Ulf Lundell Memorial – Love & Recognition

Ulf Lundell Memorial – Love & Recognition

These are the comments I made at Ulf’s Memorial.  It was an easy topic to choose given the number of projects we did together and the projects I watched him do with others.

Love and recognition

“Love and recognition” That was what Ulf would ask for when he agreed to put in hundreds of hours on the various projects we all did on our houses or boats or cars.

“Ba, I’m retired. Sonja and I don’t need to make the money.  We do this work for love and recognition.”         And wine.  He also worked for wine — but then again wine can also drive love and recognition.

These weren’t small projects.  With Tom he rebuilt a broken down shed into a fully insulated and heated studio for Veronica.  With Christina he renovated her studio with new closets and granite counter tops.  With me there were lots of projects when we came back from London, but the biggest we did together was putting in a kitchen. An IKEA kitchen, of course which we did over a couple weeks with Sonja and Christina’s support.

It isn’t hard to understand why he did the projects – he loved building things.  Loved figuring out how to make it work.  He loved really getting to know the people he worked with because when you take on a big project — whether it is a kitchen or deciding to build a frame for a 34-foot Silverton cabin cruiser so you can ship it to Sweden — you really get to know the people you do it with.

But it was also pride.  Pride in starting and finishing.  The recognition from people that think you are insane when you talk about what you are doing and what you’ve done.  

When I left our old leaky wooden sailboat in Vasteras for the winter, he would check on it every trip back and sign off his emails as “Lundell Boat Service, Northern European Division, Vasteras Branch.” Thnk about that.  He wasn’t Ulf Lundell, the retired former President of Linden Alimak Cranes, he was Ulf Lundell, Service Manager of the boat yard.  He loved it.  He could go down and sit on the bench in front of the coffee place – he called it the liars bench – and tell them he was restoring a 1966 Storebro Havsornen II sailboat.  He could tell them how we would sail it across the archipelago, across the Baltic, across the Urals, across Sibaria and sail it all the way to Tokyo!  Why not?  They all knew it was the liar’s bench.

I think I’m quite lucky because I get to think about Ulf all of the time.  I get to think about him when I look at the mast he varnished.  When I barbque on the patio he built.  And of course every time I walk through our kitchen.

Love and recognition.  He really got and deserved both.