Re: Bolger obit in NYT
- I was contacted by the New York Times for permission to use a photo of our Bolger Brick in Phil's obituary. Here is a link to the article.
Sad news, but Phil left on his own terms in a way which many say they would prefer but few have the courage to put into practice.
He will be missed.
Philip C. Bolger, 81, Dies; Prolific Boat Designer
By BRUCE WEBER
Published: June 1, 2009
Mr. Bolger's hundreds of boat designs ranked him among the most prolific and versatile recreational boat designers in the world.
- News to me. Why? The BOWDOIN MAGAZINE FALL 2009 issue obit header informs at page 89:
"For a variety of reasons, we have a very long
list of people for whom the College has had
news of their deaths, but for whom a full
obituary has not appeared. Because we feel
passing that news on to you as soon as
possible is important, we are including all of
those names in this issue, while we work to
create a better system for reporting on the
deaths of your friends, classmates, and
associates and for properly honoring their
lives and connections to Bowdoin." http://www.bowdoin.edu/magazine/archives/2009/pdf/BowdoinVol81No1.pdf
PCB noted here on page 90 as: Philip C. Bolger '49 May 24, 2009
The PCB obit occurs in the BOWDOIN MAGAZINE WINTER 2011 issue at page 92:
"Philip Bolger '49, renowned boat
designer and builder, died May 24,
2009, at his home in Gloucester, Mass.
He was born on December 3, 1927, in
Gloucester, and prepared for college at
Gloucester High School, Winchester
(Mass.) High School, and Brooks School
in North Andover, Mass. He spent one
year at Bowdoin, followed by one year
in the Army, then returned to Bowdoin
to complete his degree in history. He was
a member of Theta Delta Chi fraternity.
He took his own life, having planned
his suicide when he noticed his mind
beginning to slip. A man who reveled
in solving design problems and who had
begun whittling boats at the age of seven,
he left a legacy of unique and creative
watercraft. In 1948, while serving in the
Army in occupied Japan, he wrote an
article for Rudder magazine marveling at
the Japanese boats that float in just several
inches of water. He went on to create
nearly 700 of his own designs, ranging
from the silly to the sublime. In the early
1960s, he began selling the Light Dory,
which measured 15.5 feet long and 4 feet
wide and weighed only 124 pounds. He is
said to have perfected the wooden kayak,
and he designed plywood boats dubbed
"Bolger boxes" that could be built in
a matter of hours. He also designed the
Bolger Brick, an ultra-small, squared-off
sailing skiff made of three 4-by-8-foot
sheets of plywood; the Bolger Pirogue, a
tiny sailboat; and the Bolger Sneakeasy.
His grandest vessel was the HMS Rose,
a replica of the 18th-century HMS
Surprise, built to his design specifications
based on the original British Admiralty
drawings. The 115-foot, fully rigged
tall ship, complete with 20 guns, served
as the stage for Russell Crowe in the
2003 movie "Master and Commander."
The ship now resides at the San Diego
Maritime Museum. He was also a prolific
writer who authored many boat-related
magazine articles and books, including the
2004 book, Boats With An Open Mind,
in addition to a science fiction novel
about apartheid in South Africa. He was
a staunch libertarian and member of the
National Rifle Association. In 1970, he
ripped his diploma in half and mailed
it back to Bowdoin in response to the
College's tolerance for a well-publicized
Vietnam War protest and student strike.
He is survived by Susanne Altenburger,
his wife and business partner of 15 years."
PCB was the subject of two brief letters concerning an earlier oversight of alumni engaged in the boatbuilding industry in Maine -- see the "mailbox" of the BOWDOIN MAGAZINE FALL 2005 issue at page 2 http://www.bowdoin.edu/bowdoinmagazine/archives/pdf/Bowdoin_Fall_05.pdf
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