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Page 24

hello, neighbor

By Meda Kessler

A move to the Pacific Northwest gave Kevin Fujii a chance to hone his boating skills. While the scenery might be a bit different in Fort Worth, he’s happy to get back on the water.

Photos by Ralph Lauer

There is much to love about Seattle — the weather, the proximity to water and the mountains, and did we mention the weather? — but Kevin Fujii smiles when asked if he’s happy being back in Fort Worth. “It’s home; it’s where all of you are: my friends, my buddies, my family.” Full disclosure: We worked with Kevin, a photojournalist, at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in the mid-’90s, and we were Arlington Heights neighbors. After his move to the Pacific Northwest, we were dazzled by (and envious of) his social media posts of hiking and biking on beautiful mountain trails — especially during August, when we were all sweating buckets here. While Kevin was an avid kayaker and biker during his time in Fort Worth, he found a bigger playground with more options in Seattle. And although he won a team Pulitzer Prize in 2010, he saw his newspaper job disappear due to industry downsizing in 2012. But he still was able to combine his passion for photography and his love of the outdoors — from snowshoeing to mountain climbing to rowing — as an instructor for Seattle-based REI. His attraction to sculling, however, began when he was still a working photojournalist and covering the 2004 Summer Olympics in Greece for the Houston Chronicle. “I photographed the men’s 8+ [eight men sweep rowing a single boat with a coxswain] and was impressed with the skill and the beauty of the sport,” says Kevin. “After moving to Seattle in 2008, I took lessons the following year.” Learning from a skilled instructor is key, says Kevin; it’s not a self-taught sport. “And in Seattle, sculling is like breathing.

22 May-June 2018 76107magazine.com

Kevin gets a full-body workout sculling on the Trinty River near Panther Island Pavilion.

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