row at the Pocock Rowing Center.

We took a trip through the rich Northwest Rowing History held dear by Charley. Along the way, the group rowed past the LWRC Fremont boathouse, then south past boathouses, one of which was in a movie, Sleepless in Seattle.
We crossed Lake Union, while enjoying the Seattle skyline, and spotted the Garfield Boathouse of LWRC, then it was up the lake to the newest boathouse, Lake Union Crew. Just before we reached Lake Union, we rowed past the location of Boeing’s first plane plant where George Pocock and his brothers worked.

As we rounded the head leading into Portage Bay, we passed the Pocock Boat Works on the North Shore and the Boathouse bearing George Pocock’s name on the South. As we approached the Cut, we saw the location of the first Pocock boat shop on Portage Bay. Through the Cut, we saw the location of the second Pocock boat works and the U of W crew house.

The group made a large turn in Union Bay, enjoying the full scope of Seattle rowing history.
Finally, we returned back to our boathouses.

Charley McIntyre loved the look of orange on the water and most of us wore bright orange to honor him. Following the row, we all enjoyed coffee at Café Louisa as we blanketed the place in a virtual sea of orange.
Thanks to everyone who participated in this event and special thanks to Jim Roe for organizing it and to the Berry's for providing the bright orange Charley shirts!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The patient man.......

Charley was the most calm, patient teacher of a classic, meditative rowing technique. I treasured his patience - though he could lose his temper with those who were not on his team - but with us, he was loyal and patient, a wonderful teacher.

His passing feels like the passing of an era. I feel blessed to have known him and to have rowed with him. He is already sorely missed.I was also struck and touched by his great equanimity when he went through trying personal times. He personified in his personal life the patience he tried to teach us as rowers. He had grace! We all loved Charley.

I even dusted off my discarded Catholism and went to an All Soul's mass which featured Mozart's Requium, dedicating the evening and music to Charley. His memory will always be with us as we seek to perfect the glide and the grace which he taught so well.

Michele Coad, and her daughter Rosa.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Charley's champion, a boy named John

As Charley's student and single sculler I would like to participate in the memorial row. Charley coached me to success in both my life and in sport and clearly meant a great deal to me. To honor his memory as a national champion double sculler I would like to row the 2x with his double partner's daughter and Charley's niece Shannon Woods (daughter of Joe McIntyre).

I think the orange is a great idea; however, I will be wearing my National team gear as a tribute to Charley's success as an athlete and to pay homage to his integral role in my sculling success.
I had the fortune of having Charley in my life from the time I started sculling at age 10. At that early age, Charley's coaching consisted of imparting little technical pearls while trying to keep water fights to a minimum. Despite his best efforts, we still got very wet and I know that he secretly delighted in watching us throw one another in Lake Union.

As a middle school student I would wait patiently by the window until the yellow headlights of his red Toyota would pull up to take me to practice. Then I would dash out through the darkness and pouring rain and leap into his car. Shutting the door encapsulated me in the warm world of Charley McIntyre. The heater and Frank Sinatra blasted away as he drove me to the boathouse each morning.

As a high school student Shannon started writing my training plans and Charley would administer them staying true to his belief that, "Training gives you miles, technique only gives you inches--but races are won by inches." As a college student Charley counselled me as an athlete and as a person. On Sunday's we would sneak in a practice in the single. After college, we went out to long lunches where he told wonderful dirty jokes and talked about rowing. Honestly, sometimes I would get lost in his conversation because Charley's ability to recount the most minute detail is unmatched.

I sincerely look forward to Sunday's row. Thank you in advance to all those who will participate. And, as Charley said to me every practice and the day before he passed, "Keep the faith."

With love and admiration,

John Lorton

John Lorton racing the final at Jr World's! Don't let the pink shell fool you, this kid was fast!
He posted the fastest 2k time of the year. 6:58

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Charley McIntyre, Teacher and Mentor

My "Charley" story by Jim Buckley:

Charley recruited me to the ancient Mariners Rowing Club one day at Green Lake in 1991 - or more aptly allowed me to drop by and row with them.

We rowed together, got to know each other at Voula's and the Burgermaster and watched rowing videos at his house when we lived in Madison Park. Charley recruited me to help him take a couple of fours up to Salt Spring Is. to train some tall women who became the TBGs (Those Big Gals).
Charlie, more than anyone, filled me in on rowing history from his days with Jack Kelly to the present. Charley was always encouraging even to towards us "raw" Port Townsend rowers. Here's a picture of him encouraging Lorna, one of our rowers, at the Everett Salmon Row in 2003.

Photo: Charley encouraging Lorna in Everett, 2003

Charley and The Big Girls!

Waiting to get off the ferry to Salt Spring island, British Columbia, in the spring of 1993 with a set of rowboat oars in my hand, a woman as tall as I am came up to me and asked “Are you from Seattle? Do you row?” Charley had sent Mary Martha over with his card. We were building a cabin at nearby Parker Island and they were headed to St Mary’s Lake on Salt Spring for a weekend rowing camp with his newly formed dream group of tall woman rowers, The Big Girls (TBGs). One had to be over 5”8” and “not too young.” (Over the years I would watch Charley perk up countless times when a tall woman went by- “ I wonder if she rows” -and try to recruit her.)

