A 700-pound redwood bench has been placed in Bass Lake Park in the Pines Village, in memory of Chris Blevens.
The bench was placed in the park on June 3, what would have been Blevens' 57th birthday. The well-known Mountain Area carpenter and drag boat enthusiast died on Sept. 16, 2013, after a short bout with cancer.
The bench, which depicts the mountains, pine trees, the lake with Blevens and his boat "Church Mouse" on it, and a praying bear looking down on the hand-carved scene.
The idea of the bench came from Suzanne Lowry, office manager for the Bass Lake Home Owners Association, and long-time friend of the Blevens family. The two families became close friends while living in Granada Hills in the San Fernando Valley in the 1960s. The families entered their high performance boats, Bleven's "Fancy Pants," and Lowry's "T-For-Two" in numerous boat and car shows in the Los Angeles area winning many trophies.
As youngsters, the Blevens children (Steve, Scott and Chris) and the Lowry children (Kim, Jim, and Rick) spent many summers at Bass Lake with their mothers, Jean and Suzanne.
"When Chris was told he had terminal cancer he said he didn't want to leave the family he loved, including his daughter Kylie, and his boats, but said he knew where he was going and he was all right with it," Lowry said.
When Chris Blevens graduated from Granada Hills High School, he moved to Bass Lake and worked for The Pines Resort, helping build the resort's 84 chalets. He remained working for the resort as a carpenter and in maintenance for 37 years until the last three years when he ventured out on his own to do remodel work on Mountain Area homes.
"Chris used to say 'the Lord takes good care of me because he is my contractor I am only the carpenter,'" Lowry said.
At the June 1 South Shore Car and Boat Show, "Church Mouse" won the "Contestant's Pick" award.
Plans are to display the bench at the Sept. 27 Chris Blevens Annual V-Drive Rally at Miller's Landing Resort, where his boating friends will come with their boats from all over California to pay tribute to him.
The bench was made by Geovanni Dalpoggetto, owner of Coarsegold Carving Station, with funds for the bench donated by friends and family.