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Link to this postPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:35 am    Post subject: Note "Red Wine"

Kenneth Faulkner was a very dear friend of mine. He was an Anegada fisherman and businessman. He owned the gas station (the only one on the island), and he owned and operated the barge that runs once a week, bringing the large items to Anegada form Tortola. His barge (the "Isabel V") brought my truck and my boat trailer to Anegada.

But, most of all, Kenny was a boat builder. He loved building boats. In his lifetime, Kenneth hand-built 30 boats. The last boat that Kenny built was the "Carrier II". I watched him build it and marveled at his craft. He built the entire boat without ever having a single drawing. The entire construction came from his head. One day, as Kenny was working on her, I asked Kenny how big Carrier II was. He said "I don't really know, I think she about 30 feet". I paced her off and told Kenny I thought she was more like 35 feet. We scrounged around and found a measuring tape and measured her out at 36 feet. Kenny said "Wow! I got a big boat!"

Here are a couple of pictures of Kenny at work on Carrier II.

Kenny had an accident a few years ago that disabled him. He was wheelchair bound, but he still enjoyed the sea. Nancy and I spent many afternoons sitting with Kenny under the big seagrape tree at his dock, drinking a bottle or three of red wine. We jokingly called it the "Kennancy Seagrape Bar". Kenny loved red wine. While sitting under the tree, Kenny and I talked many times about building one more boat. I really wanted to work alongside him and learn more. The thought of building another boat always buoyed Kenny's spirit.

Kenny became very ill in August, and was hospitalized on Tortola. Word went out that Kenny needed blood. I had never given blood. I tried to once, many years ago, but I passed out before they could get the needle into my arm. When I went to have my blood test for our marriage license before Nancy I were married, I straight out told them that I was likely to faint. I have a very high pain threshold, but I have never been a comfortable bleeder. But - for Kenny - count me in. I rode over to Tortola on the barge, now operated by Kenny's son Garfield. I never even broke into a sweat as I gave that blood for Kenny. In fact, I was amused by the facial expression of a big strapping young fellow that was in the hospital lab to give blood as he watched me fill that bag up. I thought he was going to faint!

Sadly, Kenny passed away this past September. Nancy and I were at his funeral in October.

The West Indies have an interesting funeral tradition. The family of the deceased puts together a booklet that has the life story, photographs, and contributed eulogies. Nancy and I wrote the following for Kenny's booklet:

It has been our pleasure and good fortune to have had Kenneth Faulkner as a friend. We feel blessed to have enjoyed spending time with him sitting under his seagrape tree. Some of our favorite memories are of spending afternoons with Kenneth sharing stories and sipping red wine in the cool breeze under the shade of that beautiful tree.

We enjoyed watching Kenneth build his boats. He built 30 boats in his lifetime, not including the miniatures that he built after his accident. Even after he had his accident, he took great pride in building his miniature boats.

When he was building “Carrier II”, Kenneth told us about when he was just a young boy in school, and his teacher would come by his desk expecting to see him working on his schoolwork. However, instead of having schoolwork on his paper, he would likely be drawing a boat. He told us that he often got a strapping for drawing boats, but that it never stopped him from following his dream.

Of all of the treasures that endear Anegada to us, Kenneth was one of the best. Kenneth was one of Anegada’s greatest assets. It will be difficult to drive by the gas station and not see Kenneth enjoying the breeze of the sea that he loved.

Boats were his life.

Fair winds and smooth seas to you Kenneth.

With loving memories of a dear friend,

Nancy and Walker Mangum

Many of the photos of Kenny that were in the booklet were pictures that I had taken of him. This one is one of my favorites:

Kenny's family mentioned Nancy and me in the booklet, recognizing us a "special friends". It was a true honor.

In late October, Nancy and went by to spend a moment at Kenny's gravesite. His gravesite seemed empty. Something was missing. We decided that Kenny needed a boat on his gravesite. So, I built model boat, based on the photos that I had taken of Carrier II during it's construction. We named the model "Red Wine". One foot long, she is a 1/36 model of Carrier II, with construction very similar to Carrier II.

Here is Carrier II's framing.

And here is my initial framing.

