MARCH 17, 1954
NEW YORK, Tuesday—The trip to Detroit last Saturday took a little longer than I had expected. I left here in the rain but it turned out to be fair weather in Detroit. However, the first plane I planned to return on that night was cancelled because of bad weather in New York and the one I finally did take circled about two and three-quarter hours over LaGuardia Field before we were able to land, so instead of getting back at six a.m. I did not get home until after nine a.m.
Sunday, except for a few engagements which all proved to be enjoyable, was not a difficult day and by Monday morning I had caught up on sleep and was ready to begin a new week.
I wonder how many New Yorkers or visitors who come to New York have been to see the exhibit at the Seamen's Church Institute. This display is an interesting review of the maritime growth of different countries. The ship models have been collected by Mr. R.E. Cropley who, while he is retired from his seafaring profession because of his age, has still done a remarkable piece of work in collecting 150 models during the past year, since this museum started. The models are of every conceivable kind of ship.
Mr. Cropley is well suited to doing this work because he has always had an interest in building models. The model of the Leviathan which is on exhibition, being a loan from the Smithsonian in Washington, was made by Mr. Cropley in 1938. Nearly all old models have to be reconditioned and this work is done by Sywed Swendsen. He considers that the skill with which he replaces parts in the old models and the care with which he rebuilds the old-fashioned rigging is really an art and it is quite evident he enjoys and loves his work. In this museum there are all kinds of carvings and curios donated by seamen, some paintings and some old ships' figureheads. I think it is safe to say that any youngster interested in the sea will enjoy the time spent here.
Incidentally, it is interesting that a man over 65 is earning his living through creation of a new occupation for himself. So many older people, men and women, are discouraged when they have to leave their regular jobs and feel there is no chance for them to start anew in something else, but Mr. Cropley is proof that it can be done. His story should give heart and courage to many old people who cannot bear to be placed on the shelf and yet cannot go on with the particular work which they have done up to the age of 65.