Reader's Gallery

Reflections of the USS Enterprise

comments (2) November 28th, 2012 in Reader's Gallery

MarkAReed MarkAReed, member
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Oak framed Mirror with glass display shelf

This mirror frame is made from 2 1/4" oak colonial door casing cut offs and a used mirror from a bathroom remodel.

There is a  1 1/2 x 1/2" oak pc. on the back edge of the frame and rabbited it for the 1/4" maple veneer which is attached with small brass screws. That way you could remove and replace the mirror if needed.

The shelf brackets are 1" x 3/16" aluminum bent in to shape and secured from the back.

The tempered glass shelf is 8" x 36", 3/8" thick and mounted above my drawing board in my home office.

I have to admit, the glass shelf was an after thought that was the perfect solution to a ten year destiny in the making.

Let me explain.

As a remodeler, I have become a regular patron at our local Ace Hardware store. The helpful hardware guys usually recognize me and the manager always offers me a 10% discount on tools and Carhart work clothes.

I usually cruise down the tool aisle and sometimes, I'll go over and check out the car models. I never bought one but they reminded me of my teenage years when I use to build models all the time and, I don't know…. they're just cool.

I can remember back when I helped my 12 year old son build his first model of a 1989 Z28 black Camaro. We painted the motor chevy orange the exhaust system and sway bars silver. He really got in to model building after that – just like I did.

The thing is, for the last ten years, there has been this huge 2 ft. by 3 ft. box on the top shelf. It was a large scale ship model of the aircraft carrier, the Enterprise, marked 89.95

I noticed the model of the ship the first time I came in to the brand new Ace hardware because that happened to be the ship I was on when I was just a kid in the Navy, way back in 1977 – 79.

Even so, I thought 89 bucks was a bit steep for a model that I really didn't need or have room for – so I passed.

And there it sat for years, way up on the shelf. The picture of the giant ship on the box slowly faded from the flourescent lights and every once in a while, I noticed they would dust it and change the angle.

Then one day, I came in to get some nuts and bolts. I was in a hurry so I didn't have time to browse but, as I walked passed, I couldn't help from looking down the car model asile.

There, sticking out from the top shelf was the large faded box of the USS Enterprise with a bright orange clearance sticker on it – 80% off. ..... as if the ship was calling me.

Seriously, who else is going to buy this model of American military history? Who else but a veteran from the ship would give it a home and appreciate it? What are the chances of another veteran from the USS Enterprise, who still likes building models, walking in the door – except me?

So, I brought it home and spent the next several evenings spreading hundreds of familiar ship parts all over the dining room table. It really wasn't that hard to build but it sure brought back memories of my ship mates and duties while on board.

As a Machinest Mate, during peace time, I helped run and maintain the aircraft elevators and the auxillary steering pumps.

We sailed from Alameda to San Deigo several times but I got out early after finding out I was going to be a dad.

It was a cool experience although, I didn't fully appreciate it until many years later.

The mirror seemed like a good way to display the model from both sides. With it mounted above my drawing board, it's really not in the way and looks pretty cool, I think...

The Enterprise is on it's way back home to retire this week and I would like to say,

Thank you for all of the the training, the memorable experiences and letting me be a part of your history.

..I will remember you, CVN-65 USS Enterprise.

posted in: Reader's Gallery, red oak, mirror

Comments (2)

Luke2220 Luke2220 writes: Mark,

I know how you feel about that old ship. As a Marine I served on the USS Belleau Wood twice. First was in 1994 and again in 1995. When I found out they sank her in 2005 a lot of bitter sweet memories came flooding back. I hated that tub at the time, but looking back on it, it was one of the best times of my life.
Posted: 10:17 pm on November 28th

PatrickHosey PatrickHosey writes: This is awesome. I got orders to help de-com the Enterprise. It's not going to be very fun but this is pretty awesome to see right before moving.
Posted: 3:56 pm on November 28th

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