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Happy 90th, Dad
Separated by COVID-19, a daughter sends Happy Birthday wishes
April 4, 2020

olf Anselm turns 90 today. He’s a man often seen about Oriental on a bicycle. And with a ready smile. Rolf first settled to Minnesott Beach in 1996 with his wife Carol (now deceased), moving to Oriental about 8 years ago.

We’ve learned a few things about him in the last couple days.

He was a world champion stone skipper – in the 1970s in the Guinness Book Of World Records. Rolf was Captain of the Liberty Bell paddle wheeler in Rochester, NY. He had an Amphicar. Rolf’s daughter Tanja (in Rochester NY) explains:

He owned one of the original Amphicars, bought close to when they first came out.. Used to go to Ann Arbor and put it in the river. People would almost always call the police that there had been a car in the river, and they would have to come out and he would show that he was actually registered as a boat as well as a car. He always had one full Amphicar, and I swear, another one in parts. The one he drove most often was a white one. He kept it up here in Rochester, and sold it recently within the last 2 years.

Ol' Front Porch Music Festival
Rolf in the US Navy, around 1949/1950.

Dear Town Dockers,

April 4th is Rolf Anselm’s 90th birthday. It was our intent to celebrate with you, friends and family this weekend. That’s still our intent, but it will be another day.

Please wish him a happy birthday when you see him. This will be the first time in 10+ years he has not had family or a companion to celebrate with “in house”. It is at Rolf’s request (and because it makes sense) that his niece and nephew’s families, his granddaughter and her husband, and my husband and I will be celebrating “in place”, and not with him. (We are in California, Florida and Upstate New York – we got issues, eh?).

You are an amazing community. Knowing he is somewhere he can walk, ride his tricycle, find really good food, where he has the boats to watch and where someone would notice if he didn’t show up somewhere means the world to me. Especially now. My circumstances and daily actions are deeply affected by COVID-19. It is scary being so far away from a man I hold so dear and admire greatly. Thank you ALL for being the people you are, and for the way you look out for each other.

Stay safe, stay well.

Tanja (Anselm-Cooke)
Rochester, NY

Rolf was born in Iowa City, Iowa, in 1930.

Ol' Front Porch Music Festival
Young Rolf (right) works on a car, 1938.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival
Rolf at the helm, 1946.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival
Rolf (right) serving as a horse, 1947.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival
Rolf built a boat for his granddaughter – the Miss Aubrey. 2001.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival
Rolf visits Sailcraft Service to see a boat launched, 2019.