Letter: Dan Owen
As we’ve recently passed the one-year anniversary of my father’s death and the first year of all of the things we’ve had to celebrate without him, I’m trying to wrap up all of his affairs.
As I’m getting his records ready for storage, I’ve realized that there are a couple of loose ends that I need to tie up. I’ve meant to write a letter here to thank his Waterways Journal family for their kindness and support during the many years that my father worked for them, and especially for the concern and care that they provided after he had his stroke. The visits and the phone calls by both Nelson and Spence made my dad feel special, like he was still a valuable resource. It gave us all some hope that he could get back to normal.
After his death, they arranged for and physically helped box and move my father’s entire collection of boat photos, negatives, and correspondence so it could be donated to the Herman T. Pott National Inland Waterways Library. My dad would be so proud and happy to know that his life’s work and passion will be preserved forever and available for sharing. It also brings my family great joy to know that he has left behind a legacy dedicated to one of his greatest loves (and that we were lucky to find someone who wanted those 14 filing cabinets full of photos because we had no idea what we were going to do with them!).
I also wanted to acknowledge and thank his whole “river family.” He had such a great group of friends to share his hobby with him. He truly enjoyed sharing his passion and knowledge with all of you. It was one of his reasons for living. What good is it to be an expert on something if there is no one to share it with? Every single time you called or wrote, you made him feel special.
And lastly, I wanted to congratulate Jeff Yates on being made the new editor of the Inland River Record. Jeff and my father were friends since I was a little girl, and I’m sure if Dad could have hand-picked his replacement, he would have picked Jeff. The Foreword of the 2019 edition is a wonderful tribute to my dad. I will cherish it forever along with the 2018 edition, my dad’s last.
I still get my Dad’s copy of The Waterways Journal every week. It’s a weekly reminder of him and what he loved. And I will always remember spending every single weekend as a little girl, driving down gravel canal roads, in pursuit of some boat photograph that he didn’t have.
Daughter of Daniel Owen 1938-2018