My son Hank and his pal John from Collage at the help of the whaler last summer right before they entered into there sr year.

My eldest son Hank and his pal John from Collage at the helm of the whaler last summer right before they entered into there Sr. year.

As some of you know, this week I was on the road to Boulder CO. The reason was to be at my oldest sons graduation from Collage. It’s strange really, I am always able to connect anything to classic boating when on the road. But this was one of those life moments where family comes first. My son has worked his but off to make it here, and I could not be more proud. He graduated from the school of journalism at CU yesterday and thanks to Texx I have been able to stumble along just doing headers. So a huge thanks to Texx for that. There are a ton of great stories that are in the works, plans for this summers events, new cool sponsors, and new boats being exposed for the first time this summer. Tomorrow we will be making the looooong run across Kansas back home to DC and finally get woody boating.

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27 Responses to “Sometimes, Family Comes First.”
  1. don vogt

    Congratulations to Hank, this is always a significant milestone in life!

  2. randy rush Captain Grumpy

    Matt: Congrads to your son! I totally understand family first. My oldest daughter Hilary (looking for a graphic arts job) graduates next weekend. That is the first weekend I have taken off in a year!

    • Troy

      Hi Captain: Interesting, my daughter has one more year at Mass Art in Graphic Design. Don’t know what your projects are like right now, but I hear you like lap streaks. I have leads on a couple “free to a good home”. Would like to talk “so here’s my number, call me maybe” 207-837-3584.

  3. Chad

    Family ALWAYS comes first.
    Congrats to Hank and the Smith family.

  4. Rick

    Congratulations Hank, your hard work will pay off. Then you will blow all your hard earned money on a woody.

  5. Dick Dow

    Congratulations to all of you! College graduation is one of those milestone moments on so many levels – enjoy and let the accomplishment sink in. Great parenting, great kid (young adult…) focus and teamwork – it doesn’t get much more satisfying!

  6. Cliff Wolfe

    Weren’t you buying him a boat as a graduation gift???? Hmmmm?

    • Paul H.

      How about giving him the cruiser from yesterday, Matt? Help him be productive in his spare time AND save a boat? A lovely gift from a father to his son.

  7. Bob VandeVusse

    Koodohs to Hank, and yoo too, Matt. I’m sure you had a big part in it. But now that the big event is out of the way you can slooww down on the return trip threw Kansas. Wasn’t that the state that was so lite on readers when you did that geograffic survey? Introduce Dorothy an Toto to whr WB lifestyle!

  8. Dennis Mykols

    Congrats to you young man, and Congrats to both Mr. AND Mrs. Smith…

  9. Troy

    That is AWESOME and well worth taking some time off. Family should be first in Woodyboaterville!

  10. Jimmuh

    He’s graduating from Collage ….. perhaps to Watercolor? How appropriate…..

    • m-fine

      One might hope woodworking or perhaps oil based painting.

  11. Steve M.

    Matt,
    First Congrats to your son Hank!!!! The world is a small place with out a Degree!
    Second, Congratulations to you and your wife for putting him through CU!! My Daughter just finished her first year there, and I know what it cost to attend that School!!!! It is a GREAT school! I just can’t help of thinking of the 3 Chris Craft Cobras that would be sitting in my garage if it wasn’t for Tuition (out of State)!!! The things we do for our Children!!! Here’s hoping they become the next “Bill Gates” and can afford to take care of us!!!! Family comes FIRST!!!! Save drive home…..

  12. Paul H.

    now that the college bills are over Matt, maybe you COULD take on that 50 footer? Give it a thought…..

  13. Wayne Spaulding

    Matt, Call Tom Lange in Boulder for a woddy fix. He has a wooden boat shrine-warehouse on Arapahoe that you will enjoy. His number is 303-641-3312.His wife Kathy is also a treat.

  14. Alex

    All day long I’ve been trying to make the connection between the header photo of the upside boat and your son’s college graduation.

    Now I get it. The boat symbolizes dad’s empty wallet. Clever!

  15. RiverRat

    Family is more important than boats of any material, but if the boats are made of wood and the family is on board, I am a lucky man. Congradulations to the graduate and his proud parents.

