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Obit: Update on Wawona

Haruo 25 Feb 09 - 02:15 PM
Deckman 25 Feb 09 - 02:25 PM
Willie-O 25 Feb 09 - 02:30 PM
Haruo 25 Feb 09 - 02:34 PM
Haruo 25 Feb 09 - 02:36 PM
pdq 25 Feb 09 - 03:15 PM
John P 25 Feb 09 - 03:22 PM
Haruo 25 Feb 09 - 04:07 PM
Deckman 25 Feb 09 - 09:40 PM
pdq 26 Feb 09 - 03:01 PM
Haruo 26 Feb 09 - 04:21 PM
Deckman 26 Feb 09 - 04:37 PM
Haruo 28 Feb 09 - 04:30 PM
Haruo 01 Mar 09 - 02:24 AM
GUEST,William Pint 01 Mar 09 - 12:56 PM
Acme 01 Mar 09 - 02:59 PM
Haruo 01 Mar 09 - 05:08 PM
Deckman 01 Mar 09 - 05:25 PM
Acme 02 Mar 09 - 12:12 PM
Don Firth 02 Mar 09 - 12:26 PM
Haruo 02 Mar 09 - 04:51 PM
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Subject: Obit: Update on Wawona
From: Haruo
Date: 25 Feb 09 - 02:15 PM

From Alice Winship at NW Seaport comes this sad obituary-in-advance for Wawona, a ship which has played a role in Seattle-area maritime folk music for years (see these threads, e.g.: and many more you can find by searching the Forum for "Wawona"...), anyhow, here's the latest and nearly the last from Alice:

Update on WAWONA:

The ship will be towed away for disassembly in the early morning hours of Monday, March 2nd, possibly around 5:00 or 6:00 am. Some artifacts, including the paneling and skylight from the officers' cabins, have already been detached and tagged with museum numbers. MOHAI decided not to fund preservation of the entire aft cabin. Because the demolition will cost more than the City of Seattle had originally budgeted, only about 20 pieces of the ship's lower structure will be preserved. There are several possibilities for how the artifacts might be displayed, but nothing definite has been determined yet.

For many of us, this is like losing an old friend or a member of our family. There will be a wake for WAWONA sometime in March, to which we can bring songs, stories, and photos. I will include the information in a later email, as soon as the date is set.

Haruo


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Subject: RE: Obit: Update on Wawona
From: Deckman
Date: 25 Feb 09 - 02:25 PM

This is a sad day. I worked with Stan James, and others, on the restoration project when it first started ... many years ago. As I recall, I was part of the team that removed the added on ice house when she was converted to cod fishing up North. Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Obit: Update on Wawona
From: Willie-O
Date: 25 Feb 09 - 02:30 PM

Heartbreaking. "It's the last watch on the Midland..."

W-O


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Subject: RE: Obit: Update on Wawona
From: Haruo
Date: 25 Feb 09 - 02:34 PM

Would've been nice if the legislature had pointed some of the Stimulus funds that they denied Vulcan in the direction of a last-moment restoration job, but I'm afraid it wasn't to be. Glad to see Vulcan get rebuffed, though, and I hope it costs Nickels and Drago dearly. (Sorry folks, that was a local-politics aside, see this Ballard NT commentary.)

Haruo


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Subject: RE: Obit: Update on Wawona
From: Haruo
Date: 25 Feb 09 - 02:36 PM

Can you sell pieces of the detritus that remains? Might actually bring something in. I'd give $20 to have a small piece of her hull on my mantelpiece.

Haruo


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Subject: RE: Obit: Update on Wawona
From: pdq
Date: 25 Feb 09 - 03:15 PM

It seems odd that the name Wawona is found on a ship, especially located near Seattle, Washington.

The name is from the Yosemite area of California and means "big tree". Originally spelled Wah-wo-nah, it refers to the Giant Sequoia tree, although the biggest specimens are found quite a bit south of the area.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Update on Wawona
From: John P
Date: 25 Feb 09 - 03:22 PM

I saw the article about it in the paper this morning. It's a real shame that a ship that was the first vessel to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places, was designated as a City Landmark in 1977 and named as a Historic Naval Ship in 1999 can't be saved from the wrecking ball. I have fond memories of playing music aboard her.

Maybe we should have tried to raise money with a couple of rock concerts instead of all that folk music.

John P


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Subject: RE: Obit: Update on Wawona
From: Haruo
Date: 25 Feb 09 - 04:07 PM

Yeah, I think Paul Allen might have paid for it if he hadn't felt we all didn't have a sufficiently high regard for Jimi Hendrix...


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Subject: RE: Obit: Update on Wawona
From: Deckman
Date: 25 Feb 09 - 09:40 PM

pdq ... the name wasn't lost on those who worked on the ship. She was built on the banks of the Humbolt river ... in redwood country. The interior and the fixtures of the captains cabin were all CVG redwood. Bob Nelson


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Subject: RE: Obit: Update on Wawona
From: pdq
Date: 26 Feb 09 - 03:01 PM

Thanks, Bob Nelson...now I feel really sad about this ship's fate.

