Sunday, May 25, 2008

In Memorium

I've converted the first document from my research trip to San Bruno, a report by the ship's captain on efforts to steer USS Intrepid after a torpedo hit took out her rudder. I pushed this one to the top of the list as I wanted to get this one out in time for Memorial Day for a couple of reasons. Five of her crew were killed and six were missing following this torpedo hit, but also I lost a good friend this month; Wally Bigelow. Wally built a model of the Intrepid a couple of years ago that was well researched and well built. Wally told me that he had chosen the subject in order to build something a little different, but the project grew and I think he identified with the ship; he even named his company "Intrepid Hobbies."

Wally did a lot of good things for the ship model hobby, even though he was a quiet guy living in a medium sized town. Emil Minerich from Skyway Model and I went to visit him on what turned out to be the day before he died from cancer.

Despite the pain he was in from the cancer, he was in decent spirits. He was not done fighting, but he was at peace with whatever happened. His funeral was last Saturday, the day before I flew out for the trip; I had wanted to attend but had already committed myself to helping my wife with a model horse show that otherwise would have about drove her postal. From what I heard it was well attended, perhaps doubling for a couple of hours the population of the town it was held in.

Wally, we will miss you. My posting of this Intrepid document is in your memory, and to that of the six crew members lost that day when a torpedo smashed into their ship and ripped their lives away suddenly.

1 comment:

Chris said...

I knew Wally very well! I first met Wally when I was working at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories there in Pullman Washington.They hired him even after they told him they weren't sure if his attention to detail was good enough, low and behold they found out differently how good he really was . Him and I became very close, we would hang out almost every day..I used to buy all of my models from him. I got my first nitro Plane from him too. Since he passed, I have yet to buy another model. I couldn't bring myself to build another model after he died because it reminded me of him too much! Here it is March 14, 2012 and I am finally looking to get back into building models again! I am going to get all of my model stuff from storage and pick it up again.. I miss Wally so much and think of him every day... R.I.P. Wally, Love and miss you big guy!