Memorial Day, Fish Derby and New Pavilion Opens Seldovia’s Summer Season in Style

| May 28, 2014 | 0 Comments

by Jenny Chissus

Glorious Outside Beach SunsetWhat a great Memorial Day Weekend it was – in spite of the terrible situation dealing with the Funny River Fire up north, Seldovia saw beautiful sunny days and glorious sunsets.  If you were able to make it to Seldovia (or you are fortunate enough to live here!) you noticed that leading up to the big weekend – things were really coming together at the pavilion on Main Street!

Pavilion FoundationI’ve included a few photos I was able to grab from the beginnings to the current status of the pavilion for your viewing pleasure!  I’m sorry that I missed the actual “raising” of the beams, as they are beautifully crafted, and in spite of the many hours it took to actually prepare them for that day, they went up quickly – and I missed it!

I wanted to offer up a little background to folks as this process of realizing this pavilion in Seldovia has taken years, and it is nice to remember from whence it came, to appreciate the glory of it today!  I went right to the source, the head of the committee to make the pavilion a reality, and the builder – Tim P. Dillon, owner and craftsman of Dillon and Dillon Construction and Log Wrights – right here in Seldovia!

Beams are upGazette:   The building frame is up – and just in time for your Memorial Day goal!  What a great day to initiate the new space, the community potluck, fish fry and Human Powered Fishing Derby awards!  What are the next phases of the structure and surrounding elements?

Pavilion

Tim:  I was so happy that I met my own self imposed deadline of being able to use the pavilion for Memorial Day.  Most folks probably don’t understand what it took to get the pavilion to the point of raising the frame. Randy Bond has been cutting timbers all winter; what a great resource and asset he is to Seldovia. His timbers come off the mill perfectly, and he is doing all of that milling while holding down a day job. Thanks so much Randy.

Timber frames go up so fast that the uninitiated look at them and say, “Wow, that was fast. Looks pretty easy.” The truth is I spent almost four months in my shop doing the joinery; notching the mortises, cutting the tenons and working on all of the details that aren’t seen.

Pavilion Coming togetherIn mid-April the grant funding allowed me to pick up a helper and Steve Stanish spent the last month with me in the shop. He and I worked side by side for the last four weeks of shop work. Steve is a pleasure to work with. He and I can communicate about intricate wood details; not everyone can do that. Steve is a very talented wood worker, seasoned timber framer and a great friend. Jake Corwin came out and helped with planing and sanding and even broke into the actual notching with a few mortises and tenons; I think he will make a good timber framer in the future. Andy Lorentz and Evan Michelson finished the foundation and sub-floor and then helped with making window panels, staining and sanding. Andy has worked with me on timber frames in the past and was a big help finishing up the knee braces. I think Evan is itching for another timber frame to break in as an apprentice in the shop.

Pavilion Roof onGazette:  What is the timing for total completion of the structure?

Tim:  All of my work over the last five months has been donated for free; my labor, my shop time, my tools and equipment. It is time for me to get back to a real paying job now. My crew has been paid by the grant funding all this time, and they will continue to work on the pavilion building a handicap ramp, closing in the side panels and building some tables and benches. We hope to have it completed in the next two weeks.

Gazette:  I’ve heard that it will be totally enclosed – with panels that can be removed (so it could be used year-round and in inclement weather) – is that correct?

Tim:  The street end and the water end of the pavilion will ultimately have sliding “barn” doors. I foresee them being open all summer and then closed up for winter and inclement weather. The sides will have acrylic window panels that will be stationary. We all know that it isn’t hot and sunny everyday in Seldovia so this will allow visitors to get in under a roof and keep out of the wind. I would like to have used glass panels but they were too expensive, so I ended up with acrylic. They won’t have as long a life span as glass, but we should get some good long use out of them into the future.

Pavilion from the DocksGazette:   The funds from the grant are paying for the laborers to complete the project, are you needing volunteers as well to finish the project?

Tim:  The guys are getting paid through the grant funding and will be able to do the hard labor and complete most of the tasks necessary to complete the pavilion. I think that volunteers are going to be needed to “clean up” the site upon completion and to do landscaping as a final touch to the project.

