GENE JENSEN (1928-2004)

A canoeing legend late has died --
    At the age of 75;
He grew up on the town's north side,
    Where Mississippi paddling thrived.

 

As a boy he'd paddle anything --
    From homemade boats to rafts and logs --
Which to a sawmill he would bring --
    For quarters would he water slog.

 

He often paddled in a race* --
    Four hundred and fifty mile,
And was four times he took first place,
    And developed a racing style.

 

He came up with the signal "hut"
    And invented the bent-shaft paddle,
But best known for designs he cut
    For the racing boats astraddle.

 

A half a dozen boat makers
    Have built canoes along his lines,
And a dozen undertakings
    Have We-no-nah and Gene combined.

 

The Jensen name is known world-wide --
    On the finest racing bows --
In fact, 3 "Jensens" I have plied
    With the "old lady" in the prow.

 

And soon, upon the 6th of June --
    At noon, up north in Brooklyn Park,
His ashes on the river strewn
    Upon the shoals he made his mark.

George Kittell
2004

*Minneapolis Aquatennial: Bemidji to Minneapolis



 

 

 

Latest News

Jensen Handicap Canoe Race, pairing amateur canoeists with a seasoned pro will be held this Sunday, July 16, 2017, at the Anoka Fairgrounds in MN. To register and details here:

 

https://paddlercbc.org/jensen-handicap-race/

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© Josh Houston