The L.W.M.A. Navy
(Part 1 - 1960)


How all that tin roofing material
got on the bottom of Lake Mary

Story By Lewis D. Harrison ('63)

As spring would bring a little warmth to LWMA, Alex Kritzky, myself and sometimes other cadets would start talking about swimming, boating and etc. Well, we all knew the only way to go boating was to find a cadet with parents with a boat and get them to bring it down to Wind Creek park on Lake Martin. Then their parents could sign us all out from LWMA and we could go boating. This just didn't happen very often.

One day Alex came up with the idea that we could build our own boat and go down back to the lake and float around. We had already tried the Tom Sawyer raft thing. The rafts we built were always too heavy and always became waterlogged. Alex suggested that we walk to downtown Camp Hill to the hardware store and find something we could build a boat from.

I don't want you to think Alex Kritzky and I were the only ones who tried this. But, he and I were the only ones I can remember who were crazy enough to spend all of their allowance money toward such a harebrained idea.

So we were off to town. We looked the hardware store over and found roofing tin! It came in 6', 12', and 14' lengths. I think we decided that it would be difficult for us to walk back to the campus with two 14' pieces or two 12' pieces so we ended up with two 6' pieces of tin.

Talk about the looks we got as two cadets in gray toted roofing tin from town to the campus. I'm sure the people in Camp Hill have seen everything.

We got them back to Allen House and up stairs to our hobby rooms. Then it was out to find the rest of our boat making materials. We went across the back road to the Broom Shop (Casby's shop) where we found some 2x4 and 2x6 pieces of wood. Then it was off to the trash cans behind the Supply building. They yielded old web belts and other cloth items.

Nails, hammer, candle wax, and a lot of imaginative bending and warping around the boards and there appeared something like a canoe that no Indian with any self respect would get into. But, now they had a shape and the boards that propped them open and dammed the ends.

For a whole Saturday we waxed every nook and crack, then on Sunday it was off to the lake. If you think the flat tin was hard to carry from town. You should try the trip from the hobby room, down the stairs and then to the lake. I though that someone had moved the lake before we got there.

Well, in the water they went and it wasn't long before they were on the bottom. We were closer to sifter makers than boat builders.

We couldn't wait till the next time we got our allowance. We had learned several things. We then found a teacher with access to the school's stake-body truck to take us to town to pickup more tin and deliver the finished products to the lake. There were several more attempts and failures. There is a lot of tin in the bottom of that lake.

I think Alex came up with the first float-able (is that a word?) design and the better part of the story is that he used his tin boat weekend after weekend.

If you have access to a 1960 LWMA Ranger, look on page 24, middle bottom, and you will see Alex Kritzky and his reusable boat. His next idea was to put a motor on it, but to the best of my knowledge that never happened.

Alexander S. Kritzky
Alexander S. Kritzky '61
1960 Yearbook

Alex Kritzky and tin boat
Alex Kritzky - Page 24 - 1960 Ranger Yearbook
Shop in background - One of the famous canoes in the foreground

Some of us thought up things like that and some never did.

The End

Return to the Stories Contents Page.

Return to the Alumni Home Page.