on an FLC Family
this issue of Brightwork we spotlight the Skeval family
of Fabius, NY. Brian & Sandra have two daughters,
Sarah & Elizabeth, two sons, Nicholas & Peter and
a fifth (tie-breaker), a boy, arrived in October.
Brian operates Skeval Bros. Woodworking while Sandra
is a practicing pediatrician with offices in the Syracuse
Before Brian & Sandra were married, Brian traveled
to different places along the east coast providing
high-end custom cabinetry to various clients. Later,
Brian and his brother Dave opened the Skeval Bros.
Woodworking Shop in Lafayette, NY which allowed Brian
to stay close to home and family. At first, the two
brothers would take on just about any kind of work
that came through the door; but as their reputation
for quality craftsmanship grew, Brian was able to
pick and choose which jobs made the most sense to
take on. Today Brian deals exclusively with a handful
of clients from out of town with whom he has developed
a long term relationship over the years. Blueprints
for new projects are sent directly to Brian's shop
where they are turned into finished products that
are shipped to the customer.
says that his interest in old boats came about quite
naturally as he has always had a fondness for antiques
in general and woodworking in particular. The Skeval's
"fleet" of boats includes a 1940 Chris-Craft 15 �-ft.
Deluxe Runabout, a 1941 Comet sailboat, a 1951 Chris-Craft
22-ft. Sedan and a 1958 Wagemaker outboard. Presently,
each of these boats is in need of some form of repair
in order to be seaworthy, and just as soon as time
will allow, Brian will get to them one at a time.
His plan is to start with the 15 �-ft. Chris-Craft
which will serve as the "practice boat" allowing him
time to get acquainted with the techniques and materials
that are unique to wood boats. He wants to be comfortable
with the whole process before he gets started on the
flagship of the fleet, the 22-ft. Sedan.
Brian is making plans to construct a new, larger pole
barn that will accommodate his business and have room
left over for working on boats. If the quality of
his cabinet work is any indication, we can look forward
to seeing the Skeval family out for rides in some
to Brian and Sandra Skeval for putting this article
together, even with five little Skevals looking for
their parents' attention. -Ed
In Praise of
Objects That Need Care
from a New York Times article by August Heckscher
Free" - that is the advantage cited for many of today's
products. Not to have to repair, refurbish, repaint
or keep-up is considered a supreme virtue. But I am
not so sure.
Last year I sold a treasured old wooden boat in order
to buy a new one made of fiberglass. My friends congratulated
me on doing a wise thing, but I began to wonder as
spring came around.
that earlier boat emerged from winter quarters, her
brightwork gleaming and her old wooden sides aglow
with fresh paint, I would be carried away with joy
at the sight. The pleasure was not repeated when I
took over my little fiberglass vixen, her face fixed
in a rigid, unchanging smile.
point is, I really enjoy the extravagance of upkeep.
It is certainly more rewarding than buying something
new, or possessing something theoretically impervious
to wear and tear.
We, ourselves, change as the years pass. The objects
around us should change also - gracefully, as we would
like to do, the encrustation of age smoothed over
and the weakness inconspicuously redressed. Things
that don't, suddenly stop working and become useless.
Acknowledge the pleasure of maintenance and all sorts
of secondary rewards open up. Not enough has been
said about the kind of people in the trades of refurbishing
and repair, for instance. They tend to be old and
wonderfully articulate. As I go forth with a chipped
platter or ailing clock, I am likely to find myself
face to face with an understanding human being, who
knows what the trouble is. And the job is accomplished
- along with many salutary remarks on the state of
is all very well to create, and to recycle, but nothing
excels being able to keep the original object, aging
but not forsaken.
Heckscher was a writer, arts consultant, social commentator,
and journalist who lived from 1913 to 1997. From 1946
to 1948, he was editor of the Citizen Advertiser (now
the Citizen), Auburn, New York's daily newspaper.
The above appeared in the New York Times circa 2000.