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P.O. Box 925516
Houston, Texas

The Houston Canoe Club 

is a Paddle America Club

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Michael Van Winkle

John Rich

Posting an e-mail received from a long-time-ago member  For you old-timers that remember him, feel free to re-connect.  :-)


From: Michael Van Winkle []
Sent: Friday, May 10, 2019 3:16 PM
Subject: Re: May Newsletter


I had an opportunity to read John Bartos' interview with Bob Arthur regarding the Southwest Canoe Rendezvous. It brought back a lot of found memories. I started attending at either the first or second event on Chain of Lakes Resort, followed by several events at the Huntsville State Park, including the Freestyle Championship that included Lilian Tiggard doing a handstand in a tandem canoe as Bob Foote paddled stern. I attended many clinics, learning a lot from Bob Foote about white water paddling, and other presenters about freestyle. I was a member of the Alamo City Rivermen(people) when I first attended. I later succumbed to the rigors of commuting to my job in Kerrville and moved up there. After a year of meeting some interesting and enjoyable people, we formed the Hill Country Paddlers. I cannot remember all of the founding members names, due to my challenged old age memory. Those I recalled included the many members of the Jim Hainey Family, Robert Williams, Ron Duke, John Bilderback, Dr. Louis Guillero, along with my wife Sammie, my youngest  son Zachary, and I. Most of us attend at least one or more of the remaining Rendezvous. It was there that I first got involved with the Texas Rivers Protection Association, thanks to Tom and Paula Goynes and Leonard and Martha Holsebouch-(pardon the spelling. In the early days of the event, we did not have the computer access we do now. Therefore, many of us interested in paddling throughout the year, joined each others canoe clubs in order to get their news letters regarding forthcoming trips and contact information regarding the trip leaders, times, meeting locations and ect. This gave the Hill Country paddlers an opportunity to meet and paddle with many different skill levels of paddlers. One of my most memorable paddles was after being asked by HCC to lead a trip on the South Llano one New Years Day. The temperature was in the mid to high 20s. Most present at the South Llano River State Park, participated that day, to enjoy the crisp weather, and many different forms of wildlife along the banks. Leonard, Martha and Jack Richardson, and possibly Louis Albach, among others were present. I cannot recall other names. That event, I found out later was a tradition for many HCC members. I appreciated the opportunity to lead that trip. As I sit here enjoying the cool dry Colorado weather, I do recall one other  paddle manufacturer being at several of the Rendezvous- Crickett Paddle of Salida, CO, with Michael Kennedy and his wife presenting their work. I have paddled primary Mitchell blades until I tried his simi-dished white water paddle, my choice and last one I probably will ever use. Like me, Michael has retired and closed the business. Visiting with him and touring his business has been one pleasure I will recall. Using his early paddles at the Rendezvous and I tried out many different boats got the old Mad River paddler into using a lot of Dagger boats over the years. My paddles retired with my body in 2009.  Thank You for the history.

Michael R. Van Winkle

7010 Isle Bay Point

Colorado Springs, CO 80922