Sunday, June 27, 2010
Jennie Weaver ~ The Ship & The Ewe
I have spent the last day in a state of nostalgia, the kind where your heart feels warm and you have a lump in your throat. Believe it or not, it all started here, with my favorite, rare breed of sheep, the Jacob.
Peg, the woman from whom I purchase my Jacob wool, happened to stop by this blog. Afterward, she sent me a very nice little email. I'm sure she had no idea how this email would affect me.
"Thought I would share a photo of one of my favorite ewes, Sweetgrass Jennie Weaver. She is actually named after an old Great Lakes schooner that my grandfather worked on as a teenager (summer job) when they were still using sail power! I grew up hearing about the ship "Jennie Weaver" and it seemed like the perfect name for a sheep, but I waited a long time for the right one."
I got chills reading this passage because my childhood name was Jennie and my dad was a wooden boat builder. What an amazing connection to discover! It was one of those moments that makes me stop and say, "I love the internet." Really, how else would we have come to know this common thread?
I shared a bit about myself and then Peg managed to find this magnificent photo of the ship named Jennie Weaver. Isn't she gorgeous? Jennie Weaver sailed the Great Lakes and it is Peg's love of this region that has kept her and her farm, Sweet Grass Farm, in Michigan.
I wanted to respond with a picture of one of my father's projects. This was proving to be a challenge as my father passed away in 1986, long before the internet became the world wide web. We have some family photos, but they primarily reside with my mother.
My dad, Carl V. Pedersen, did make one fairly famous ship. In the early 1980's, he built the Godspeed for Colonial Jamestown. He also rebuilt the Susan Constant and the Discovery, the two other famous ships of the trio, from the hull up. The Godspeed however, was his "baby". He was very passionate about this project and about making it as historically accurate as possible. The Godspeed was also special because upon its completion, the sail from England was to be reenacted on this very boat.
In searching for my father's work, I discovered that the crew from that voyage have kept in touch over the years. One of the members has created a website: Godspeed, The 1985 voyage across the Atlantic. There, on the home page, was my father's name and part of his legacy. I don't know the crew of the Godspeed personally, but I feel connected to them through my father and very touched that they are preserving their experience and this part of our history.
On my website, I explain that it was growing up around my father's great, singular passion that gave me the desire to search for my own. Over the last day, his passion and mine crossed paths and it has left me not only nostalgic, but very grateful. It feels so good to remember him and to connect with Peg. I have one more reason to love Jacob sheep and one more happy memory in my heart.