“I’m in the antique business and I’m very much engaged in restoring early outboard motors,” he said. His kids do “all the work, and we sell them to collectors mostly. They’re fairly expensive.”
He and a partner in Michigan restore select antique motors to museum quality. He’s been collecting antique fishing all of his life, and according to him the outboard motor is a natural extension of fishing. “When the outboard motor came along … it changed the whole of fishing because you now had a motor to get around instead of rowing.”
Frank and Jean came from Wisconsin and love the area’s commitment to its small town roots. Some of his favorite things?
“No high rises, no fast food, all the good things that have kept it relatively pristine,” he said.
True to that spirit, Koffend enjoys the unique pursuits of the area. He considers himself an “inveterate shark tooth hunter,” he said, and says his days as an amateur geologist and fossil hunter began after taking a few geology courses in college.
Holding up one of his prized possessions he said, “There are only two of these in existence.”
It is a “shark hex,” and Charlie Barr, a local architect, designed it. Frank provided the shark teeth for the six-sided, radially-symmetrical array that forms a beautiful geometrical pattern. They made them last year and plan to enter at least one in this year's upcoming Sanibel shell show.
“I probably sorted through 50,000 teeth to get the right sizes,” he said, adding that he and Barr put over 50 hours of work into the hexes. He emphasized that credit for the design should go to Barr – Koffend provided and sorted the fossilized teeth.
His first love, though, is antiques. He sells through the Fox River Antique Mall back in Appleton, Wis. where he and his wife spend about half the year.
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