Get Out Your Hanky’s! One Comment About A Woody Tie Turns Into So, So Much More!

woody-tieYesterday Wilson Wright did a nice comment regarding a Woody Tie he found at a store, and then loooong time fellow Woody Boater Victor Fabricius AKA Floyd R Turbo chimed in with this gut wrenching tie story! Wow. We are all reminded at this time that we are all one family and when one of us is in trouble we are here for each other. Here is Victors longer story to read this Sunday Morning


Reading Chase’s report on his Thanksgiving boat ride on Lake Burton in north Georgia yesterday and Wilson Wright’s response regarding the time he was in Atlanta and stopped into a men’s wear store while he was in Atlanta called “Stockton’s” led me to recall my encounter with Stockton’s.  Actually, it was called “H. Stocktons”, a very traditional men’s wear store with your best button down oxford shirts and silk power ties and suits to make the necessary impression needed back in the day of 3 piece suits.  Wonder why they stopped at 3, has there never been a 4 or 5 piece suit?  But I digress, Ham’s store was a little, well actually, it was way above my price point, but it was interesting to see what the CEO’s and other banker types were wearing before the advent of casual Friday’s became popular.


One of Floyd R Turbo’s Varnish Jobs ready to go!

To give you some background, I’ve been kind of an itinerant “shipwright” and i use that term loosely working at different shops in the area just trying to learn the trade/craft of boat restoration.  Helping out in one shop I was told it was Ham Stockton’s family boat.  It was so long ago, I don’t remember the model, I think it was a CC utility.  Anyway, during the day, I was a project manager for a gov’t agency in downtown Atlanta but would work at different boat repair shops at night or on the weekend s to learn everything I could about boat building or restorations.  I happened to stop by “H. Stockton’s” a men’s wear store just window shopping in downtown Atlanta near where I worked during the day knowing I  really couldn’t afford anything in there.  Browsing, I was waited on by his son, if I remember, over 20 or more years ago and he asked if he could help me and I said came in to browse but I mentioned we just worked on their boat a little while back and he called his dad, Ham,  over (the “H” in “H. Stockton”) and mentioned it to him.  They were so pleased with the work and happy with the boat and talked about boats when he brought up the tie Wilson Wright mentioned.

I said that was amazing, never seen a woody boat tie.   Seeing that i was a “business man” (so to speak – well, I worked for the “gov’mint” and I wore a tie).  He asked me what I did and I said I was “a mercenary for state government, hired to kill time”.  He laughed so hard he gave me the tie.  I treasured it so much, I never wore it.  I have a problem with things like that related to wood boats, I think its called hoarding (before the name became popular).


Alayna and Floyd … The Turbos

Which brings me to why I was selling the tie as Matt and Kentucky Wonder had so kindly inquired.  My middle child, Alayna now 26 who Matt and I had talked about discussing his son’s experience as an art major with Alayna’s being studio art which she eventually turned to fine art.  Matt’s son was at SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design- a very prestigious and well recognized art school my daughter would have loved to attend).

alayna-from-brittanyHowever on October 16th , Alayna’s roommate called us and said she was not well and we should come to downtown Atlanta and check on her.  We found her to be conscious but she didn’t know or acknowledge anyone and could not even talk coherently.  Rushing her to our local ER, nurses and doctors immediately went to work pulling blood samples indicating alcohol and drugs were negative and her liver function was critically low with low blood pressure and heart rate.


Alayna in intensive care

To condense her 4 week stay in Intensive care unit from that point, her organs began shutting down and doctors put her on a ventilator, kidney dialysis, and 9 IV pumps at last count as well as a feeding tube and tubes to drain fluid buildup.  After weeks of praying and hand ringing, her sedation and oxygen was slowly decreased.  At her lowest point, my son came in to visit her (her younger sibling) as she was barely responsive and started joking with her and got her to smile and somehow from that miraculous point she has been slowly coming back.  Just 2 days ago she was able to build up enough energy to speak above a whisper.

Infectious disease, liver, and kidney specialists have no idea what triggered her liver infection but they have given her every test known.  Most recent biopsy’s of her muscles, liver, and bone marrow have been sent off to the Mayo Clinic for evaluation and hopefully something will be found.  Currently, Alayna receives regular physical therapy to try to regain her mobility.

alayna-coxing-the-mens-eightsAt one time, I was disappointed that Alayna didn’t show interest in the wooden boats I had that her older sister or younger brother had but made up for it as captain of the Ga State University Woman’s Rowing Team, a coxswain for the GSU men’s team as well as a rower for the woman’s 4’s and mixed 4’s for 4 seasons.


