Helen Batton always said if “she wanted to be with her husband, she knew she’d have to learn to fish, sail and join in with his boating interests.” Until their retirement years a water man’s life was never completely fulfilled because Baltimore was the best place to operate and grow their business. They were grateful for it.
Few children can say their father built a boat just for them. Well, Scott and his three siblings can say “our father did!” One day back in 1963 or 1964, Fred C Batton Jr. brought home the hull of a barge and placed it in the yard. When the kids asked “What’s THAT for?” they were informed it was going to be transformed into a houseboat.
“A houseboat?” they all asked in unison, but in reality, they were only half surprised. After all their father was “the king of rig.” Then their Dad explained it was time to get back to the water, having young children and building a prospering business had kept him away far too long. Fred’s kids had reached ages where the whole family could participate in life on the water and explore the Chesapeake Bay. What adventures they had as a family every late spring, summer and early fall weekend – too many stories to recount in this limited space!
All kinds of interesting construction projects have been brought to fruition by Batton builders. Here’s a picture of “Battoney’s Barge” from the family archives. There has never been a shortage of creativity in Fred and Helen Batton’s family. Their four offspring give thanks for parents who taught their kids what it’s like to live life a little differently, a bit outside the box! In fact, one of the kids said “our parents were so adventurous sometimes it felt like we were a caravan of gypsies.”
A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others. ~ Ayn Rand