“Well, let’s do it!” This favorite saying of Schuyler’s is an affirmation of his positive outlook on life and his strong desire to be up and doing to “change the world,”
SCHUYLER M. MEYER JR. 1918-1997 To use another of his favorite expressions.
He was ever a knight errant embarked on an unending quest.
The quest was to help disadvantaged young people achieve their goals, to ass ure full opportunity to American Ind ians and destitute hill fo lk in Appalachia,
and to invite people of all sorts and conditions to share his enthusiasms for an enlightened politics, the natural environment,
and the canals and waterways of Americaparti cularly New York’s Champl ain and Erie Canals,
Canada’s Rideau Canal, and the fasci nating backwaters of New York Harbor.
He was extraordinarily well-read and liked to send his fri ends passages from books he knew they’d never otherwise read.
Few things delighted him more than a wide-ranging discussion of some recent literary or histori cal discoveryhe’ dmade,
on which he never insisted on agreement with his viewsthe shared experience was what the discovery was ail about.
education and never more at home than when discussing some new concept or program in learning,
be it the 700-mile classroom of the Erie Canal, where for some years he personall y conducted environmental,
historical and cultural programs on the decks of the New York State Canal Corporation tug Urger.
(whose ex ploits will be found in a spec ial booklet he published on the Urger and her work, avail able on request from NMHS).
Naval service in World War II made a profound impression on Schuyler, prov iding him with a rich fund of anecdotes, refl ecting his deep interest in the people he encountered.
As captain of the nava l tug Nawat, working in New York Harbor, he greatly admired Alex Troonin,
veteran of the Tsarist navy of Imperial Russia and former skipper of the famous wishbone ketch.
Vamarie-a tiger of a man who would jump on top of the boom that supported the wartime net barring the harbor entrance.
and challenge Schuyler to bring his tug up to the boom gently enough not to knock him off into the icy water.
This kind of lesson had never been taught at Yale, where Schu yler had rowed in the varsity eight.
But he learned in the school of hard knocks and never had to find out what would have befallen him if he had flubbed.
the approach and knocked the giant Russian overboard.
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