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Second Installment of Richards Library Received

Last August we reported that the first half of the Richards Library was delivered to the temporary Society Headquarters in Washington, Pennsylvania by Fleet Society Librarian Dave Crooks (see our post on August 1, 2023, HERE). The library was acquired by the Fleet Society through the generous contribution of Society member Rick Beleson (member #51). As reported in August, we received about 450 books, booklets, catalogs, pamphlets, and magazines. The second half of the library was to be delivered to me in January 2024 by Dave Crooks at the FUN Show in Orlando. However, the sheer volume of boxes containing the second half made it impossible for me to take on my return trip to Pennsylvania. So, I took what I could and will make other arrangements for obtaining the remainder which still reside with Dave Crooks at his home in Florida.

The five boxes that did return with me from Florida last month were a “treasure trove” of information. There were over 100 magazines in pristine condition packed in plastic covers that protected the integrity of the magazine. As far as I can ascertain, the magazines went from the late 1930s up to 2015. I perused a few and was “wowed” by the scope of information that I saw. It immediately occurred to me that we all owe Ernie Richards a debt of gratitude for preserving these periodicals. What a resource tool!

Unpacking and sorting the shipment.

Also, included were extra copies of the “Plus Ultra Newsletter” which Ernie published from 1983 to 2016.  Ernie did all the work.  Those who were around when Plus Ultra was up and running recognized it as a must-have publication if one wanted to know the latest news circulating around the shipwreck community. Reading these old magazines and issues of “Plus Ultra” brought back fond memories of meeting up with Ernie at the FUN Show, having lunch with Real Eight member Lou Ullian and his wife Helen at their house on Merritt Island, or getting together with Rex Stocker at Captain Hiram’s in Sebastian.

All sorted and organized!

Anyway, the work on the library continues. Once we establish our permanent headquarters in Florida the library will be available to members who wish to enjoy a glimpse of what life was like on the “Treasure Coast” during calmer, less contentious times.

Ben Costello
President, 1715 Fleet Society

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