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In Remembrance: Captain Fred Kosnac Jr. (1928-2004)

Capt. Fred Kosnac was the first tugboater I ever met. If a career can be considered in spiritual or symbolic or abstract terms to be "a life," then Fred Kosnac would rightly be called the patriarch of mine, as a writer and photographer and admirer of tugboaters and tugboats. The matriarch was of course a tugboat proper, the Hay-De, which Capt. Kosnac, based on a phone call out of the blue in 1980, made available to a curious and impressed young journalist. You mean something that works so hard, and has been at it since 1887, is still intact? I was fascinated, awed even, and saw a thousand idealistic morals in this particular tale. Capt. Kosnac, on that summer afternoon at his Wall Street yard, was indifferent to my awe. He'd grown up around a lot of old junk, and this was merely older. But he was also indulgent as I scrambled around the boat, sticking my lens through windows, setting the angle of the deck in a way that would tell about tugboats - asking for the first time an ongoing question: if there's a soul in a tugboat, how do you get it on film? The article I promised Capt. Kosnac didn't run, or at least wouldn't for another 22 years. My editor was fired before it was finished. Still, in what I would call an involuntary pattern, I kept bumping into old tugboats. The next was then called the Eileen Ann, three years older than Hay-De but, as I later found out, built in the same yard

Foss: West Coast Icon on Environmental Cutting Edge


Foss Maritime, founded by the matriarch of the Foss family in 1889, is as much a cultural icon on the U.S. West Coast as McAllister or Moran are on the East Coast. Norwegian immigrant Thea Foss began the business when she bought her first row boat in Tacoma, Wash. and painted it the signature green and white.   The Foss family grew the business into a launch  service ferrying crew and supplies in the 1910s, then shifted into towing work in the 1940s

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