|Captain Lou Kenedy|
I first met Captain Lou Kenedy and his wife Pat back in the mid-1970s in Solomons, MD. Lou was retired from a life as a professional mariner/owner of a series of working sail vessels. Most of his adult life he, and his family, hauled freight under sail between Nova Scotia and the Caribbean. When I met them Lou and Pat were living on their 65' Hand motor sailor, The Sea Fox. In retirement they continued to ply the same waters between the Canadian Maritimes and Florida and the Bahamas. I really can't claim I became close friends with them, and if they were still alive I'm sure they wouldn't even remember me. I was just another weekend sailor with a boat on the dock at Zahniser's Marina in Solomons where Lou and Pat would tie up twice a year as they plied their way up and down the coast. However that doesn't mean I didn't have a number of long conversations with Lou and I was invited to join them on several occasions for dinner on board Sea Fox. It's just that they loved talking to people and they loved having people on board their boat. And boy, could Lou tell a story - and did he ever have a lot of stories to tell.
Initially I assumed half of what Lou told me and others about his life was just made up, the product of the imagination of a born story teller. Then one evening he produced some dog-eared pages of a series of Saturday Evening Post articles on his and Pat's life at sea. The articles documented the stories Lou had been telling all of us. Lou was very proud of these articles, and often pointed out that the only other person the Post ever dedicated four articles to was Winston Churchill. The original pages from the Post were over 23 years old at the time and deteriorating badly. I offered to take the pages to work and make a number of Xerox copies. Along the way I kept a copy for myself, which I recently re-discovered. That copy was now deteriorating as badly as the original Post pages. I scanned images of the pages and adjusted them for legibility as best I could. The thumbnails below are linked to individual web pages with higher resolution images of each page in the series of articles.
To navigate through the entire article click on any of the page images below. The links will take you to a new page with the scanned image at a width resolution of 1280 pixels. That is about or very close to the size of the original Saturday Evening Post page. Even then the poor quality of the original material and my deteriorated Xerox copy make some paragraphs illegible. If your screen does not have a width resolution of 1280 pixels or greater, reading the pages will require the use of the horizontal as well as the vertical scroll bars. Since the article was published in columns, that should not be a major problem in reading the article.
To page through the article, click on the upper or lower right corners of a page to go to the next page. Click on the left corners to go back to the previous page. Click on the center top or bottom of the images to return to this page.
|If you've read all of the articles you know the account of
the sinking of Lou's boat by a German U-Boat during WWII. One summer in the
late 1970s a German yachtsman brought his 47' steel ketch to Zahniser's
Marina for some work. It happened that Sea Fox was berthed at Zahniser's at
the time. In the course of conversations with the German yachtsman we
discovered that he had been a U-boat commander during the war. NO, it's not
going to be that kind of outrageous coincidence - he was not the commander
of the sub that sank Lou's boat. However they did get introduced and the
German invited Lou & Pat out to dinner to talk about the war and other
reminiscences. Boy would I have loved to have been invited along and
listened to the stories told that night.
A few months after I originally posted these articles I received an email from a woman who crewed for Pat & Lou back in the 70's or 80's. From her I learned that Neil Young also greatly appreciated the Kenedys and was often a guest on board when they were in the Caribbean. In his album, Hawks & Doves, he recorded Lou's story (with a great deal of poetic license and miss-spelling of Lou's name) in the song Captain Kennedy. She also related that once Neil brought Jimmy Buffet on board Sea Fox to meet Lou and Pat. Apparently the meeting didn't go well as Jimmy repeatedly made fun of Lou's dog, Thor, to the point were Lou kicked them both off Sea Fox. This anecdote completes a circle back to me as Thor was given to Lou and Pat by my friends Dick and Gale Juppenlatz of Caurus.
A new book on Lou's life was published (Nov, 2006), apparently with the cooperation of his family. I purchased the book and enjoyed it greatly. It covers many of the same adventures described in the SEP articles, but also includes the later years of Lou's and Pat's life.