Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Visting "Old Ironsides" in Portland 1933

Dear Grampa Colby,
     Yesterday the news featured video footage (moving pictures) of the USS Constitution under sail in Boston Harbor. It was the first time that the ship had been underway since the sail commemorating its 200th birthday in 1997. By the way, those planes above her, which must look strange to you, are the U. S. Navy's Blue Angels Flight Team.

I was reminded of the photographs we have of you, Mr. and Mrs. George Snow and your granddaughters Betty and Helen Werst onboard "Old Ironsides" during the ship's visit to Portland, Oregon in 1933. I expect your daughter Grace Colby Werst was with you taking the photographs.
Helen, age 5 on left and Betty, age 7on right onboard USS Constitution,
Notice sailor in the background.

There is no date on the photograph, but from the brochure I found on the Internet (a new fangled research tool, as a former teacher you would love it). The information in the brochure states that ship was in Portland from August 2 to 22nd as part of her west coast tour.

The USS Constitution Museum http://www.ussconstitutionmuseum.org reminds us that the ship set sail on July 2, 1931 for a three year, three-coast tour around the United States. The cruise was a "public thank you to the men, women, and children who, from 1925-1930, helped raise over $985,000 to completely restore the ailing ship." I'd like to think that you were among the people who raised the funds for the ship's restoration.

Oh, I hope your granddaughters were well behaved on this outing. The trip made a lasting impression on them and they have related the story of seeing "Old Ironsides" to their children and grandchildren.

This summer, my husband, daughter Amanda (your great-great-granddaughter) and I were able to visit the USS Constitution in Charleston harbor. That makes five generations of our family that have visited "Old Ironsides" a tradition we hope lasts several more generations.

Great-great-granddaughter Amanda Kelly onboard USS Constitution July 2012


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