Science Saturday on January 26th attracted over 460 guests with the Amazing Migration theme. Nick Stong, Education Program manager organized engaging activities and crafts about long-distance animal travels. And, as tradition goes, it was also the day to celebrate Sandy the Whale’s birthday. Children of all ages gathered to sing while staff handed out birthday cake and photos were captured. This year was no different, except that, while Sandy was another year older, she was looking exceptional for her 45th birthday!
In Part 4, we follow Sandy from a reunion to her restoration that explains the cetacean celebrity’s magnificent new look. And, true to Sandy the Whale’s style, it’s a story that involves dedication, collaboration, creativity and a whole lot of fun.
Some of you may remember Sandy’s 2018 birthday. There was a reunion of artists, scientists, community leaders and residents that gathered in the Museum’s bird exhibit gallery. Guests came to honor Sandy’s artist and creator Larry Foster. Former Museum staff and members of the Monterey Bay Chapter of the American Cetacean Society who helped in the 1982 ‘Whale Fund’ campaign were present. Larry spoke about his background, how he created Sandy, and with his humor and warmth answered questions, including the inevitable, “How did Sandy get her name?” Larry, his wife Mary, and dog Jack traveled from their home in Fort Bragg where Larry is working on his biography. They were given a typical Home Town warm welcome for this celebratory reunion.
At the reunion, Mayor Pro Tempore Robert Huitt was introduced to Larry and Mary. During their conversation, Larry mentioned that maintenance on Sandy was needed. Through the following months, the three kept in touch. As City Council Liaison, Robert Huitt brought the discussion to a Museum Board Meeting. It had been 44 years since Sandy was fabricated and she had been at the current location since the early 1980s. Over time there had been settling and natural aging with exposure to salt air and moisture. There were noticeable gaps between a few sections. City Manager Ben Harvey recognized the whale needed attention; and that it was part of the Museum’s collection, an art sculpture, and was also deeply connected to community. He knew the artist needed to be involved. The Public Works Department was contacted, communication began and an assessment was made. The team realized that, beyond maintenance, a long term plan was needed. So dates were set and the team forged ahead July 2018 for Sandy’s restoration.
Enjoy a few photos below from the successful restoration of Sandy the Whale.
PUBLIC WORKS PRESENTATION TO THE CITY
City Manager Ben Harvey gave a presentation at the August 1, 2018 City Council meeting.
Enjoy this informative and creative slide show created by Joyce Halabi, Program Manager for Public Works:
ARTIST’s LETTER TO CEDAR STREET TIMES
Larry Foster’s appreciation for the City, the Museum and PG community, along with historical notes was shared in a “Letter to the Editor” (Cedar Street Times, page 16 - July 20, 2018).
Read what Larry had to say here:
Sandy is a treasure in the heart of Pacific Grove and a centerpiece of inspiration.
Her travels have stopped, but her endearing popularity remains
and her story continues.
Thank You to all who helped in the restoration success!
Much appreciation to Mary Foster’s brother Billy Hustace for contributing professional photographs - -
and Joyce Halabi’s enthusiasm as Sandy’s fan and for sharing her excellent presentation.
Elayne Azevedo, February 2018