Meeting at the Garfield boat house the next week for my first rowing lesson was the beginning of a life enhancing experience with Charley and the sport he was so passionate about. I wish we had met 30 years earlier!

The TBGs listened to a LOT of very bad jokes in the boat and kept trying to get Charley to clean them up a bit! In 1996 Herb and some other guys joined our group. One group of women split off to form Interlaken Rowing Club and the new, mixed, Charley McIntyre Rowing Club was born, keeping the Thames waterman stroke alive.

In time we had our own CMRC rowing camp at Parker Island every June. There was lots of time over coffee in the morning and Irish whiskey and clams on the beach to hear multitudes of stories about everyone in rowing and most everyone who lived in Seattle as well as view the nearly endless rowing tapes Charley brought. He generously spread his rowing lore, enthusiasm and coaching skills around Parker Island so now there is a small “International” Parker Island Rowing Club that rows just like Charley! This past June was our 12th annual camp.

We learned so very much over those years from Charley about endurance, courage, and passion for life – every time we are on the water we hear this voice “hold your knees and swing out!,” “Keep at it!” Our lives have been changed. Thank you, Charley, for being our inspiration- we can only hope to be able to get in and out of a boat at age 85!

Karen and Herb Berry
**Click Photo to enlarge

A Living History of Pocock

George Pocock and Charley McIntyre

Charley generously provided writers with material about the history of rowing, and especially the rich history of the Pocock family. The article above was written just after Pocock Racing Shells was sold to Bill Tytus, another of Charley's students. Thankfully, all the fears of change expressed in the article were unfounded. Bill Tytus has made the Pocock family proud with his attention to detail and quality in creating the fast boats of today.
Bill was like a son to Charley. They were lifelong friends. Charley was proud of Bill's achievement as a sculler, but mostly, he was proud of the business he built and the man he'd become.
Thanks to Guy Harper for providing us with the article.
To read the article, hover-over it and click to enlarge.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Sunset Over Irish Seas

Death is nothing at all
I have only slipped away into the next room
I am I and you are you
Whatever we were to each other
That we are still
Call me by my old familiar name
Speak to me in the easy way you always used
Put no difference into your tone
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
Laugh as we always laughed
At the little jokes we always enjoyed together
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was
Let it be spoken without effort
Without the ghost of a shadow in it
Life means all that it ever meant
It is the same as it ever was
There is absolute unbroken continuity
What is death but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind
Because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you for an interval
Somewhere very near
Just around the corner
All is well.
Nothing is past; nothing is lost
One brief moment and all will be as it was before
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

Canon Henry Scott-Holland, 1847-1918, Canon of St Paul's Cathedral

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Ancient Mariners......

A "Charley Story" By Guy Harper:

"During the summer of 1988, the Seattle Yacht Club organized a member men's rowing group that had the use of two light weight fours. We decided to hire a coach--who thought that the new way of rowing was to square the blades prior to entry. This did not set well with me as we used only the "Pocock stroke" in my four years ending in 1954 at the University of Washington.

Being more agitated and concerned regarding the SYC coach's demand for square blades, I decided to call Stan Pocock--our coach when we won the Freshman IRA race in 1951. Stan understood very well the situation and advised me to call Charley McIntyre--who I also hadn't seen for some 34 years. We met for lunch at the Seattle Yacht Club one afternoon and discussed "bringing back" the Pocock stroke--and decided the only way to do that was to start our own rowing club. This meant digging up some of the old UW rowers in order to establish that interest.

At that very magical moment, who walks into the SYC lunch room but Bill Cameron--who we also had not seen for years. We posed the situation to him and he was thrilled at the possibilities. He said he would call Rod Johnson and see if he was interested. Then Charley said that he would call Emmett Watson to see if he would meet with Stan Pocock and us and possibly do an article regarding the formation of such a club and ask for those interested oarsmen to "apply".

That evening, I related this wonderful turn of events to my wife, Pam. She thought that sounded great and said, "You ought to call yourselves the Ancient Mariners!" And so that name stuck.

The Emmett Watson article was published in the Seattle Times which resulted in ex-rowers coming in from all over the country--again, a magical moment.

And so the Ancient Mariner Rowing Club thrives today, mainly from the efforts of one, Charley McIntyre. Thanks, Charley--you have made many happy racing and personal memories since that meeting, twenty years ago! Your memory and associated wonderful stories will live in our hearts forever--and obviously get better as time goes by--along with those memorable races and practices we rowed together!"

Guy Harper
16714 31st Ave SW
Burien, WA 98166

206 242 4144


By Ancient Mariner, Jim Buckley:

Charley recruited me to the Ancient Mariners Rowing Club - or more aptly allowed me to drop by and row with them - one day at Green Lake in 1991.We got to know each other, watched rowing videos at his house when we lived in Madison Park and Charley, more than anyone, filled me in on rowing history from his days with Jack Kelly to the present. Charley also was always encouraging even to toward us "raw" Port Townsend rowers. There's a picture of him encouraging Lorna, one of our rowers, at the Everett Salmon Row in 2003 at We will miss Charley.

Thursday, November 6, 2008