The Paddle In The Park Contest is back for 2015!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Badger History: not just any little black box

Today our family had a very interesting lunch.  A family heirloom was brought out that, while the monetary value is very little, the item couldn't have been a more interesting & valuable treasure to Badger Paddles and the great-granddaughter of Sidney Badger, Fiona.

This family heirloom was a little black box filled with memories.

It was a wonderful afternoon spent listening to Sidney's daughter (and Fiona's grandmother) Glady, reminisce about her childhood remembering how her father, Sidney Badger, would carry his little black box to the streetcar stop in travel to downtown Toronto, where he worked as a touch-up artist for RCA Victor Radios and Yollie's Furniture.  

"Imagine," Glady said, "he made his whole living for his family from that little black box.  He fed and clothed and housed us 4 children, even during the Great Depression."

She even fondly recalled the "little coloured sticks" that looked like plastic.  These shellac sticks when put under heat, would instantly melt - basically acting as a dent filler which would instantly harden when cooled.  A lost art, the shellac sticks are less available today due to the skills required to use this method and the expense of a burning knife and oven.  Today it is much more popular to use "wood filler".

Interestingly enough,  the box was used by all 3 generations of the men of Badger & Son.    Sidney, his son Don Badger and later his grandson, Mike, all carried on the tradition of bringing the little black box into customer's homes to provide "touch-up" work on their fine furniture and antiques.  This service was used for customer pieces that had a small amount of damage to their furniture's finish and did not need to be fully refinished.

A fine art, touching up the finish on furniture is a very difficult job.  Finishes had to be mixed to be exact thereby ensuring the damaged area was invisible to the eye.  It takes a fine eye for colour and a steady hand to ensure a professional touchup job. Colours and lacquers were mixed on the spot until the artist was satisfied with the match.  Sometimes faux grain had to be "painted" in as well if the damaged finish area was a littler larger then usual.

When Don Badger left the family business in the 80's to his nephew Mike, the only thing he took from the business upon his departure was "Grampa's little black box".

The box was not seen again until recently and upon the passing of Uncle Don where it was located in a garden shed by the family.

"There is was..." Mike recalled over a meal of fish & chips, "under a bench on the floor and hidden by a roll of carpet and tarpaper.  But as soon as I saw it  I recognized it.... I knew it was Grampa's little black box.".

Mike (a.k.a. Poppa Badger) quickly saved the box to ensure it was not overlooked or thrown away.  Thankfully, Mike is a great collector of local history, and was happy to give the box a protected home so that the memories of Grandpa Badger's little black box could be shared with future generations and you, our valued customer.  This box was not only filled with articles from the past, but also with family stories, which are the greatest heirloom of all.
For more history on Sidney (see black and white picture) or Badger & Son, please visit the Badger & Son website's History page.

BADGER UPDATE:  December 12/09
Just this week Fiona received an unexpected phone call from Poppa Badger where he generously and respectfully offered to pass Great Grampa's little black box to her.  Overwhelmed and overjoyed... Fiona accepted the gift that her father was so graciously willing to share with her.  Thank you Poppa Badger!!!  The little black box has been given another loving home and it will be cherished there, always.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

For the paddlers on your gift list.....

The holiday season of gift giving is fast approaching!!! 

That is why we would like to remind everyone that any personalized or special orders must processed by the end of this month to be able to ensure your purchase is delivered in time for the holidays.

Have a name or personal message added to your paddle for an unique gift that will last for many seasons to come.  Hand-painted, a personalized Badger Paddle makes for a one-of-a-kind gift that will be sure to please any paddler on your list.

Don't forget to have your order in before the end of November to be able to ensure your purchase arrives in a timely fashion.  Visit our website for ideas and ways Badger can make your paddle special for anyone you really "dig" this holiday season!!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

NEW: Water Colours Canoe Paddles for Adults

We knew kids 'n cubs would love our colourful tinted solid wood canoe paddles but we weren't anticipating such a keen interest from the bigger kids too!

That's right - you asked for it and we listened....  Water Colours are now available for adults!   Choose from a variety of colours like blue, green, rose, turquoise, orange and more.

Our tints are non-toxic and each Water Colours Badger Paddle is varnished with 3 coats of a high quality marine grade varnish.  For more information on Badger Water Colours - please contact us or visit Swift Canoe & Kayak.

Please note that because nature provides a variety of interesting grains and beauty marks it is natural to expect some differences in the shade or colour within a piece or between paddles.  Water Colours by Badger Canoe Paddles highlights these natural characteristics thereby preserving the beauty of the wood.

Badger Water Colours (makers of the original colourful tinted solid wood paddles) are so much fun they have already started a new trend!  These tinted paddles will also make a great gift for the holidaze this year for the paddlers on your list.   Currently only available at Swift Canoe & Kayak - be sure to get yours soon because this popular and novel item will not last long in stores!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

To Badger or not to Badger

Do you know the origin of the term "to badger"?

"Badgering"is also known as pestering, bothering, nagging, or teasing.  But these traits are not from the animal itself, but rather from the early sport of Badger Baiting whereas hunters would send dogs to harass badgers for entertainment and for blood sport.  Similar to dog fighting, badger baiting was forced combat between the badger and a succession of hounds.  Badger baiting, now thankfully illegal, would typically end with the death of the badger and most likely major injury to the dogs.  So it seems the origin of the term descends from human behaviour towards the badger and not the animal's behaviour towards humans.  Thus, this retired sport became a popular term still used widely today.  

But we love when fans "badger" us with questions and comments on our facebook page or by email.  In fact, we love it so much that we decided to award our most engaged and interactive fan of Badger Paddles... for those who dig the water a special token of our appreciation and gratitude for their continual encouragement and support.

And we already have our winner - paws down!  Patty from Southern Ontario has proven to be our most encouraging and supportive fan on Facebook.  Patty always has great feedback for Badger Paddles... for those who dig the water and we want her to know just how much we appreciate her support.

Patty will be receiving her NEW Badger Paw shed antler pendant necklace made specially for Badger Paddles for her contributions made to our fan page on Facebook.  It is our gift to Patty, who we hear loves fishing and spending time at the lake with her family in the Kawartha region.  Thanks Patty!  

Become a fan of Badger Paddles... for those who dig the water on Facebook for your chance to win some great Badger merchandise just like Patty.  Can you dig it?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Badger Paddles & Swift Canoe on Facebook!

Just this week Swift Canoe & Kayak, like Badger Paddles, joined the social networking site Facebook!!!

If you have a Facebook account be sure to check out the new Swift page and become a fan.   Swift Canoe has always had a close relationship with their customers and now it has become even easier to interact with your favourite canoe company.  Engage with other Swift Canoe enthusiasts, upload your pictures, write reviews of their boats and stay up to date with special offers and promotions through the Swift Canoe & Kayak Facebook Page.  

Not on Facebook?  That's okay because Swift Canoe & Kayak also maintains a blog for general internet surfers.  Click here to visit the Swift Outdoors Centre Blog.

And while you are browsing the internet, be sure to stop by our Facebook page at Badger Paddles... for those who dig the water and become a fan for your chance to win some great Badger merchandise over the winter!