[Chesapeake Quarterly masthead]
2003
Volume 2, Number 1
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A (RE)LAUNCH PARTY
TRANSCRIPT

The boatyard at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. A skipjack, City of Crisfield, sits high on a cradle, ready to be relaunched.

JOHN VALLIANT
We're going to crank up the railway.

Scenes of crowd gathered for boat launching. At the microphone is John Valliant, President of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.

JOHN VALLIANT
(continuing)
Today we are going to watch the City of Crisfield go back in the water. It represents what the program is all about. It's about Captain Daniels going back and dredging. It's about the community of Deal Island, of Tilghman Island, Cambridge and all the communities that have skipjacks and what it means to that community to have this boat, the icon of the Chesapeake still working today.

At the microphone: Mike Vlahovich, boat builder and manager of the Skipjack Restoration Project for the museum.

MIKE VLAHOVICH
The state of Maryland and other funders, certainly Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, have put so much energy and effort into the City of Crisfield And I am assured by seeing all your faces that this project, repairing all the commercial dredge boats, will in fact succeed.

Mike Vlahovich, the boat builder, shakes hands with Captain Art Daniels Jr., owner of the skipjack.

MIKE VLAHOVICH
(continuing)
It is just a personal belief that the value of the culture is just too great to lose.

Captain Art Daniels Jr. takes the podium to speak to the crowd.

CAPTAIN ART DANIELS JR. <
This is a happy occasion. I thank the museum and the carpenters and all the people who volunteered to work on the boat. It was disaster when it came here, but thank the Lord, it's in good shape today. Planning on going back on the water. That's about all I have to say. I thank the Lord for everything. Everybody have a good Christmas.

The boat is rechristened: a bottle is broken across the bow. The crowd applauds. The boat starts down the railway towards the water. Mike Vlahovich watches.

MIKE VLAHOVICH
Doing public boat restoration near watermen's communities, you hear it all. This where it happens, this is the social scene.

Mike Vlahovich, manager of the Skipjack Restoration Program.

MIKE VLAHOVICH
(continuing)
The basic idea behind the Skipjack Restoration Program is to provide repair services to the 13 remaining commercially licensed skipjacks in a time when they are having difficulties meeting the expenses of their boat repair because of the decline in the oyster industry.

A television reporter interviews two of the Bay's skipjack captains.

PETE SWEITZER
Captain Pete Sweitzer. I'm the only German captain on the Bay.
CAPTAIN ART DANIELS JR.
A German and an Irishman.
ELEVISION INTERVIEWER
That's a good match.

The crowd gathers round the boat as it approaches the water.

MIKE VLAHOVICH
That used to be the social scene I'm sure in all those little boat yards on Bay Shore. It's a significant way of life and that is what is really threatened.

On-screen interview with Mike Vlahovich.

MIKE VLAHOVICH
(continuing)
I'm a dreamer, but I really believe that the efforts of this particular program, if in fact we succeed in doing restorations on the entire fleet, is going to speak really loudly and hopefully will be a model for other coastal communities.

Captain Daniels poses for a photograph in front of his skipjack as it sits, relaunched, in the water.


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