The skipjack Rosie Parks to sail again as part of the celebration
The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) in St. Michaels, MD is inviting the public to join in celebration of the accomplishments of retiring President Langley Shook with “Langley Shook Day” on Saturday, June 14.
“The museum is in a better place thanks to Langley,” commented CBMM Chairman Tom Seip. “This is a great opportunity to thank him and his wife Karen for the impact their work has made on ours, including the creation of Watermen’s Appreciation Day, the Rosie Parks restoration, and the living shoreline, for example.”
“As part of the celebration, all Annual Fund donations made in honor of Langley on June 14 will be matched dollar for dollar by a Chairman’s circle of generous donors,” commented CBMM Vice President of Constituent Services René Stevenson. “I can’t think of a better way to honor his service here, while jump starting this year’s Annual Fund with much needed donations. We’ll also have a large banner for guests to write their well wishes to Langley at Tolchester Beach Bandstand, where you can drop by any time throughout the day.”
A brief presentation is planned at 1 p.m. under the Hooper Strait Lighthouse, with the public invited to witness the 1955 skipjack Rosie Parks head out to the Miles River at 1:45 p.m. for one of her first sails in nearly 20 years.
The Rosie Parks, built in 1955 by legendary boat builder Bronza Parks for his brother, Captain Orville Parks, was named for their mother and recently underwent a major three-year restoration under the leadership of Shook. When CBMM purchased the Rosie Parks in 1975 from Captain Orville, the 20-year old Rosie had a reputation as both the best maintained skipjack in the oyster dredging fleet and as a champion sailor at the annual skipjack races at Deal Island and Chesapeake Appreciation Days at Sandy Point.
“Rosie kissed the water as 4,500 onlookers watched her re-launch at our November 2 OysterFest this past year,” commented CBMM Chief Curator Pete Lesher. “And on June 14, with the weather conditions right, she’ll complete her return to the Chesapeake with the wind in her sails, and many of the same people who helped re-christen her that special day.”
Aboard the historic skipjack during the June 14 “Langley Shook Day” celebration will be Karen and Langley Shook as well as several members of the Parks family.
The celebration will also be a part of the 27th annual Antique & Classic Boat Festival, which begins on June 13 and runs through Father’s Day, June 15, with opportunities to watch the skipjack under sail from atop the 1879 Hooper Strait Lighthouse or along CBMM’s 18-acre waterfront campus. Limited opportunities for visitors to watch the skipjack under sail from the water are available aboard several passenger vessels, including Patriot Cruises and Selina II, with arrangements made directly with each vessel’s operators.
Serving as CBMM’s fourth President and as a past Board of Governors member, Shook announced his plans for retirement in December 2012, with a commitment to stay on board until his successor is named.
He accepted the position in 2009, shortly after retiring from nearly 35 years of law practice in Washington, D.C., where he was a partner with Sidley Austin. Shook began CBMM’s presidency with anticipation of serving for three to five years. Now in his fifth year of service, Shook plans to remain active in local community affairs and business activities after his retirement.
“It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve as the museum’s President,” said Shook. “My wife Karen and I have been life members for more than 20 years, and we’ve always considered CBMM as the most valuable cultural resource in our community. What we’ll miss the most is the almost daily interaction with so many wonderful people—the staff, volunteers, members, and Board—who make this place so special.”
A formal search committee has been conducting interviews, with an anticipated announcement of a new President made over the summer months.
During the “Langley Shook Day” festivities, the museum’s 18-acre campus will host more than 100 antique and classic Chesapeake boats, as well as more than 70 maritime and marine artisans and craftsman of The Arts at Navy Point. “Langley Shook Day” is free for CBMM members or with festival admission at $15 for adults, $12 for seniors (62+) and students with ID, $6 for children 6-17 and free for kids under six or for CBMM members. For more information, call 410-745-2916 or visit www.cbmm.org.
PHOTO: The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) in St. Michaels, MD is planning “Langley Shook Day” on Saturday, June 14 to honor retiring President Langley Shook, shown here with his wife Karen. Shook announced his plans for retirement in December 2012, with a commitment to stay on board until his successor is named. On June 14, the public is invited to a brief presentation at 1 p.m. under the 1879 Hooper Strait Lighthouse, and later to witness the 1955 skipjack Rosie Parks head out to the Miles River at 1:45 p.m. for one of her first sails in nearly 20 years. The event runs concurrently with the weekend’s 27th annual Antique & Classic Boat Festival. For more information, visit www.cbmm.org.