  16. WoodyGal

    Congratulations Hank! Nicely done. Don’t let your dad give you a cruiser project for graduation.

  17. Alex

    If Hank builds a collection of classic boats, the guaranteed short term appreciation will help him pay off those student loans in no time.

    It’s foolproof!

  18. 72hornet

    Matt, congratulations on your new college graduate! A fine investment that you cannot begin to put a price on. Safe travels on your way back to DC!

  19. Rich Marschner

    Matt, I graduated from J-School at CU/Boulder in 1970…then again in 71 with a master’s in Communication and Theater. Spent an entire career in journalism and radio, so you can assure Hank (and the Boatress) that occasionally a new grad does end up in his or her career field for 50 years!

    But…only occasionally….

  20. tom lange

    Matt : Well it was certainly a pleasure to meet you, your lovely wife and newly graduated son today. thanks for stopping by the shop for your WOODY BOAT FIX. I hope the smell of the bilge wofting up out of the boats is enough to carry you all the way back to the east coast. Meeting you and looking at your business model really gives me hope for a next generation of woody boaters. It is easy to become “JADED” as you watch things change over the decades. I think you have a real grasp on the future of wooden boating and and a way to deliver it to the masses. As we were talking today about the 3 types of people that make up our hobby. We have all but forgotten about the guy that puts on a silly sailors hat sit on the transom of his 12′ cedar fishing boat (named “The Minnow”) leaking like crazy bail all afternoon , and have the best time on earth doing it. These are the backbone of our club!! I’m one of them !! All too often we only hear or see in printed publication the BIG BUCK BOAT campaigned by the elite who know everybody in the business. And know how to get them in front of the right camera. I feel that focusing on that end of the spectrum SCARES a lot of folks off. People that would swell our ranks if they just weren’t so put off or intimidated by the ones that want to make such a big competion out of everything. Lets all try to put the fun back in boating this year ! I know you didn’t notice today but #7 on our posted rules for a competent skipper in the shop says “a competent skipper finds a way to share his love of boats and boating with those not capable or able”. Lets all remember that this season and go that extra mile to get someone out on a boat that can’t. . A very quiet undescribale feeling inside awaits everyone that goes the extra mile to do this, believe me !! Find attached my subscription and once again thanks for stopping by and thank you for renewing my faith in our hobbies future. tom & Kathy lange lange boats boulder, co.

  21. Al Benton

    Matt, pass a huge Congratulations to your son. A college degree is the main ingredient that pays dividends for the rest of your life.

    Hey, if you and Suzzie pass through St. Louis on your way home hive me a call. We’ll get out on the river and see a few old woodie boats. Oops, I forgot already, I would need to borrow a boat to do that. Dang!!! I miss her already. Well, call anyway. We could grab lunch or dinner and talk about Woody Boats.

  22. Gary

    Congratulations! It took me ten years to put a new bottom on my boat but I put two kids through college and graduate schools and kept the lawn mowed.
    But i am not familiar with higher learnig at a collage. 🙂

  23. floyd r turbo

    Congrats Hank, that’s a great accomplishment. Now on to the next big thing, best of luck putting that to good use and be sure your folks know your appreciation for their sacrifices, I’m sure you will. onward and upward.

  24. Michael Vannier

    Matt, congratulations to your son. In discussing our work on Mike’s Mess in a recent article, I didn’t realize you had some connections to the Boulder area. My son, Jack, starts his journey at CU in the Fall. Great school and close enough to home when he needs a woody fix, himself. Glad to see you met some of the members of the Rocky Mountain Classics Chapter while here. We have a mix of very deep roots and sapplings among our membership ranks, and we’ve saved a few woodies from the burn pile. We’re all hoping for full lakes and reservoirs this year, but we’ll see. Your global window into our hobby has become my go-to resource. Keep it up and hope to meet you some day at one of our Rocky Mountain venues. Have you been to Grand Lake? We’re there The weekend of July 13th should you be out this way again. As the largest natural lake in Colorado, it’s a sure thing.