Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Light Hearted podcast Ep 19 – Russ Rowlett of The Lighthouse Directory; Jeff Zappen, Waterways Management Specialist in WA

Host Jeremy D’Entremont is joined by co-host Michelle Jewell Shaw. When Russ Rowlett was growing up in Richmond, Virginia, his only exposure to lighthouses was climbing the Old Cape Henry Lighthouse when his family vacationed at Virginia Beach. Russ started his web site, The Lighthouse Directory, in 1999, and it kept growing until, by 2009, it covered the whole world. It’s one of the most useful lighthouse information sites on the Internet, and Russ is the first guest on this episode of Light Hearted.

Bob Muller was the founding president of the Long Island Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society in New York. He has been involved in lighthouse research, education, lecturing, and preservation for twenty years. In this first installment of The (non-political) Muller Report, Bob updates us on the restoration efforts for Stepping Stones Lighthouse, the westernmost lighthouse in Long Island Sound, a project in which Bob has been personally involved.

In a history segment, Michelle and Jeremy relate the story of Willie Williams, longtime (1883-1911) keeper of Maine’s remote Boon Island Light Station, who said in retirement: “There were days when I first went on the station that I could not get away from the idea that I was the same as locked up in a cell.”

William C. Williams, courtesy of Jim Claflin

The next interview is Jeff Zappen, who retired in December 2018 after 28 years as a Chief Warrant Officer in the U.S. Coast Guard. Jeff is still working for the Coast Guard as a Waterways Management Specialist in Port Orchard, Washington. Jeremy interviewed Jeff during a visit to the U.S. Lighthouse Society’s headquarters in Hansville, Washington, last January. The conversation involves the evolving nature of the Coast Guard’s role with America’s lighthouses and other aids to navigation.