Skip Kratzer, 77, of Sequim recently received an award he never imagined would be in his grasp much less on his studio wall.
On July 26, he received the 2014 Washington Pinstriper of the Year at the Goodguys 27th Wesco Autobody Supply Pacific Northwest Nationals in Puyallup.
Kratzer said his wife, Sharon, kept the surprise from him for a year. He thought it was curious that his family members and former clients were there prior to the big reveal.
“I didn’t think I’d ever achieve something like this in my lifetime,” he said.
Kratzer began pin-striping in the 1950s but said he didn’t become serious again until at age 61 in 1990.
“I didn’t really become the artist I am today until recently,” he said.
The Kratzers have been in Sequim for five years after moving from Redmond following Skip’s 40-year career in the marine industry, which took him around the world.
On the Olympic Peninsula, Kratzer is the only active pin striper he knows of except for two students of his.
Next April, Kratzer will be accepted into the Washington National Hot Rod Association of America’s Washington Division for Pinstriping.
Question 11: What is your guilty pleasure?
Kratzer: Since I’ve given my life to the Lord, I don’t have anything to feel guilty about.
Question 12: What is your earliest memory?
Kratzer: I remember living in Allentown, Pa., I went to a little one-room school that had little desks with inkwells in them. I do feel guilty about dipping girls’ long hair in there. The school was also by a small river but I honestly can’t tell you why I remember this.
Question 23: What is your favorite place to visit on the Olympic Peninsula?
Kratzer: My wife and I love Hurricane Ridge. We would visit for 20 years to see our son who is a fishing guide in Forks. We went up to Hurricane Ridge the first time and were like “Whoa.” Now we have a pass.
Question 28: If you were a professional in another field, what would you be?
Kratzer: A race car driver. I drove race cars for five years as an amateur years ago. I had a chance to do it when I was much younger but I had a young son and wife at home.
Question 39: Mustaches. Cool or not?
Kratzer: I have them from time to time. Sometimes I have a goatee. My wife doesn’t like them but it doesn’t stop me from growing them.
Bonus Question: What do you like best about yourself?
Kratzer: I love the fact that I’ve become the man God wanted me to become all along. I love meeting people. We have more friends here than we have time to hang out.
In Random Questions, members of the community each draw five random questions (sometimes more) out of 50 from a bag and he/she will answer these questions for your entertainment. With suggestions for random interviews, e-mail Matthew Nash at email@example.com.