Buddy Brigade Memories

He ‘really made my century’!

In the summer of 2010, my wife Diana and I drove up to Lake Geneva from St. Louis. On the drive home, we passed a sign for Zenda, I told my wife that was were Buddy Melges lived and his boat facility. Diana said we should stop in and visit, even though we have never met Buddy. I said, no, he was a rock star and either busy or on the road somewhere, but she insisted that we try. We pulled up to the office and went in, I asked if Buddy was around and the person in the office said, “yes, he is out back cutting the grass”. I figured she was talking about another Buddy, so I said, “No, Buddy Melges”. She responded, yes, he is cutting the grass, and said if we wait a few minutes, he should be done and would be glad to meet us. We waited and sure enough, Buddy pulls up on a riding mower, greets us and mentioned “that’s all they let me do, is cut the grass”. Buddy led us on a complete tour of the facility, was as nice and accommodating as if we have been friends for years. Told us dirty jokes and made us feel special. I have always told people that sailors are some of the most friendly people (off the boat) and Buddy sure proved that. For one of the worlds best sailors to take time for a very amateur racer, really made my century. Michael Iskiwitch

Bath Tubs Become Sleek Racing Boats

A doctor friend and I did a sailing race. Although reasonable surgeons, we were terrible sailers. In one race on Geneva Lake the officiating crew had removed the final finishing line marker BEFORE we completed the race. (But the beer was good) My surgeon friend then stated his boat was poorly designed and was a ‘bath tub’. Some time later my same friend raced his ‘bath tub’ with Buddy at the helm. They took first place. Many ‘bath tubs’ became sleek racing boats with Buddy’s skill at the helm. P.S. In my dealings with Buddy and his lifelong bride, he has always been humble, sincere, and grateful. A true family legend.and model for famous individuals. James Seegers

I Saw Feathers Flying!

I worked for Buddy during the 80s. Buddy’s other love, besides his lovely wife and sailing, was duck hunting. Dog’s need t0 be trained so when Buddy got a new “bird dog” puppy he would bring him into the office and toss the bird dummy down the hallway. Well, while Buddy was doing this one day a customer came in so of course Buddy put the puppy in his office and closed the door and went out to the shop to show the customer his boat in production. In his office were several stuffed birds that he had shot and one was on a particularly low shelf about knee high. There was also a large window in his office door and all of a sudden I saw feathers flying about his office. I rushed in and tried to stuff the bird back together when Buddy came in with a grin on his face and all I could say was – I guess he’s going to be a great bird dog! Vickie Matthews: