Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Art, Beetle Cats, Model A Fords, more Art, old cannons, Moby Dick, Lobster rolls--a busy day out.

My head is spinning just thinking about the busy itinerary which former Moth Boater Clayton Fuller had lined up for us on the Monday morning of our Cape Cod adventure.  Recall that Clayton, who will turn 95 this November, sent me the 8mm movie clip of Moth Boats racing down at Miami YC in the mid-1950s and also the lovely old Egyptian cotton Moth sail a few months ago.  We met Clayton at his home in Wareham and quickly got on the road for a busy day of guided touring.  Clayton first took us to a park in the town of Onset where he showed us his "Aquene"

Clayton Fuller shows Elisabeth his bronze statue of "Aquene".  The statue, dedicated in 1989, was at first controversial due to the bare breast presentation.  Attempts to clothe Aquene, including a bra which Clayton still has in his collection of Aquene artifacts, where part of the early reaction to this work of art.  Clayton indicated that things have since calmed down and Aquene enjoys the passage of the seasons unmolested.

Next on tap, Clayton guided us to the Beetle Boat Company, formerly located in Padanarum,  Massachusetts is now located in Wareham.

Michelle graciously took the time to give us a very thorough tour of the Beetle Boat Shop.
In the fall the Beetle boat shop collects customer's Beetle Cats and cleans and stores them over the winter in a pair of sheds.  There were several hundred Beetle Cats "resting" for the winter on the day when we visited.  More were coming.  I need a boat house like this!  Click to enlarge the photos.
The boats are cleaned and the centerboards and rudders are removed for painting and varnishing.  Each blade is tagged for return to the proper boat in the spring.
Here is the work room where spars are sanded and revarnished.
Along with building and maintaining Beetle Cats, the Beetle Company also builds custom boats like this Herreshoff Alerion.  The Lyman lapstrake runabout is in for winter storage and maintenance.
Another shed full of Beetle Cats waiting for spring.
One of the employees is building this peapod on his spare time.  She's reminiscent of a Beetle Whale Boat.

A close up of the peapod showing the clamps used to hold planks in place during shaping and fastening.  The shop had that wonderful smell of cedar.
Need a cedar skiff?  Beetle will make one for you.
We enjoyed our visit to the Beetle Boat Shop but it was time to move on.  Clayton had many things for us to see before the sun set.  He directed us to the town of Marion to see his son-in-law's A-model Ford trucks.

Clayton's son-in-law Charlie with two of his three model A trucks.  The truck on the left was restored from a derelict which had been buried by a falling tree and left under it for many years.  This truck spent its entire life in the eastern Massachusetts area.  The Model AA on the right came from Montana.  Both have been restored to Apple Pie order.  Charlie also has an A-model roadster pick-up which he refers to as his "summer car".

Next Clayton took us to the Millicent Library in nearby Fairhaven.  This library, built in the Italian Renaissance-style, was donated to the town by Henry H. Rogers, a nineteenth century industrialist in memory of his daughter Millicent who died at age seventeen in the year 1890. Millicent was fond of poetry and so her father decided that a library would be a fitting memorial.  Mark Twain visited the Millicent and described it as the "ideal library".  More can be found here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millicent_Library

The Millicent Library

The Millicent library houses a collection of memorabilia from the rescue of Manjiro Nakahama in 1841 by a Fairhaven whaleship.  Manjiro eventually returned to Japan.  A very interesting account of Manjiro's story can be read here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nakahama_Manjir%C5%8D  The samurai sword on display is a replacement for one presented to the library by a descendant of Manjiro in the early 20th century.  The original sword was stolen from the library in 1977.

The library has a fine collection of Geisha dolls.  Here is a representative example.

This stained glass window shows us a depiction of Millicent Rogers portraying Erato the Muse of Poetry.  Note the carved paneling.  This, friends, is one special library.

This statue of the Messenger of Love by Caroni was first displayed at the Columbian Exposition of 1893 (aka the Chicago World's Fair).

Column detail.  My library back home isn't like this!
We could have stayed all day at the library but the sun was waning and it was time to move on and see other wonders on Clayton's agenda of which I'll relate on my next post.

No comments:

Post a Comment