With summer knocking on the door, Mystic Seaport staff members are ramping up in anticipation of the thousands of visitors expected to visit the Museum this season. Our gate staff members, led by Sally Ackley, are primed to welcome visitors, answer questions and assist in a myriad of other issues.
One of Sally’s team members, Goran Buckhorn, tells this unique story about a visitor from Norway. Their paths crossed in the Museum’s Visitors Reception Center (VRC) several years ago.
The man was traveling alone. He was 85 years old. He had read a 1975 article about Mystic Seaport in a boating magazine and was determined to come to America, come to Connecticut and come to Mystic Seaport!
He made it, with a little help from police, who stopped and questioned him as he walked along highway I-95. After checking his passport and learning his destination, they drove him to Mystic Seaport.
Out of concern for the elderly gentleman, Goran assisted him first in getting some food, then helped him find decent lodging nearby. When the traveler told Goran, “I think my wife thinks I’m dead…I haven’t spoken to her in several days because I don’t know how to phone Norway from here,” Goran helped him make the call.
For three days, the gentleman enjoyed Mystic Seaport, snapping many photos, especially of the L.A.Dunton. Back in Norway, he was making a model of the fishing schooner and wanted to see the vessel in person.
Mission completed, the man was ready to head back home to Norway – but he had missed his flight out of Hartford. Wrong day! Once again, Goran managed to get him on a flight the following day.
To Sally Ackley and her VRC staff, it’s all in a day’s work!