My wife Sandra, and I came to Lake Kanasatka in 1984, first owning a seasonal camp on Vonhurst Road. We were immediately recruited by LKWA to be Water Quality Monitors, and we did this for almost 35 years. Through the years, I have served as President of LKWA, Water Quality Chair and LKWA Facebook Administrator. Sandra and I volunteered to be the Hospitality Committee for decades of July annual meetings and also hosted several LKWA August picnics. In 2023, I was elected to the current LKWA Board of Directors.

In 1995, we were fortunate enough to find our current 14-acre property on Glidden Road. It was being sold as a seven-lot sub division with 560 feet of lake frontage. We jumped at the opportunity to preserve this wonderful property. In 2014, we built a year-round home and made it our permanent residence. Most of you know how much I love Lake Kanasatka. In the summer of 2023, I stepped out of my comfort zone and organized what is now known as “Boots on the Ground.” The response from the Kanasatka Community was amazing. 53 different volunteers came forward, logging more than 350 hours of labor, in addition to the 40+ hours I spent on my tractor/backhoe. I will always be on the front lines, doing my best to protect our entire watershed. But the story I really want to tell in this article is not about me, but about “A Boy Named Alex.”


A Boy Named Alex

Sandra and I have a nephew named Alex. When we bought our Vonhurst camp in 1984, Sandra’s sister Shelly and her husband Hank visited us often, and brought their 3-year-old son Alex and eventually Alex’s younger brother Kevin. Alex was fascinated by Lake Kanasatka. I remember trying to pull him around the lake in an automobile inner-tube behind an eleven-foot aluminum boat with a 6 HP motor. It didn’t go well. We almost drowned poor Alex, but he kept his head above water and never stopped smiling.

On Friday evenings, Sandra and I would drive up to camp from Boston. Many times, we picked young Alex up in Manchester, and brought him with us. After a quick stop at Burger King, Alex would doze off for the rest of the ride. Amazingly, each time we turned onto Glidden Road, he would awaken, full of excitement.

Through the years, we fished together, and snorkeled together to see for ourselves where the fish lived. We could even swim underwater without masks, with our eyes open and see through the clear water. We kept a journal of the lunker fish we caught. It included date/time/weather/location/type of bait/how many times the fish jumped, and other fun information. We even named a few fish we had caught more than one time.

Time passed, Alex grew up, but we still spent a lot of time fishing from my small boat, with lots of conversations about nature and life. He nicknamed me, “Uncle Dude.” He talked about getting married and maybe having a son who could fish Kanasatka with us and go tubing behind our boat.

Alex is now 42 years old, happily married, with a 4-year-old son and a 2-year-old daughter. To be on the safe side, we have all agreed to keep the children out of Kanasatka until we have the cyanobacteria blooms under control. We are very sad that Kanasatka has such a problem, but remain hopeful that things will get better. Sandra and I were invited to Alex’s home for Christmas dinner this year. I was greeted at the door by Alex’s son Connor, who handed me a gift of soft rubber fishing baits.

During a quiet time after dinner, Alex handed me a very generous check written out to LKWA. He said, “Uncle Dude, this is to help pay for the alum treatment.” I was humbled by his moral character and love of Lake Kanasatka.

I hope this true story influences others to reflect on their memories of Kanasatka and help us return our lake to its former glory, for future generations to love and enjoy. Please join Alex in contributing to the Capital Campaign.