Author(s): Robb White
Robb White was a master of the art of spinning a good yarn. He was an old salt, dispensing copious wisdom and entertainment in a voice that is part Florida cracker, part biology professor. Readers got a taste of his stories in How to Build a Tin Canoe, but that volume barely scratched the surface of his total output. Flotsam and Jetsam includes all those stories, plus about five times more. His stories revolve around boats and boatbuilding, with countless sidetracks into such esoterica as clam chowder, sawmills, cast-netting, and alligators. His style is similar to his sister Bailey White's--mining a deep vein of Southern eccentricity and charm, while also imparting a great deal of practical and technical wisdom. As Peter Spectre wrote about him: At first blush his style seemed to be pure memory dump, but if you stuck with it over the long haul, you would discover that each piece was part of a long, loose tale about what life used to be and still could be without SUVs, personal watercraft, Blackberries, plywood, fast food, and any amount of other useless stuff bought off the shelf. The cumulative, compelling effect was to cause one to examine critically one's life in light of what he wrote about his. A story by Robb White was beautifully constructed. A must-read for any boat-nut, and for anyone who values the old ways of doing it yourself.
Robb White was a respected boatbuilder, and a frequent contributor to such publications as 'WoodenBoat' and 'Messing About in Boats.' He was the author of "How to Build a Tin Canoe." He passed away in May 2006. Bailey White is the author of "Mama Makes Up Her Mind," "Sleeping at the Starlite Motel," "Quite a Year for Plums," and other books.