Tahoe wooden boat show now on stamps
By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) – The 1954 wooden Chris-Craft speedboat had sunk and was left neglected in a warehouse for years before Bill and Nancy Kehoe found it and decided to bring it back to life.
On Saturday, it will be featured with four other classic wooden speedboats on a set of commemorative postage stamps.
“We’re just elated,” Kehoe, of Loomis, Calif., said in a telephone interview. “It’s kind of nice to be able say your boat is on a stamp, and knowing you have done all the work yourself. It’s a great thrill.”
In addition to “Duckers,” Kehoe’s racing runabout, the set of 41-cent stamps will feature “Frolic,” a 1915 Hutchinson Brothers launch, “Dispatch,” a 1931 Gar Wood triple cockpit runabout and “Thunderbird,” a 1939 Hacker-Craft commuter boat.
Beautiful wooden speedboats were the pride of many Americans for decades and still bring people together at classic board society meetings.
The first-day-of-issue stamp dedication ceremony takes place at Saturday at the annual antique boat show in Clayton, N.Y., and a special second dedication ceremony will be held Aug. 9 at Lake Tahoe.
The Kehoes, both teachers, have restored antique cars and motorcycles in the past and decided to take on the wooden boat when they were able to get a good deal on the craft they say was in “very rough” condition.
Bill worked on the engine and transmission, Nancy redid the upholstery and both worked on the wooden hull and decking to bring the craft back to its original beauty.
They had the boat at a show on Lake Tahoe when, unknown to them, a photographer from the Postal Service was taking pictures in preparation for the set of stamps now being issued.
The first word they got that their boat might be on a stamp came when a Postal Service vehicle pulled into their driveway and a man in a business suit got out and brought them a certified letter.
Recovering from the panic that it might be a letter from the Internal Revenue Service, they opened it found a request for permission to use a photo of their boat on a stamp.