Carrier II

Red Wine

Carrier II

Red Wine

Framing complete

Paper patterns to cut the plywood sheeting

Sheeted with 1/64" plywood.

Fiberglassing the hull. She is glassed with epoxy resin and three layers of 3/4 ounce cloth.

Foredeck in place

Foredeck glassed, fitting the house

Fitting the prop and rudder

Glassing the engine box

Hull primed for paint.

Tiny cleats, mode from wood and steel, also covered with fiberglass

Major assembly and initial coats of paint done

Red Wine complete. She is a traditional Anegada lobster boat.

Red Wine will go on Kenny's gravesite next week. I think Kenny will like her.
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Link to this postPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:02 am    

Great tribute, Wallker. Can't wait to see the Red Wine this weekend...
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Link to this postPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:06 am    

great story, you got me all misty
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Link to this postPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:11 am    

We will take a few bottles of red to the cemetery and have a party with Kenny. Sue Wheatley is coming over for the Red Wine party.
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Link to this postPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 1:05 pm    Post subject: Note Red wine

Sure am glad I’m sitting here alone cause my current condition would ruin my hard ass reputation. That’s just fricken beautiful.
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Link to this postPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:05 pm    

That is a very touching memorial. One can only imagine the time, effort and love that went into it's construction. That memorial raises the bar on what being a friend means. Raise a toast of red and celebrate a life well lived.
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Link to this postPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2013 2:48 pm    

The islanders have been building seaworthy boats for centuries and not untill the late sixties the most common tool was the hatchet and the hand drill.
For measurement it was either a string or by eye.
As for sailing they're very comfortable and at home at sea.
There are very few builders left from his era.
God bless him, he's probably looking down right now smiling and enjoying the show.
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Link to this postPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2013 3:54 pm    

Kenneth hand cut the ribs for "Carrier" (the predecessor to "Carrier II") from Anegada seagrape. He was the last of the Anegada boat builders.
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Link to this postPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2013 4:03 pm    

The end of a era.
A museum with these hand crafted Yola's and power boats would be an interesting attraction for tourist and locals.
Geremy from the Cyber Cafe in Trellis has an old island boat displayed on the beach.
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Link to this postPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2013 6:16 pm    

Jeremy's boat was a beauty when he first brought her in - about 10 years ago - maybe longer. She is a traditional Tortola sloop. Not many of her kind around any more. Sadly, he has not taken proper care of her and she is in very sad shape now.
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Link to this postPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2013 6:53 pm    

walker wrote:
Jeremy's boat was a beauty when he first brought her in - about 10 years ago - maybe longer. She is a traditional Tortola sloop. Not many of her kind around any more. Sadly, he has not taken proper care of her and she is in very sad shape now.

When she was brought she was not seaworthy although she sure looked it.
But a with a little work ( Not to go to sea again ) it could be a piece of history along with boats from other islands.
Down island you'll still see people in the dugout canoes (same construction that the Caribe and Arawaks Indians used)
It would be really interesting to have like we have in the states "Maritime Museum's" but with a Caribbean flair.
I've been planning on trying to get something like this together for awhile but finances are holding me back till I get reorganized.
Which should be real soon.
BTW the great grand son of the Tortola sloop at Geremy's hung around the cyber cafe and told me his G Grandfather used to haul different goods to St Croix and Puerto Rico
I would think to myself how could it be profitable and then realize there's really no transportation costs except maintenance so basically he always made a profit and time was really not important.
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Link to this postPosted: Wed Dec 25, 2013 2:14 pm    

What a beautiful tribute, Walker!

I saw your postings on Facebook about building the boat, but did not realize the significance behind the project.

Lovely memorial to a friend!
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Link to this postPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2013 1:29 pm    

Well done Walker. A very fitting tribute. Thank You.
We never got to meet him, although I noticed him sometimes in the wheelchair behind and around the gas station. I'm glad to know his story and heritage. We will remember him especially when on island.
You two would have been great partners in boat construction, if your model is any indication of your talent. It is sad to see his kind of experience and talent go.
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Link to this postPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 7:16 am    

That's a beautiful thing there Walker, and a fitting tribute.
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Link to this postPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:26 am    

Rest in Peace, Kenneth.
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