Digest>Archives> Nov/Dec 2018

Keeper's Korner

Tidbits and Editorial Comments from the Tower

By Timothy Harrison


New Point Comfort Leader Lost

We are saddened to report on the passing of Earl Soles, Chairman of the New Point Comfort Lighthouse Task Force in Matthews, Virginia. In 2013 his efforts were honored by the U.S. Lighthouse Society. This past August 7th, on National Lighthouse Day, just a few days before his death, the Matthews County Board of Supervisors declared August 7 as Earl Soles Day in Matthews County. Our sincere condolences go out to his family and friends.

Maine Lighthouse Community Mourns Loss

It is with great sadness that we report on the loss this past August of BMCS Stan Metcalf (USCG Ret.) Stan was a member of Board of Directors of the Maine Lighthouse Museum, who also served as a docent at the museum. He was also an accomplished artist and many of his lighthouse paintings were sold at the museum to benefit the ongoing support of the museum. During his long and distinguished Coast Guard career he served as a keeper at Maine’s Burnt Island Lighthouse, on a gunboat in Viet Nam, at the Race Point Search and Rescue Station in Massachusetts, and at the Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Search and Rescue Station. He had many stories and memories that he was always willing to share. Many people in lighthouse community knew of this wonderful man and his warm sense of humor. He was also the loving companion of Dot Black, who is the Volunteer Acting Executive Director of the Maine Lighthouse Museum. Our sincere condolences go out to his family and friends. He will be missed by so many.

Stan Metcalf is shown here raising an original U.S. Lighthouse Service flag (pennant) on National Lighthouse Day, August 7, 2015, at the Maine Lighthouse Museum in Rockland, Maine.

Lighthouse Aficionado is Lost

We are saddened to report on the passing this past September 9th, at the age of 58, of long time lighthouse aficionado Sally Marie Webster. She was the 20 year soulmate of Andris Andersons and together they both shared a love of lighthouses. We will always remember Sally from meeting her numerous times over the 20 year span of when the Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival was active. Our condolences go out to Andris and their family and friends.

Birthday Card

I received lots of birthday cards and wishes for my birthday this past September 3rd and I appreciated and loved them all. But this one from Rudy Bess was high on my list of favorites.

Turned 91

Birthday wishes to “Buddy” Grover who turned 91 years old this past September 24th. Buddy has been serving as a volunteer light keeper at the top of New Jersey’s Absecon Lighthouse in Atlantic City since 2009, and is beloved by residents of Atlantic City and lighthouse visitors. 

Paul Simon Performs for Lighthouse

Singer-songwriter Paul Simon made a surprise performance at a recent fund raiser for the New York’s Montauk Point Lighthouse. Simon, who owns a home a short distance from the lighthouse, showed up at the Montauk Music Festival Rocks the Lighthouse, About 3,000 people attended the festival to raise money for the lighthouse.

Frankfort Lighthouse Vandalism

The 1912 Frankfort North Breakwater Lighthouse in Frankfort, Michigan continues to be vandalized with graffiti. It seems that many of the large numbers of people who walk to the end of the breakwater where the lighthouse stands think it is okay to paint their names and other sayings on the base of the lighthouse. Although some people have been caught and served jail time, and others have been fined, the vandalism continues, and it costs the city $2,000 each time that it has to repaint the base of the tower. When will people learn to respect our historic monuments? I just don’t understand it.

Highland Light to be Restored

Cape Cod’s 1857 Highland Lighthouse, also known as Cape Cod Lighthouse will be closed for the 2019 season as it undergoes a $1.2 million restoration. It seems that excessive moisture has contributed to the deterioration of the masonry. In 1996, the lighthouse was moved 450 feet back from the edge of an eroding cliff.

Parking Fees for Portland Head Light

It seems that every year the Town of Cape Elizabeth has proposed a parking fee for Portland Head Lighthouses. Town officials said that last year 260,000 people visited the lighthouse and maintenance cost for the park are anywhere from $250,000 to $400,000 a year. They did not say how much profit was made from the gift shop or the museum entry fees.

International Chimney Corp. Honored

Congratulations to International Chimney Corp for being honored by the National Lighthouse Museum with its 2018 Light Keeper Preservation Award for its many successful projects that included the relocation and moving of Sankaty Head Lighthouse, Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Southeast Block Island Lighthouse, and Gay Head Lighthouse, as well as restoration projects at Currituck Beach Lighthouse, Cape May Lighthouse, Assateague Lighthouse, Anclote Key Lighthouse and Buffalo Lighthouse.

Hurricane Flag Sold

The tattered flag that flew over North Carolina’s Frying Pan Shoals Lighthouse and was watched by millions on television and social media during Hurricane Florence was sold at auction for $10,900. The money went to help families impacted by Hurricane Florence.

This story appeared in the Nov/Dec 2018 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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