Tuesday, August 27, 2013

How Fundraising turns you into the Crazy Girlfriend

Over the last year, the Hornet team has taken literally dozens of meetings in the ongoing efforts to wrap up funding for the project.  We leave every meeting enthused, hopeful, optimistic - we dine out for weeks on a single compliment or hint of commitment.  Every coincidence is a mystical message that it's meant to be.

And then we wait.  Should we call them?  Are they thinking about us?  I hope they liked us.  What if they didn't?  I thought we really had something there...

The process turns us into the crazy, over-attached girlfriend meme, one meeting at a time.

Monday, August 26, 2013

On the hunt - Antiques Roadshow

Years ago, probably around 2010, when research into the historical Hornet first got started, I remember seeing an episode of Antiques Roadshow where someone brought in a Sailing Master's Log from the ship.  Of course, because I didn't write down any specifics, and now that I'd like to track it down I can't find it.

This seems to happen a lot in research - coming across something interesting, failing to take proper note, then back-pedaling to insanity when you finally realize that you can use it.  I hear it from the researchers all the time.

At any rate - any help from AR enthusiasts?  I'd be much obliged.


Mike Schaefer and Robert Marshall at the unveiling of Triumphant, February 2013.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages - your daily dose of 'Merica.

In February 2013, in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of USS Hornet sinking HMS Peacock, we unveiled the first piece of the new Hornet in grand style.  The National Museum of the U.S. Navy hosted the evening gala event, and we introduced a carved wonder to the world.  Because it is that awesome.

Most HORNET supporters, and even team members, hadn't seen the impressive sculpture, which has a wingspan of over eight feet and is covered in 24-carat gold.  The piece was carved from more than 900 lbs of solid mahogany by artist Mike Schaefer.  The final finish of dazzling gold was performed by master gilder Robert Marshall.

In his speech at the unveiling ceremony, Mike described the work as “designed with broad curves and just enough detail to allow the full expression of the gold leaf; constructed from massive glued up mahogany solids, and incorporating sturdy joinery which allows the wings to be removed from the eagle during heavy seas.”  For artistic expression, “Triumphant is muscular –a warbird, capable of projecting power, anywhere; evocative – he calls you to action, join the cause, join the Navy; and dynamic – he’s already coming at you,” Mike explains.

New name - for both the position and the occupant.

In honor of the passing of our beloved Historical Director, Dr. Victor Keranen, the NHS Board of Directors decided to name the seat he vacated after him.  The position of Historical Director was named in his honor in a unanimous decision on July 1.  On July 2nd Chris Melhuish CAPT USN (ret) was unanimously welcomed to the NHS Board of Directors as the first occupant of the Dr. Victor Keranen Historical Chair.  Chris was USS CONSTITUTION’s 65th Commanding Officer, and had the deck during her 1997 foray into the ocean, from Boston to Marblehead.  He is now retired from active duty and lives in Norfolk VA.

Chris has been a key contributor to the USS HORNET Project since 2012, and was Master of Ceremonies for the unveiling of Hornet’s figurehead ‘Triumphant’ at the National Museum of the Navy in February.  His transition from the Board of Advisors to the Board of Directors seems totally natural.  He’s a person of great vision who is thoroughly connected throughout the Navy historical community.

Welcome, Chris!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Passing of Dr. Victor Keranen

Vic was our Historical Director, a top-notch Sailor and a singularly great mentor.  Even after being diagnosed with cancer and undergoing chemo, he remained one of the steadiest, ablest hands in any crew he joined - pulling to beat junior Sailors less than a third his age.

His obituary (following) merely scratches the surface of his remarkable life and indomitable spirit.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Monday, January 21, 2013

Range Rover ship collector

If only great treasures could be just 'collected' by average people.  I know a billionaire with stuff like this, but  I doubt he'd be caught in anything short of a Rolls...

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

2013 Annual Meeting

From The Pennant - this week's edition:

The NHS Board of Directors converged on the US Naval Academy this weekend for their 2013 Annual Meeting.  The event was graciously hosted by the US Naval Academy Museum, which provided meeting as well as exhibition space for several attractions to coincide with the event.  The museum even drew historical artifacts and documents from the original Hornet for review.
            This year, the board was privileged to be joined by Mr. Stu Kerr, a veteran of USS HORNET CVS-12 and Vice-Chairman of the USS HORNET Association – a group for the veterans of the most recent Navy ships named Hornet.  In discussion of the new Hornet Mr. Kerr pledged that his association would provide a bronze plaque to be mounted aboard the ship honoring the veterans of CV-8 and CVS-12, the two ships to most recently bear the name.  He also pledged to provide a piece of CVS-12’s wooden flight deck, to be integrated into the new Hornet’s keel during the keel laying ceremony.  Navy tradition dictates that pieces of historical ships be integrated into the construction of new ones that bear the same name, and we are proud to carry on that tradition with the USS HORNET Association’s help.
In the afternoon, USNA Museum Collections Manager Don Leonard gave NHS members a tour of the museum’s attic, containing the collections not on display including paintings, artifacts and weapons from throughout the history of the Navy.  Some of the most interesting and enjoyable pieces were Fulton’s original patent application for the steamboat and the museum’s collection of antique firearms, which include captured WWII German and Japanese machine guns.
Our giant 1:12 scale model of Hornet remains on display in Mahan Hall, near the cases that display the British ensigns captured by the original ship in the War of 1812.  It is expected to be on display there until February 15.


Photos of the event have been posted on our Facebook page, and even if you're not a subscriber you can view them by clicking here.  Special thanks to our esteemed directors and to the US Naval Academy Museum for hosting!