Letter from the President- Daniel Bean
The year 2011 displayed the considerable momentum that the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association has gained. This included a successful golf fundraiser in April and a spectacular Gala last October with Florida Governor Rick Scott in attendance as our special guest. The Governor stayed for nearly two hours at the Saturday night function and, as a Naval veteran, continues to be very supportive of our public-private partnership, evidenced by three visits during the year. Additionally, we earned unanimous support from the Jacksonville City Council and numerous other organizations, briefed thousands of Jacksonville residents and new Mayor Alvin Brown and formed a well-respected Executive Committee.
In multiple visits to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard during the year, JHNSA members inspected the warship and noted that it is in great condition. We continue to transfer equipment in preparation for the vessel’s towing to Jacksonville in the near future.
Presently, we are focused on final fundraising to bring the Adams home. While we have raised approximately $5 million in-kind, we are a quarter of the way toward our goal of $250,000 to hire a permanent fund-raising staff and complete the environmental permitting by the fall of 2012.
We want to thank all 1,000 members and ask that they continue to spread the word and help raise funds since this is a cause and effort we can all be proud of for years to come.
Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association
Gala Weekend Shines on Governor, Giving
Florida Governor Rick Scott beat most people to the Saturday night Gala festivities for the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association on October 14 and 15 in Downtown Jacksonville, Fla. That’s how excited the Commander in Chief of Florida was to help the organization celebrate the impending arrival of the USS Charles F. Adams as an interactive attraction and venue downtown on the St. Johns River.
The weekend included the opening of a new pub at The Jacksonville Landing, a crowded Gala, the honoring of those who have helped steer the Adams Class Museum toward reality and celebrating the mission of the organization. One year from now, when the fourth annual Gala is held, the USS Charles F. Adams (DCG-2) may be well on its way to a homecoming and permanent place on the St. Johns River adjacent to the Acosta Bridge.
Governor Scott, who served in the Navy in the early 1970s, was the guest of honor for the Gala on Saturday night, October 15. He visited the Ship Store in The Jacksonville Landing in April when he was informally presented with a model of his Navy ship, the USS Glover, and then JHNSA officials traveled to Tallahassee in July to formally present the Glover model to him. The Glover model is prominently displayed in Governor Scott’s office.
Governor Scott arrived at the Omni Jacksonville Hotel before hundreds of attendees from the region, around the country and from as far away as Australia. The Governor stayed approximately two hours and mingled with guests as he talked about his Naval experiences and hopes for Florida’s future. The Governor was introduced by JHNSA President Dan Bean and Toney Sleiman, the owner of The Jacksonville Landing.
“One thing great about our state, Jacksonville in particular, is people start things like this,” Governor Scott said. “They happen. It starts with a few people. The individuals who started this did it for the right reasons. It’s something to be proud of – our Navy heritage, especially right here in Jacksonville. It will be nice when it’s finished and here. I look forward to the day when I can walk on the Adams.”
But the news wasn’t reserved for just Governor Scott.
John O’Neil, the Executive Director of the JHNSA, made a donation of $10,000 to the cause. O’Neil, a Surface Warfare Officer with more than 30 years of active duty, has been instrumental in the fund-raising drive to bring the Adams home. He and his wife Carol made the presentation.
“I convinced Carol this is something I wanted to do,” O’Neil said. “And I’d like for the rest of you to think about that.”
Additionally, Bean announced the “2 for the Deuce” fundraising campaign where citizens are asked to contribute $2. ‘Deuce’ refers to the Adams’ hull number – 2.
“If every resident of Duval Country were to give us 2 dollars, we would have more than enough money to bring the ship down, have her repaired and have her open for business,” Bean said.
Community leaders were also publicly praised for their support of the project, including representatives from Jacksonville, Duval, Nassau and Clay counties and in state government. This included Sleiman; Jim Bailey, who owns Bailey Publishing in Jacksonville; and Jacksonville City Councilman Bill Bishop. Bailey was honored with the Meritorious Service Award, given to a community supporter whose personal leadership significantly contributed to the advancement of the project. Bishop, the inaugural recipient last year, presented the award.
“This is the kind of stuff that makes this city great,” Bailey said. “There are people that make things happen, people who watch things happen and people who wonder, ‘What happened?’ If you don’t get on board with this, you’re going to watch this ship come down the river and wonder, ‘What happened?’ It’s our responsibility to step up in this community and make these kinds of things happen.”
Live and silent auctions were held in the newly renovated Florida Ballroom at the Omni Jacksonville. A Fallen Comrades tribute was held, led by John McGriff. The Navy’s 236th birthday was celebrated with a cake, with the initial cutting made by swords from Bean and McGriff. Paul Anderson provided piano music throughout the evening and Natalie Suda offered a rousing rendition of the National Anthem. Chuck and Colleen White, co-hosts of “Just Speak Up” on WBOB-AM 600, served as the emcees for the evening. Gene Maszy conducted the live auction.
On Friday night, October 14, the new Fionn MacCool’s Irish Restaurant & Pub at The Landing opened its doors for the first time as the JHNSA celebrated the opening of its big weekend with 100s of attendees. Fionn MacCool’s opened its taps as people spilled out onto the back porch which overlooks the St. Johns River and the future site of the Adams across the way. The attendees included an all-female a cappella singing group, Sweet Signatures, from Elon University in North Carolina; a bag piper and the band Spade McQuade.
