Sunday, August 26, 2012
by Lee Post
Hey builders of the bones,
Today is the day that we're going to call the project done. The problem being—as long as it is in sections, floating around in space like some chopped up zombie, it's hard to wrap myself around any sense of done-ness. But since done, finished, and happily whole won't likely happen until January, and even then it is but a temporary condition of completion before coming down again after the exhibit is over to await a more permanent dry ocean to swim in, I'm going to make a "Declaration of Doneness" to borrow a term from a well known local builder.
The whale got his head together this week. Even got his jaws on straight. It was heads and tails however, as Sam got the tail outline back from the welder all in one piece. (Thank you for such a beautiful job, Glenn from Glenn's Welding.) The tail outline was installed and as soon as the sections can be united, the whale will be able to swim again.
What's left is a bit of painting of the metalwork and installing the jaws again. Being that it just got done today—I haven't even wrapped myself around the concept that there is no whale project to go to tomorrow. No group of volunteers giving up their summer to go work with on bones. No daily doses of excitement as various parts of the skeleton come together. No planning what the group will be needing for the next day's progress. No designing, measuring, plotting, sketching, building bones in my sleep, problem solving for the next day's challenges. Which means—YOU DID IT!
In 49 days of work (A very Alaskan Number) 51 of you put in over 800 hours of time and converted a rather rough pile of chipped, abraded, consolidated whale bones from a 38-foot gray whale, into what is going to be a world-class exhibit featuring one of the nicest gray whale skeletons ever assembled. Wait til you see it.
It seems like only yesterday we were first setting up the room and bringing the bones out of storage from the crawl space.
Well done bone-builders.