{of course, the Coast Redwood of Humbolt County is a different genus and species than the "big tree" of the central Sierra Nevada Mountains...}


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Subject: RE: Obit: Update on Wawona
From: Haruo
Date: 26 Feb 09 - 04:21 PM

Yeah, but it's still a big tree. I remember as a kid walking through a tunnel through a trunk of a Coast Redwood, said tunnel being big enough you could drive a smallish car through it. I guess our car wasn't small enough, 'cause I'm pretty sure we walked through it. We had a Coast Redwood in our yard near Green Lake (Seattle) when I was a kid (late 1950s, early 60s) that had been grown from a burl planted by the previous owners. It was already taller than our house, though I don't think the trunk would have been wide enough for a Radio Flyer wagon to squeeze through a tunnel in it. At some point in my childhood it was struck by lightning right about at the altitude of the top of our roof,?which it was only about 20 or 25 feet from horizontally!?and the top ten feet or so was knocked off. Thereafter, two of the topmost surviving branches turned upwards and within a couple years it looked like they were twin trunks. Sadly, the tree is no longer there (2311 N 59th St, if anyone wants to pay condolences; I think its removal predated the current occupant-owners).

That's a bit far afield from music, but maybe someone can come up with a song or two for the wake playing off the Big Tree theme?

Haruo


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Subject: RE: Obit: Update on Wawona
From: Deckman
Date: 26 Feb 09 - 04:37 PM

"Where have all the redwoods gone,
Long time passing,
Where have all the redwoods,
Long time ago ..... bob


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Subject: RE: Obit: Update on Wawona
From: Haruo
Date: 28 Feb 09 - 04:30 PM

I know this is kind of off-topic, but I just got Google to give me a screenshot of where our redwood used to be, here (if the link will work).

Haruo


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Subject: RE: Obit: Update on Wawona
From: Haruo
Date: 01 Mar 09 - 02:24 AM

Comments from a news story about the fact that the demolition has been delayed for a week or more.

Haruo


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Subject: RE: Obit: Update on Wawona
From: GUEST,William Pint
Date: 01 Mar 09 - 12:56 PM

It's a shame about the Wawona -- we'll certainly miss her. Watching her gradual decline over the years has been heartbreaking. In recent years she had deteriorated badly enough that I can at least understand why some people saw her as an eyesore and a potential hazard.

Over the years, some of the decisions about her restoration and upkeep have been questionable. I recall hearing a story over 25 years ago, about a lot of restoration money being spent on a new set of sails. The sails had to be stored and they eventually were ruined by either rats or rot. I can't say for sure that this story is true, but, if so, it indicated that poor Wawona was in for a tough time.

She was host to many wonderful concerts and shanty sings on her deck and in her fo'c'sle over the years.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Update on Wawona
From: Acme
Date: 01 Mar 09 - 02:59 PM

Comments from someone who calls himself "zerodachus." That was a made-up word in the opening song on Stan Boreson's show every day in the 1950s and 60s. I wonder how many of the old timers are following this story? How many are left?

SRS


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Subject: RE: Obit: Update on Wawona
From: Haruo
Date: 01 Mar 09 - 05:08 PM

I remember watching the Huston Moby Dick on her deck, must have been the summer of 2003, too. Was hoping the next year we could do Down to the Sea in Ships, but 'twas not to be, the deck was declared unsafe for deck chairs.

Haruo


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Subject: RE: Obit: Update on Wawona
From: Deckman
Date: 01 Mar 09 - 05:25 PM

Maggie ... a few of us remaining old timers are following this story ... for a while. Come to think of it ... I'm not feeling all that good! Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Obit: Update on Wawona
From: Acme
Date: 02 Mar 09 - 12:12 PM

;-D

Is Stan Boreson still around? I know Don McCune died many years ago, as did Ivar Haglund. Stan wasn't associated with the seafaring end of things, to my knowledge. But are there others?

SRS


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Subject: RE: Obit: Update on Wawona
From: Don Firth
Date: 02 Mar 09 - 12:26 PM

Well do I remember the Moss Bay Sail and Shantey Festival back in the late 1970s (1977, I think) when we sang sea shanteys on the deck of the Wawona, then we wound up singing fo'c'sle shanteys in a genuine fo'c'sle. Sad to see the Wawona go.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Obit: Update on Wawona
From: Haruo
Date: 02 Mar 09 - 04:51 PM

Last I heard (but it's been a year or two probably) Stan Boreson was still going strong. He had a gig at last summer's Ballard Seafoodfest on one of the music stages, but I didn't know till afterward, got there about two hours too late to hear him.

Another update on Wawona's departure: Alice says now it's scheduled for about 10 am (prep work starting at 6) this coming Wednesday, March 4.

Haruo


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