O’Neil Makes $10,000 Donation
“I convinced Carol this is something I wanted to do,” O’Neil said. “And I’d like for the rest of you to think about that.”
The O’Neils posed with Florida Governor Rick Scott and an oversized check to remember the moment.
“One thing great about our state, Jacksonville in particular, is people start things like this. They happen. It starts with a few people. The individuals who started this did it for the right reasons. It’s something to be proud of – our Navy heritage, especially right here in Jacksonville. It will be nice when it’s finished and here. I look forward to the day when I can walk on the Adams.”
- Florida Governor Rick Scott
“This is the kind of stuff that makes this city great. There are people that make things happen, people who watch things happen and people who wonder, ‘What happened?’ If you don’t get on board with this, you’re going to watch this ship come down the river and wonder, ‘What happened?’ It’s our responsibility to step up in this community and make these kinds of things happen.”
- Jim Bailey, JHNSA Executive Board Member
USS Lawrence DDG-4 Artifacts delivered to Adams Class Visitors Center
The Adams Class Visitor Center at The Jacksonville Landing has received additional artifacts for the historic class of naval warships, led by the USS Charles F. Adams (DDG-2), the lead ship of 29 guided missile destroyers. Steve Weber (left) and Craig Bernat (right) recently delivered the artifacts principally from the ex-USS Lawrence (DDG-4) by truck from Philadelphia, Pa. These items had been removed from that ship as she was being scrapped and were saved at a maritime museum in Philadelphia. Weber and Bernat, using a rented truck, picked up the heavy radar scopes like the SPA-66 (center of the photo) and other large items, swung down to Norfolk, Va., for the Destroyer Squadron 2 and 22 sign boards that had been fixed to the upper works of the ship and the name board of USS Charles F. Adams (DDG-2). There was room in the Visitor Center for some items, but the larger plotting tables and chart storage tables used at sea on the USS Lawrence were placed in storage. As the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association (JHNSA) continues to gather the resources and funds to bring the Adams Home to Jacksonville, there will be more materials like these brought here for the refurbishment of the Adams.
Relaunch: Adams2jax.org, thanks to Geer Services
The Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association’s Web site was re-branded and relaunched in September 2011 in advance of the Gala. The new site is adams2jax.org and the focus is on the fundraising and membership aspects of bringing the retired USS Adams home to Jacksonville.
Volunteer of the Year: Barry Kryspin
As Florida Governor Rick Scott stepped lively through the corridor on the first floor of The Jacksonville Landing last April, he was a politician on the way to another speaking engagement in another city. Review the notes, confer with staff and associates, shake an assortment of hands and address a waiting crowd outdoors to complete a hectic schedule.
But first on this Friday, April 15 evening, the new Florida Governor was detoured briefly, taking a quick right into the Adams Class Naval Ship Museum Store. It turned into a pleasurable flashback for Scott.
The Governor smiled broadly as he was greeted by Dan Bean, the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association’s President, and moved to the rear of the store. In full view was a hand-crafted, detailed model of the USS Glover, as prepared by Barry Kryspin, a JHNSA member and Master Modeler. Governor Scott and the State of Florida were presented with the model in honor of the Governor’s Naval service.
“Wow, this is so realistic and brings back so many memories,” Governor Scott said as he gazed over all parts of the ship model and talked about his experiences.
Governor Scott served 29 months on the USS Glover (AGDE-1). His service began in 1971 as a radar man on the Garcia-class frigate.
Kryspin’s handiwork was the centerpiece of three visits with Governor Scott during 2011 – the “unveiling” at the Museum, an “official” visit to Tallahassee in July and the Governor’s speech at the JHNSA Gala in October. In large part, Kryspin’s handiwork was an essential part of getting the Governor to support the Adams movement. The USS Glover model now holds a front-and-center position in the Governor’s Office in Tallahassee. As a result, Kryspin has been selected as the JHNSA “Volunteer of the Year” for 2011.
Kryspin spent 235 hours to build the model, which was donated by Keith Mullen, owner of BaD Models. He started the process in December 2010 and completed it well in advance of the Governor’s first visit to Jacksonville. He was present at all three events where the Governor visited with the JHNSA Board and supporters.
Kryspin served six years in the Naval Air Reserve and has spent much of his non-Naval career as a radio announcer, a sales rep, in the construction business and now volunteering in the Museum Store. His hobbies include rapid response medical assistance, grief counseling, boating, yard work and – quite naturally – building models.
Richard Marek (center) is so dedicated to the cause of the Adams Ship Museum that he traveled more than 12,000 miles and spent in excess of 24 hours on various flights to reach Jacksonvlle for the Gala in October.
Marek, a veteran of the Adams Class ships in the Australian Navy, traveled from his home in Perth, Australia to Jacksonville for all of the festivities and visited the retired USS Adams in the Philadelphia Naval Yard before returning home. There were three Adams Class ships in the Australian Navy and three in the German Navy.
It was Marek’s second visit to Jacksonville, Fla., and his first trip to the Gala weekend.
“If things are successful in this effort, you can expect another 500 to 600 odd-speaking people from south of the border like me coming to Jacksonville,” Marek said. “A lot of people all over the world are waiting to see when this event happens.”