billspindler - 48 - Washington 2011
The first weekend in December 2011, I drove up to Washington, DC for the weekend--about a 3+ hour trip from Fork Union, Virginia. The main excuse was an Explorers Club/Antarctican Society black tie dinner at the Cosmos Club...which basically lived up to my expectations. The main speaker after the dinner was long time friend Jerry Marty, who most recently was the NSF construction manager for the new elevated station at Pole.
I stayed with old friends George Fitzsimmons and Bob Whinnery in a house they owned in Arlington. Both George and Bob wintered at Palmer Station in 1978; George later was an engineer with NSF that I worked with in the 80's when I was working for ITT Antarctic Services. George now works for the State Department, responsible for projects at a number of embassies that he visits every year.
On Sunday I visited the Washington Navy Yard (where I was stationed in 1972-73) with George and his daughter. It was the first time I'd been there since the early 80's when I spent some time in DC and also stayed at George's place which was then also occupied by Pete Harding. Our excuse (and reason that we could survive the onerous security to gain admittance) was to visit the Naval History Museum and the outside exhibits.
The museum had a significant Antarctic exhibit...I took many more pictures of the museum and the rest of the weekend, but I lost all of them (except the ones that I uploaded here) when my laptop died about a week later.
Here I am in the Cosmos Club in a monkey suit
Here I am in the Cosmos Club...with tux and medal...at the Explorers Club/Antarctican Society dinner meeting. The main speaker was Jerry Marty.
The park/outdoor exhibit area in the Washington Navy Yard
The park/outdoor exhibit area in the Navy Yard. The museum is the building with the white front. Many of the old guns and other relics were here in 1972.
Another view of the waterfront park outside the museum
Another view of the park, one of the big guns is at left. The building with the arched windows is an old shop building that was converted to a chapel. I was involved with the beginning of the project in 1972-73. The waterfront itself with 5 piers is now fenced off from the Navy Yard, there is a public bicycle/running path that is freely open to the public most of the time unless there is a Navy ship docked or some similar rare event.
The bathyscaph Trieste...
The bathyscaph Trieste that did the deep dives into the Marianas Trench in the 60s. While we were in the parking lot before entering the museum, I told George that this thing had been sitting in the parking lot in disrepair (just the top part, not the ball) when I was stationed here in 1972-73, and since parking was a problem back then people complained that it took up parking spaces.
Inside the chapel
Here's a hero shot inside the chapel. While I was there we sandblasted all of the brick walls (heavily painted) and started building the walls with stained hardwood. I ordered all of the materials for this project. On my last visit to the Navy Yard in 1983 the doors were locked, but I opened an unlocked window and climbed in. I wouldn't try that today. But the door was unlocked.
Next to the chapel plaque
Here I am next to the plaque by the front door of the chapel. My successor (Joe Garvey) has his name here along with some of the reserve Seabees I worked with during the first part of the project before I left and went to the Seabee Battalion in July of 1973.
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3/9/2014 3:10:39 PM