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!