A Man And His Boat
By Charlotte Fardelmann
Frederick C. (Ted) Lyman, 85, of Orono, Minnesota is enjoying a fine summer on Lake Minnetonka. His two rowing boats offer him several options: in the quiet morning hours before breakfast, he likes to row the wherry and when the lake becomes rougher with wind or pow@cat waves, he prefers his rowing boat for greater stability and freeboard. This boat can be rowed alone from the aft seat where Ted has attached a sliding seat and outriggers, or she can be rowed from the forward seat with shorter oars when a passenger sits in the stern. Ted and his wife, Clara, often take a picnic and row to a picturesque spot in one of the myriad nearby bays and channels of Lake Minnetonka.
Before the turn of the century, Ted launched his rowing career at the age of seven. He recalls that his family owned a rowing boat with a wine-glass stern which he rowed on Lake Minnetonka, and in his teen years at Yale, he tried out for the crew, but was not successful. However, he takes consolation that his granddaughter, Mary Fardelmann of Portsmouth, N.H., rowed on the winning schoolgirls crew In the National Regatta at Princeton, N.J. this summer.
The rowing boats which Ted now uses were both acquired In 1953, The wherry was purchased from a fellow who only used her once. His doctor had recommended rowing to him for exercise. so he bought the wherry, a very tippy boat; the poor fellow went out in his new boat, managed to get back to the dock. and announced: Id rather die on dry land than drown in Lake Superior Consequently, Ted was able to purchase the wherry for less than $100. She has served him well for 22 years, and even now leaks only about a teacupful each outing. About ten years ago, Ted used to time himself on courses which he set. His best time on 8.8 miles was 1 hour, 30 minutes, 16 seconds. His longest row was 16 miles.
The wine-glass stern rowing boat was built by Amundsen of White Bear, Minnesota In 1953,.Ted added the sliding seat and the removable riggers. She moves so easily in the water that it is possible to row it side by side with the wherry over long distances, as Teds grandchildren did this summer. Clara recalls this adventure in the rowing boat: We were on a picnic way up at the end of the North Arm when a motor boat came buzzing around us, making waves, going around and around, and causing one of our oars to slide into the water. The oarlock was not tied down so we lost it. We had to paddle three miles home with the long oars while everyone stared at us Clara sometimes takes all-girl picnics with her sister, Marion Cross and friends; all four rowing. She heads toward a pleasant shore where the group can drift along picking water lilies and spotting birds as they lunch.
This summer the boats have been enjoyed by Ted and Claras son, Norton Lyman, of New Jersey, as well as by daughter Charlotte Fardelmann and grandchildren George and Mary Fardelmann of Portsmouth, N.H. In todays world of the plastic hull and screaming engine, a varnished hull gilding quietly across a mirror lake is a pleasure to behold, and this sight can still be seen by early risers this summer on Maxwell Bay, Lake Minnetonka.
Reprinted from The Oarsman Sept./Oct. 1975