Friday, July 11, 2008

Rowing Lessons

Without getting all misty here, It's occurred to me that gondoliers often carry with them a great respect for those who trained them to row. The other night at Captain Jack's, I talked with a number of gondoliers, and a few of them recounted to me what their experiences were like learning the art. There was a constant thread of reverence towards the trainers and senior gondoliers they learned from.

I will always have good memories of the training experiences in my past.
Angelino Sandri, Mark O'brien, and the late Arturo Moruccio have helped me learn the craft of Venetian rowing. And while I'm not the best rower in the world, I have them to thank for the skills I do have. In many ways, I see Venetian rowing as similar to a martial art, in that it can be a lifelong pursuit. Once we know enough to teach it properly, we should do our part to pass it on.

The other night at the Sunset Gondola event, I heard positive things about Andrew McHardy, Eric Sjoberg, Tyson Davis, Tim Reinard, and others who had passed on the skills and wisdom.

The photo above is in honor of those who have trained us. It was one of many I took a few years back in Venice. I was actually trying to get a good shot of the canal when this gondola passed through.
At first I was disappointed that it wasn't the "typical" gondola shot - with passengers and a gondolier in stripes. Since then I've realized the uniqueness of the image and the story it conveys.

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