The latest issue of the INA Quarterly has a couple of items about which I’m excited. The first is the cover story, “Steffy’s First Ship Model,” which is a reworked version of the story I wrote last year for the Houston Chronicle. It tells of my search for my father’s first research model, which was assumed to have been lost in the 1960s. Instead, it turned up in the store room of a Philadelphia museum. This version of the story has more photos, including the wonderful cover shot and one of me, at age seven, helping to cut treenails for a 1:5 model of the Kyrenia Ship.
The story also comes with an update: Late this summer, the model completed its journey from Philadelphia. It had been at my house for almost a year while renovations to the nautical archaeology building at Texas A&M were completed. I recently drove the model on the final leg of its journey from my home near Houston to College Station. Some cosmetic work is being done on the 50-year-old model, and it will soon be on display.
The INA Quarterly issue also has a review of The Man Who Thought Like a Ship by Sheila Matthews, who was one of my father’s first students. I interviewed Sheila for the book, and she probably knew my father’s methods better than anyone. I have found myself most nervous about reviews of the book by my father’s friends and peers. From the moment I began working on the manuscript, I worried that I wouldn’t get the details of his work correct, or worse, that I would make some broader error about archaeology.
I’m grateful that the feedback I’ve received from my father’s colleagues, including Sheila, has been positive. In the review, Sheila says that I was able to capture my father’s essence, “recalling with fondness his humor, quiet passion, and determination — traits well known to those of us who were fortunate enough to work with him.”
You can find more information on INA and get a full issue of the INA Quarterly, here.