“The first shall be last, and the last first (Matt 20:16).”
Taken completely out of context, the same can be said for my good friend “Z,” Dave Zielinski, that is. “Z” hails from Saltsburg, Pennsylvania. Even though he’s the last entry into an alphabet soup mix, he’s long been first in my book. “Z” was one of the first friendships I forged during my research, and writing about, the McKenzies. It was a digital friendship, like so many others I have forged around the globe.
“Z” was the first to test the efficacy of the lines and construction detail of the Trapper. Had “Z” not stepped forward this boat might not have been part of my book’s inventory of recoverables (pp 213-221, Drift Boats and River Dories).
“Z” was one of the first to build my re-creation of the first Woodie Hindman double-ender with a transom, circa 1948.
“Z” was the first to get hooked on drift boat building, for himself first, and then for friends. He has built 13 such boats. He now has his own little boat building business that specializes in small drifters for those smaller neighborhood streams (http:www.downhomeboatworks.com).
“Z” was the first to visit Oregon, and with me, make his first trip to McKenzie . . .
. . . and meet my good friend, Dave Helfrich.
The more I mature, the more I recognize that relationship is a central feature in my work, and in my world.