Building a Boat by Clarence & Elaine Hawkins

boat_story

Clarence:

First you take the boards, measure all of them, cut out the wood and sand it until bends – it’s funny because the wood becomes both strong and wobbly. Then…once you bend it into shape you apoxy it – you mix up this brown stuff that looks like peanut butter and then you glue it and tie it - you wait for a few days for the it dry, you seal it, you sand it, and then you paint it…and then you got a boat!

Elaine:

Well he came home and said he could take someone on the boat with him. And he asked if I wanted to join him. I mean, I’d been on a boat when I was younger but it’s been at least 20 years…way before he was born…and I never imagined the next time I’d be on a boat that it would be one that my son built. I thought about it for a while and figured sure why not…and I’m glad I did.

Clarence:

We met at an old church and learned step by step how to build it. We built a boat. From nothing. We named them Grace, Faith and Promise.

Elaine:

When we first got there I asked if I could sit in the boat on land…you know, just to get a feel for it. And when they launched in the water and I just stood back. –

Clarence:

I kind of got scared at first being on the water. I mean, I’d never even been on a boat before. It was my first time on a boat…and I built it…and it worked!

Elaine:

I could tell though – the longer he was out there the more excited he got. And then it was my turn…

Clarence:

I really thought we were going to tip over. She stepped in on the edge and I had to lean off to one side. I thought we were going in for sure…and I know she was scared. But once we got it, we were good…and I started rowing us further and further from dock.

boat

Elaine:

We went pretty far out there.

Clarence:

And then when I turned around to come back in…she didn’t even want to get out…

Elaine: I told him no take me out some more

Clarence: so my friend jumped in with us and out we went. I was really happy.

Elaine:

It was exciting. And come to find out Sunday morning we were in the paper. Sometimes I just go on line on the computer and just go back and look at the newspaper article and think wow – we actually did that. He actually did that.

Clarence:

I was pretty much completely excited.

Elaine:

I’m so glad he got into this program – he’s come so far and I can see that he’s progressed. And he loves it. I’m so thankful that he’s not on the corners getting into trouble or selling drugs. I just hope Clarence’s two younger brothers can get into something like this too.

Clarence:

I was excited to turn 14 last year because I knew it meant that I could become a Street Leader and be a part of Urban Trekkers. I always wanted to be a Street Leader because the ones before us were always inspiring us to do something big – to do something right. And it looks like I have.