The Master’s Line
The BPKFL exists on an island of hard rock, however, through the years it has formed a huge soft spot. This soft spot grows every year with the feelings of joy and sorrow we share together. Because of this bond, it’s impossible not to feel and share your grief.
Nancy Ruble, June from Avon Park, Florida. The Rubles were very active in park activities and Nancy’s name is on the sink.
Tom Hohne, October from Jupiter, Florida and site E-31. Tom and his family came for lobster season. We shared a family tragedy with the Hohnes that will forever remain in our soft spot.
Don Staufenberg, October from Mims, Florida and always E-13 on the canal. Don was always loving and extremely busy taking care of his girls.
Vivian Perry, November from Essex Junction, Vermont. Everyone leaves something. Look at the handmade, large wooden cashbox we use for the dinners. It is compliments of the Perrys, and Vivian’s name is on the sink.
Jay Collins, December from Tampa, Florida. Jay loved the Keys and tarpon fishing. He was a Lt. Colonel in the Tampa Bay Rough Riders and I promised to never tell his wife Karen that his name is on the sink.
Moose, December from Hale, Michigan. Moose is the only name we have ever known for one of Big Red Clauss’s deer hunting friend. He visited every winter and it is a toss-up who enjoyed his visits more… Big Red or us??? It’s a toss up!
Arelett Vermeersh, December from Canada. She was 89 years old and had wintered at BPKFL since the mid-1970’s. Her family tragedy that would forever bond her here caused a crater in the early formation of the soft spot.
Ned Shimp, January from Jacksonville, Florida. Ned was a Jacksonville fire chief and policeman. His nickname, and his boat’s name, was Die Hard. The name never could conceal the soft spot that always showed through.
Tom Nichols, January from Big Pine Key. Tom was introduced to the BPKFL by the Curt Norman family during lobster season. This is especially significant for our family, since his daughter Cassandra would eventually meet, and marry, our own third generation family member Jed Scanlon. Tom and his family moved to the Keys in the early 2000’s and he always visited his friends at the Lobster Hop. Tom loved the BPKFL, even requesting that his family lay him to rest in a BPKFL shirt.
Milton Long, February from Palm Dale, Florida. You can thank Milton for creating the ping pong tournament and for being the person that constantly overloaded his site with teen aged children so they could experience the Keys. No matter how much Joan complained, you made the soft spot larger, Milton.
Be Bop Stalker, February from Warrington, Pennsylvania. Be Bop had the unique privilege of being the first and only president of the Peoples United Republic of Rustic (PURR). It was a fun year somewhere in the early nineties. Many pictures still remain in first lady’s (Janet) possession.
Carol Wardell, March from Camden, Maine. She was 97. She created the first winter guest list, typed on her Royal typewriter. Everyone in camp has her homemade pot holders and her name is on the sink. At many of our winter dances, we still close the night with Harry and Carol’s song, Anne Murray’s “May I Have This Dance for the Rest of Our Lives.”
Mark Griffith, May from Maryland. Known to all of us at the BPKFL as “Griff,” Mark was easy to know and easy to love. He is far too young to be in the Master’s Line. If you are not quite sure who Mark was, he lived in a tepee and was pure rustic.
Bunk Crosby and Barry Raburn, June from the Palatka Fish Mafia. These two are members of a large group of very close friends from Palatka, Florida that comes to the BPKFL every year to fish for dolphin. We look forward to the Mafia’s visit each year with great anticipation. We felt your foundation shake but we stand beside you in your grief.
Bob Hayer, June from Elizabethtown, PA. Bob was 93 years old and for those of you that remember, he was the nicest of nice guys. He always requested his favorite song “Star Dust” at the dances, even though no one ever knew it. At age 75, he held the record for the oldest man to jump Spanish Harbor Bridge. He is still the third oldest to ever jump.
Jennifer Treece, July. She was 18 and expecting to be here with us for the 2016 lobster season, as she had every year of her life that she could remember. The Treece family all stems from site E-17 on the canal. They have suffered another tragedy. Their burden was only lightened slightly because Jennifer had given the gift of life through organ donation.
Pam Brown, September from Esmond, Rhode Island. Pam and Lloyd wintered on rustic site #219. Everyone knew Pam either personally, or because she rode around on her one-of-a-kind camp bike that was made entirely of bamboo, with the exception of the wheels and tires. We have been told that Pam was as pleasantly unique as her bike.
Sam Catalano, October from Michigan. Sam had Huntington’s Disease (MS). Sam always said that he was a poster-person for Huntington’s. He lived the longest and subjected himself to the most tests. Everyone loved Sam and those he wasn’t able to be with us for several years, we will still miss him as he left a remarkable, unforgettable example of accepting the life that was dealt to him.
In remembrance of all those listed above, and Jennifer’s gift of life, it is a good time to close the Master’s Line.