Alayna is very competitive and athletic

As a cross country runner in high school running became our real connection the last 10 years running half marathons at Thanksgiving together and other running events.   This was to be her last semester and had extended her time at GSU in order to work as the university’s student run radio station’s general manager, one of the country’s top 10 university stations.  GSU had sent her many times to NY, Chicago, and Austin Texas to South by Southwest, a well know week long music festival to meet with industry people and other groups as she was well regarded as having insight into up and coming music groups in the Atlanta area.  Producing and hosting 4 music programs over the course of her attendance at GSU, she is now the music coordinator for WRAS Album 88.5.


Please express my heartfelt appreciation for all those that have sent thoughts,  prayers, and donations already from the Woodyboater community such as Troy Hersam, and Alex Watson who has personally queried doctors for their opinion based on symptoms and conditions we provided.  I’m not sure how we can ever repay their generosity.


17 replies
  1. Wilson
    Wilson says:

    Gosh…I’ve known Victor far too long….Met him long before Woody Boater was a gleam in Matt’s eye…Been on many boat rides with him. Sure I’ll help..I’m too computer illiterate to figure out Go Fund me but I have Victor’s asddress in the ACBS Directory and a $100 check will be headed his way today.
    As for Stocton’s…Well I probably didn’t belong in there either. We worked with an association of distributors and John Head of Atlanta was a member and also good friend. Head’s also had a place on Lake Rabun. John’s wife Jackie told me one day, “I buy all of Johns clothes at Stocktons” so I figured I’d better explore this place…I did and now as Victor refreshes my memory it was Stockton’s son who showed me the ties I bought.

    Like Victor, I’m a hoarder and I think I still have those ties, which don’t look like Victors. If I can find them I’ll take a photo and send to Matt.

    In haste….


    P.S. Pat says, “Of course I remember Victor. Send my sympathies with your note.

    • Victor Fabricius
      Victor Fabricius says:

      Thanks so much WIlson, I really treasure our friendship and memories boating together and chatting at shows.

  2. Paul H.
    Paul H. says:

    I’ve Known Vic for about 5 or 6 years, and he’s one of the best. He’s hauled boats for me and been a source of information, advice and friendship, and I look forward to seeing him every year on the Saint Johns River cruise. I’ve followed this harrowing situation since it started and it’s almost unfathomable. Imagine waking up one day to find a loved one (especially so young!)struck down by a mystery ailment, and in such grave condition.

    I have never met Alayna but Vic has mentioned her to me many times, and each time with evident pride and love. Victor, Karen and I are hoping for the best for Alayna, you and your entire family.

  3. Victor Fabricius
    Victor Fabricius says:

    I continue to be overwhelmed by the generosity and thoughtfulness of this community. Many have asked me how we have made it through this ordeal as it has been a roller coaster to be sure. It is only with your sincerest thoughts and prayers that have given us the strength to endure it day after day, life still goes on.

    I must clarify one of the pictures sent that Matt tagged as my restoration is actually the revarnish work I did for a boat completely restored by a friend and mentor Bruce Mierke who does all Mike Matheson’s restorations and scratch built projects such as a 42′ glass cabin launch design by Joel White to classic lines of the 1920;s. Anyone who can build double hung curved windows for a pilot house on a boat like that is a genius and is a multipart story in itself. I believe it was covered in WoodenBoat magazine – under the boats name “Everglade”. Other pictures I have on work I’ve done were tied up on my desktop computer that is now ‘froozen’ due to a full hard drive and these were only ones on my laptop. Ah, the joys of technology.

  4. Kelly Wittenauer
    Kelly Wittenauer says:

    Prayers for Alayna’s speedy full recovery – and for continued strength for Victor and the rest of the family.

  5. Kentucky Wonder
    Kentucky Wonder says:

    Floyd R, Grace and Peace to your family as you work your way through this. Again, please keep us posted on Alayna’s condition.

    Also, please keep your tie, unless you want to auction it off for way more than my opening bid. I was just trying to get the ball rolling.

  6. Timekeeper
    Timekeeper says:

    Sorry about Alayna’s situation. I was in similar position for 3 years and thanks to the doctors at Cleveland Clinic and the kindness of someone who signed a donor card I am cured and was able to drive my 1956 Chris Craft Custom Sportsman the summer. Please have her visit the Cleveland Clinic or Mayo for a complete work up.

    Matt why don’t you suggest to your readers about signing donor cards as one donor can possibly save 8 lives!

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