Joe, Robert and Leonard in absentia

In an issue of the Small Craft Advisor, I saw an article about constructing a galley box to house a small stove, mess kit and cooking utensils on a sailboat.  I thought it was a great idea!  On SunShower, our 17 foot catboat, it would give us a central place for kitchen stores and afford us the opportunity to eliminate our gas grill that is currently blocking access to the cockpit from our swim ladder.  

Having no skill or the equipment needed to build a wooden cabinet, I was reminded of the Rolling Stones lyric;  You can't always get what you want..But if you try sometimes well you might find..You get what you need.  The reality was if I tried to build it myself, I would not get what I wanted or needed.  But if I asked, I just might get what I needed.  So, who to ask?  The choice was simple; Joe is known for his beautiful woodworking and Robert knows a lot about building anything including things metallic.  So at a recent gathering I showed them the article and asked if they would help me build a similar galley box.  Sure, they said, we'll give it a go.  Shortly thereafter, we headed to Smith Mountain Lake so Joe and Robert could see the space in the boat where the box needed to fit and to take exact measurements.  In addition to space requirements, the box needed to house a single burner propane stove, dissipate heat and have a metal top for hot pans.  Sitting in the cramped cabin, Robert began to visualize a design, make some sketches and ask Joe if he concurred.  Satisfied, we headed home and I asked when we could get started.  They said tomorrow!  But I said I could not do it in the morn due to another commitment.  Robert and Joe indicated that would not be a problem (subtext: Tom, you don't know crap about this and have no skills so you'd just be in the way!).  Robert indicated he had some cedar and aluminum he thought would work so all I would have to buy was the hardware. Joe told me the next day the galley box was done; did I want him to finish it?  Me thinks, he does such great finishing.   Sure, that would be great if it is not an imposition!  The next week, Joe delivered the galley box, a lovely cedar cabinet with a brushed aluminum top and hand made wooden handles!  

This project reflects the way Robert and Joe approach life.  They are always ready to lend a hand and take great pride in their work. Motivated, self-reliant, skilled, dedicated, smart, and cheerful are adjectives to decscribe them.  They must be grown up Boy Scouts!  No seriously, Robert and Joe are just fine men; friends I trust and admire for who they are.  I am glad the Appalachian Trail brought our paths together.  Thanks for the galley box guys; it is what I needed and more than I asked for!

PS:  Leonard is another guy who can generally be found messing around with these guys who is cast from the same die.  I feel the same way about him; he just wasn't involved in this project.  But beware Leonard, if I ever approach you with an article in hand.......


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