Gazette:  Anything else you would like to add?

Tim:  Upon completion of the handicap ramp and siding, I am going to have to sit down with Cassidi in the city office and figure out how much money we have left, if any. If there is enough money left, we will build a small structure to be used as a “cook shack” for barbecuing. We’ll have to wait and see. I would like to add that Cassidi has been a great asset in helping me implement this grant; she’s been easy to communicate with and willing to help whenever I had technical questions about the budget. Thanks Cassidi!

Gazette:  Regarding signage and the boardwalk repairs – can we get an update?

Tim:  The boardwalk railing repair was done over the winter. It is 100% complete. I held three meetings over the course of the winter and got some great input about what the community desires in the way of signs. I will begin to work on the sign portion of this grant when the pavilion is complete. I think it important to note that some signage was written into the grant and those signs will be the highest priority; informational and interpretive signage inside the pavilion; directional signage throughout the community; directional and interpretive signage along the Rocky Ridge Trail and the Otterbahn trails. These signs are required by the grant and remaining monies will be put too good use on other sign projects in town.

Derby Fry MastersGazette:  Tim, as stated above – how fabulous to invite the community to the fish fry and potluck/Awards ceremony in the new pavilion!   It was quite a site to see everyone totally enjoying that space and the ending of another successful year for the Human Powered Fishing Derby!   This was the 6th annual event, Tim, can you give a summary?

Photo by the Seldovia Chatter Box

Photo by the Seldovia Chatter Box

Simon Prennace won the kayak and is no new-comer to the derby; he has participated several times. He won a 3 person NW Designs kayak valued at $4,500.00. He was shocked and elated at the same time.

He plans to share his new boat with Kate & Caleb and their new addition, baby Ada – who was born this March!   Simon is a very generous person; not everyone would offer such a thing within minutes of winning such a boat.

Good on you Simon.

In the other categories:

  • Bret Higman won the biggest black rock bass category.
  • Mary Pollack won the biggest gray cod category.
  • Chris Lillo won the biggest king salmon category.
  • Tim Dillon won the biggest halibut category.

Full PavilionGazette:   Did you feel that participation was affected by the Funny River Fire?

Tim:  We definitely had fewer participants due to the fire. We were expecting a bunch from Anchorage to fly down, and they just couldn’t make it as a result. Such is life in Alaska.

Gazette:  I know almost every fisherman/woman was able to win a door prize!  Who were your sponsors for the derby this year?

Tim:  I could not hold this event and give away such a great prize every year without some very generous sponsors:

A Big Thanks to the 2014 Human Powered Fishing Derby Cash Sponsors

Major Cash Sponsors Over $100

  • Mary & Timothy Pedlow
  • David & Judy Longworth
  • Joe & Heather Miller
  • Nancy Hillstrand

Cash Sponsors @ $100

  • Valerie Morin
  • Ian McGaughey
  • Seldovia Fishing Adventures
  • Seldovia Native Association

Happy DinersGazette:  How was the fishing this year?  It seems that we had to deal with smoke and rough waters!

Tim:  The fishing was good, but getting out there and fishing this year was a challenge due to the wind. I added a third day to the derby two years ago in an effort to offset wind and weather problems; three days seems like it offers at least some time when one can get out there and fish. I think it’s important for the participants to realize those three days and use them to their advantage. This year Friday was a great fishing day and Saturday was not so much; the wind came up early and held some on shore.

Gazette:  Tim, is there anything I missed, or that you would like to add?

Tim:  I want to thank the entire community for supporting me and my crazy idea of a derby over the last six years. It is such a great thing to see the fellowship of the community at an event like the award ceremony and fish fry. It makes all of the work and planning worth it. Thank you to everyone that showed up and joined in on the award ceremony. Thank you for bringing great food and supporting this crazy little derby.

Chinook ChallengeGazette:  Thanks Tim – for a great event that the community totally supports and enjoys!  And, your deep-fried halibut is absolutely AMAZING!  That’s all I heard for days!!  Can’t wait for next year!

But until then – I just got notice today for the next fishing event – The Chinook Challenge – coming up in just over a week!  This time, it is fishing with power boats!!

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Category: Community, Sports

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