Digest>Archives> Sep/Oct 2019



Wickie’s Wisdom Comments

Hi Tim,

I wanted to compliment you, Kathleen, and your team on a great July/August 2019 issue of Lighthouse Digest. Great layout, cover photo, and the usual in-depth articles.

I especially enjoyed the Wickie’s Wisdom editorial about Little River Lighthouse, and the point you made about how the sweeping beam of a Fresnel and even the Vega creates a much more compelling experience than the new flasher.

As I read the article I’m reminded by the reaction and interest we saw when we commissioned Dan Spinella and Kurt Fosberg to build and install our Artworks Fresnel 4th order replica for the Harbor Beach Lighthouse to replace the red right returning flasher that the Coast Guard had installed in our lighthouse.

As I read your words and thought back to why the moving sweep was more compelling, it definitely was part historical. The history of Augustin Fresnel developing his invention and what he went through to bring it to fruition was brought to life by Joseph Smith in his presentation at our 2018 Michigan Lighthouse Alliance Conference. It is a very human story of struggle and persistence we all can relate to.

But I realized there’s another more personal level of connection. The sweeping beam conveys a sense of searching and reaching out into the darkness that is very human and makes the whole experience more relatable to those who watch it.

We are very fortunate to have a view of our lighthouse every evening we are in residence at Harbor Beach. We light the exterior as you may know, and it draws people from all over Michigan’s thumb to drive down to the circle at the city dock at night just to see the very human looking building seemingly floating a mile offshore.

Then at 11 pm, the timer shuts off the exterior lights and suddenly, dramatically, it’s all about the sweeping beacon. We spend clear nights out there on the gallery deck after the lights go out and find ourselves at the center of beam after beam scanning the horizon and the effect on us is amazing. When I bring friends along for the first time they are amazed and feel one with the lighthouse being at the center of that beam instead of watching from a distance.

Thank you for all you and Kathy do for us in this great experiment to bring some sense of the value these icons and those who maintained them brought to the navigation community for centuries.

Buzz Hoerr

Harbor Beach Lighthouse

Preservation Society

Not A Chopper

Re: “Choppers Over Tybee Island,” Lighthouse Digest, July-August 2019, Page 6.

While soldiers and journalists wishing to sound hip to the military jargon may refer to helicopters as “choppers” or “whirly-birds,” you likely will not hear that terminology from a Coast Guard “Airedale” (aviator) or veteran. Helicopters are “helicopters” or “helos,” but never “choppers” in the Coast Guard. “Choppers” may be more appropriate for the Army or Law Enforcement. Thank you.

Robert Manning

This story appeared in the Sep/Oct 2019 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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