Talk about having the ultimate in inspiration. These photographs, originally taken by Walker Evans for a 1960s article in Fortune magazine, are among the heirlooms that Pat Rybovich is using as inspiration for a screenplay with a simple but downright tantalizing title: Rybovich.
Pat is the daughter of Tommy Rybovich, the master cabinetmaker-turned-legendary builder known as “Pop” who started out building sea skiffs. They were selling well right up until the Great Depression of the 1920s, which wiped out all of the Rybovich holdings, including the family home. Pop and his family rebuilt the business, along with a great number of boats. The name Rybovich ultimately became synonymous with beautiful lines, strong construction and top-notch fishability.
“This soul-stirring world is where I live and breathe these days as the script slooowly comes to life,” Pat says of reviewing the historical photos. “I’m back in the world of my childhood—each afternoon when the school bell rang, my sisters and I darted across the street to our boatyard playground! I don’t know the names of the workers, but I do know these floors well, as they were perpetually covered in wood scraps and sawdust. I was happy to spend hours with a huge push broom (that seemed to weigh more than me) for my dad’s thanks and paint-spattered hug.”
Pat says that writing the Rybovich screenplay has been a far bigger challenge than she imagined, and no details have been released on when the movie might start shooting. A short trailer is online at her website, http://www.rybovichbook.com/film.
We’ll be staying tuned, just as Rybovich fans have for the better part of a century.