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Act of God? Act of the Devil? None of the above?

I have been building wooden model ships for several years now. Right after I started, I began to see this image in my mind. It was from my childhood.  We lived in a small neighborhood and my parents had many friends that lived there as well. We would often visit them in their homes.

I could not remember whose house it was, but the image was of a wooden model ship set on a small table in a hallway. The image would come and go through the years and I always wondered whose house it was. This was 55 years ago, many of those friends have passed on. I doubted if I would ever get the answer to my question.

Recently, I received a phone call from the son of one of those friends. His father and mine had been best of friends over the years and had stayed in touch up until recently. As it turns out they are but a few of the folks left that were part of that neighborhood group – My dad is 91 the other gentleman is 90.

The son suggested that we try to get fathers together for lunch and I agreed. A few weeks later it happened. It was great to see them, I could tell the dads really enjoyed catching up and being in each others company. Somewhere during  that time the thought came to me to ask about my image. It wouldn’t hurt. As soon as I mentioned I built wooden ship models I could see the gentleman’s eyes light up. When I mentioned my image he immediately nodded his head. The boat I envisioned had in fact been at their house in the old neighborhood.

Even more, he still had the boat at his current residence. He told the story of how as a high school kid, he had built several ship models. That would have been about 75 years ago. He went on to say that while he still had them, the boats having been out in the open for 75 years, were in need of repair and a thorough cleaning. He asked if I would mind taking a look at them. With no hesitation I agreed. So after lunch we stopped by the man’s house and he pulled them down from a shelf.

And there she was. The ship in my vision. Smaller than I remember, but then everything looks bigger in a childs eyes. Hispaniola – the ship from the novel Treasure Island – by Megows Models. The boat did need some repairs but mostly a good cleaning – 75 years of dust accumulated on the decks and sails.

And then an idea came to me. I asked if I could restore the boats. Again the man’s eyes lit up. He happily accepted, and I went home that afternoon with 2 new projects.

I won’t get into the details of the restoration (check my signature for a link to the log) other than to say it was my first and it is quite different beginning a project on a fully completed model. It took several weeks and Hispaniola now has a clean deck and a new set of sails. I am about ready to return her to her owner.

I mention all this because the whole situation seems a bit surreal. The mystery of my image was solved. The boat was still in existence. This boat that I remember from 55 years ago. And maybe the strangest part – I actually made repairs to the boat in my image. Who woulda thunk it?

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Hey thanks Steven. Good timing. We are going back for lunch this weekend and I will be returning Hispaniola to her original builder. I'll try to remember to take a few pix.

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Hispaniola has gone full circle now. Brought her back to her owner (on right) today. He was very pleased. I guess the smile says it all.



Not so sure what I can do with the other one. A small scale Constitution. Kind of in the same shape. A few broken pieces but mainly in need of a cleanup. Problem is there's about 4-5 times the rigging on that build. Taking it apart with no instructions - I cringe at the thought.


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