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Published July 12, 2011, 06:54 PM

Water skiing lifelong love for Otter Tail Lake man

Otter Tail Lake, MN (WDAY TV) - In Lakes Country water skiing is as popular as summer S’mores, campfires and walleye fish-fries. But on Otter Tail Lake, a long-time vacationer at Holly's Resort is a bit of a superstar. Don Kendle, the "water skier," just turned 86.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

In Lakes Country water skiing is as popular as summer S’mores, campfires and walleye fish-fries. But on Otter Tail Lake, a long-time vacationer at Holly's Resort is a bit of a superstar. Don Kendle, the "water skier," just turned 86.

On another perfect Minnesota Morning, Don Kendle gets ready for his daily workout on the water. And at the impressive age of 86, Don heads out on to Otter Tail Lake, with his one ski. That's right, he still slaloms.

Don Kendle – 86 year-old Water Skier: “It is amazing. I love it, it is amazing I can still do it.”

He pops up quickly, skipping across Otter Tail, crossing wakes like a teenager.

Don: “Between dancing and water skiing are my two hobbies.”

Don's parents came to Holly's Resort on Otter Tail shortly after the war. Both Don and his father served in World War Two. Don with the 7th Air Force in the Pacific.

Don: “Servicemen from world war two are going down hill or gone. I like to think about and talk about it, I am still glad I am here.”

While Don has been coming up to Otter Tail Lake for more than a half century, he has been doing more than just skiing, he has been teaching the hobby to dozens of young people.

Don: “I taught them when they were 6 years old.”

Don is not one to brag or show off, but he attracts his share of fans on the beach-this summertime vacationer from Nebraska who can still rip it up.

Don: “If I did not do all that, I would be in the chair, watching time go by.”

He will be back again next summer, arriving on his 87 birthday. A big party is planned, and so is a trip around the lake on his one ski.

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