Book of Condolence
In Memory Of Dan Callahan
The IGKT President, Colin Byfleet, has requested that I write a few words about Dan Callahan, known to many as "Dan Alaska"; who sadly passed away on the 2nd October 2011.
From conversations that I had with Dan over the years, I learnt that he had been a young and fit man working on the oil rigs in Alaska. However, after an industrial accident which hospitalised him for some time, part of his recovery programme was to return to his love of knot tying, a love he had held since he was a young scout.
My first contact with Dan was at the first IGKT NAB meeting, in New Bedford USA. Dan had travelled by rail from his home in Alaska, not an easy journey even for an able-bodied man but his determination was evident. Once there Dan established a corner where he sat, tied knots, talked and listened to others for three days.
Years later, Dan also attended 2K2 (the IGKT 20 year milestone) held in Fareham Hampshire UK. This time he came by air with his good friend Keith Hudson. At this event, Dan struck-up an accord with French Knot Tyer Charles Allard, who was teaching 'The Pine-Apple Knot'. This inspired Dan so much that when he retuned to Alaska, he established the 'Pine-Apple Knot Forum'; this being yet another level to his longstanding website 'The Alaska Museum of Fancy Knots'.
Dan, a much revered and very generous man, was not only an exponent of intricate fancy knotting but also dabbled in 'Magic' and loved his Alaska, where in Anchorage, he formed the Anchorage Knot Tyers Club, which I believe is the only IGKT Branch that meets weekly.
Dan I am sure will be sadly missed by many.Ken Yalden
It is with sadness that I hear about Dan's passing away. Though we never had the luck to meet eachother personally, I remember Dan as a solid rock on which you can count. Back in 1999, when I organised the 'Weert exhibition' in Belgium, it was thanks to Dan's support that I received such a big amount of knotwork from allover the world. His famous website 'knotshoppe' and facebook groups etc, were so important for so many knottyers to keep in touch with each other... Dan, thanks a lot for always being there for helping out with your support and suggestions... I wish you great rest in peace. Geert 'Willy' Willaert, Belgium
I only had occasional contact with Dan, but his sense of humour shone through his messages, and I enjoyed his website, which led me on to so many pleasant explorations that I don't think I've ever explored it fully. May God bless the memories of those who cherish you. Glenys Chew
We shall all miss Dan's friendship and his beautiful knotwork
Europa Chang Dawson
Who can ever forget Dan from Alaska? We met one late saturday evening, the remaining few hours of the Ashley Retrospective 1997 were ticking away. He had been travelling for days (!) from Alaska to New Bedford to attend. He had experienced problems with his trans-continental flights, he was physically handicapped, lugging tonnes of knots and knotting tools along, but he did not give up. Dan's mind was set on attending the knotting venue and that is exactly what he did. We spent a great 12 hours talking knots - nonstop. He was so impressed with the Little Lump Knot, that he refused to get some sleep. And next morning early, drinking our coffee, he could show me what he had been practising all night long: a little lumpy knot, but he had gotten the crossfidarching right! Who can ever forget Dan Callahan? Eager to learn and always willing to teach others. His website continues to be an inspiration for knot-tyers worldwide, representing the generosity of a unique knotter. Lately our correspondence had flagged. Dan did not indicate why and although he never will, I am convinced that the history of knots has an Alaskan chapter as much as it has a New Bedford one.
Pieter van de Griend
I never had the pleasure of meeting Dan in person. I knew of his work before I even met him in the Pineapple Knot Chat. I liked Dan from the day I met him in the PKChat. He was so very friendly and helpful from minute one. It was not all that easy for me to catch Dan in the PKChat because of the time difference, but I tried to get there every Saturday at noon, Eastern time, which was 9AM Dan's time. I always signed on as he was pouring a cup of coffee. Dan, if I ever make it up to where you are now, I will bring you a cup of the finest coffee Brooklyn, New York has to offer.
Anyhow, it never ceased to amaze me how, whenever we discussed a particular knot, tool or method, Dan would send me a link to a picture or site right on topic. Dan started as a splicer, as did I. I consider myself good, but as I got to know Dan, I learned that he forgot more than I ever knew. I had just finished converting a tape i had on splicing rope to a DVD to send to Dan. I never got to send it to him before he passed away. I considered it an honor to share some knowledge I had with Dan.
I am, along with several others, trying to find a way to keep Dan's Pineapple Knot Forum going so as not to lose the enormous wealth of knowledge Dan amassed and shared with us, his fellow knotters, over the years. I hope this works out for us. I keep signing on to the PKChat hoping to find Dan there. But since he has not yet found a way to sign on from up above, I am going to try to find a way to keep the PKChat going until he can find a way to log on the God's computer network.
I will miss you, Dan. We all will miss you. Thanks for everything.
Walter M. Seltzer
The Knot Knut