Jim Underwood – President CCLF

Polishing the Brass

With the advent of the Space Age and the incredible advances in technology that has accompanied these past few years, it is most difficult to imagine the painstaking labor and meticulous attention to time, weather and survival required of the men and women living “the dream” at the lighthouse in 1868. The life of the lightkeeper was demanding in every way. I imagine some smoky residue after a night of burning kerosene in a lantern with a wick that needed to be trimmed so as not to emit the smoke, allowing it to burn brightly behind the 1st Order Fresnel lens that projected its beam far out to sea. The next morning would be met by wiping the crystals and polishing the brass.

Perhaps the above image is not historically accurate, but it conjures up the idea of hard work and getting ready for what comes next; and that is not fantasy. Hence, “polishing the brass” is what we are about as we celebrate the conclusion of the museum development phase and move into its management routine. New tours, a new gift shop, new regular operating hours, new artifacts and displays — all with the goal of enhancing the visitor’s experience at the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse complex.

Our first Operations Planning Workshop for 2020 was held in January and, as expected, it generated numerous ideas for improvement in both organization and processes. Some have already been implemented, such as establishing “regular hours of operation” for public tours so that our volunteers can anticipate, and thus, schedule their time with less uncertainty. Others are in place and functioning; e.g., the new Finance Committee’s work to build the 2020 budget; and the new Governance Committee’s efforts to define parameters in creating policies on issues of safety, security, and accessibility. In keeping with the theme of work being done by your Foundation Board of Directors, Advisors, Committee members and the many other volunteers, this issue will also share some of the activities and people who make our jobs fun and purposeful!

On a final note, I ask each of you to join me in thanking the many 2020 Annual Sponsors featured on page 5 of the newsletter who have donated so generously to the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation, sharing our vision of a fully restored grounds with the additional Keeper’s Cottages and educational programs that will bring our history alive to all who visit.

See you at the light!


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