There’s a best selling book called “The Boys in The Boat” by Daniel James Brown. Here’s a link to a short YouTube video about it. It’s a wonderful book about an improbable group of young men, a crew team from University of Washington, and their quest for gold at the Berlin Olympics in 1936. One of the team, Joe Rantz, came from Sequim (shown in the video and described as a “small dusty town”). Our local Museum and Arts Center (MAC) currently has an exhibit on “The Boys in the Boat,” including a smaller version of their rowing shell and memorabilia contributed by Joe Rantz’s family. The shell, Working Girl, designed and built by George Yeoman Pocock, is shown above.
Pocock revolutionized rowing shells by fitting together two long, single planks rather than multiple narrow strakes, or planks, creating lighter, more streamlined vessels. Working Girl has four positions; the University of Washington Pocock shell had eight.
In addition to the rowing shell, the exhibit includes copies of some of Rantz’s travel documents and high school keepsakes. My favorite personal item was a postcard Rantz sent his father: “Dear Pa, Here is a view of the finish of the race course where the world championship race takes place next week. By the time you get this I’ll either be chump or champ.”
The MAC is a small museum but it’s got a little bit of everything, including art, an exhibit on the local S’Klallam tribe, information about Sequim’s famous mastodon, and more. Tomorrow I’ll tell you about MAC’s Friday duck celebrity.