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Koobdooga Event at the Library: Cedarstrip Boatbuilding


The public is invited to join Ray Klebba, master artisan and award-winning boat builder for his presentation “Cedarstrip Boatbuilding as Functional Art” on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 2:00 p.m. in the White Salmon Valley Community Library’s Sprint/Baker Gallery. Klebba will share his passion of wooden boatbuilding and offer insights into the specific methods described in this year’s KOOBDOOGA: Community Reads featured book “The Boys in the Boat; Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics”. The program will include a partly finished boat on display showing the complexity of the multi-layered Cedarstrip boatbuilding process.

“Boys in the Boat” was written by Seattle author Daniel James Brown and tells the story of the Depression-era University of Washington rowing crew that won a gold medal in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Community members have been celebrating this good book throughout the month of October. The Boatbuilding presentation will be the final program in the series of five Saturday events all related to the featured book.

Klebba’s presentation will bring the boat builder’s perspective to the audience’s understanding of “The Boys in the Boat”, helping listeners’ appreciate the passion of U of W’s widely acclaimed 1936 era boat builder, George Pocock as well as the special characteristics of the western cedar Pocock came to use exclusively for his internationally celebrated boats.

Klebba is a local boat builder and retired journeyman newspaper pressman with more than 35 years of experience in designing and building wooden boats. He specializes in the cedar strip method of construction of rowboats, canoes and kayaks. His mentors were many old time boat builders in Minnesota where he learned his craft. In his shop, White Salmon Boat Works, Ray has taught more than 150 students how to build their dreamboats!

This program will wrap up the Friends of the White Salmon Valley Community Library’s second annual KOOBDOOGA: Community Reads project. KOOBDOOGA read backwards is ‘A GOOD BOOK.” The goal of the project is to bring the community together to celebrate the reading of a good book. Stop by the library’s Sprint/Baker gallery during library hours to view the many works of art created by local and regional artists and inspired by “The Boys in the Boat”. For more information call the library (509) 493-1132 or visit the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District home page


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