As our parents were divorced when we were quite young, we spent most of our summers at cottages and camps and on the lakes with our three uncles. Much of what we learned about being men came from those long immersions into the lake country of Northwestern Ontario. I learned about selfless duty from my Uncle Bob when he used his whole body to shield me from a vicious wasp attack when I was seven. I learned about taking responsibility from my Uncle Don after spending an entire day learning to tie proper knots after he discovered that the boat that I was supposed to tie up the evening before was in the middle of the lake. And I learned about elegant design from Bert, who made his own kayaks, canoes and paddles to go with them. His ethos accompanied me to and through design school where I developed my own design philosophy based on the simple and uncompromising.