As the West Coast continues to battle the horrific wildfires that are ravaging so many towns in California, Oregon and Washington, this customer’s story serves as a beautiful reminder that sometimes when all seems lost, if we work together, something good can still come out of the ashes.
Recently, our staff received a Weems & Plath Ocean Quartz Clock that had been sent in for repair. Inside the box it had been shipped in, was a hand-type story that explained how the clock came to be in their possession and why it meant so much to the customer and their family. We were so touched by this story that we reached out to Nancy McNamara, the clock’s owner, who graciously gave her consent for us to share this beautiful tale with all of you.
“Nancy McNamara’s dad, Philip Nesbihal, lived in Barnegat, New Jersey. ‘My dad lived for his sailboat! He moved to the New Jersey shore after he retired so he could go sailing every day during the warm weather,’ said Nancy.
[Sadly, on May 15, 2007, an Air National Guard plane accidentally dropped a lit flare during a routine bombing drill. When the flare hit the parched ground, it caused a massive wildfire that burned] more than 17,000 acres of Pine Barrens, including her dad’s beloved sailboat.
Nancy went down to see her dad and was shocked to see the pile of ashes that were all that had remained of the boat her dad had had for years. Picking through the rubble, she found what had been the steering wheel for the boat, not the pretty shiny wheel that she remembered, for sure! So, a seed had been planted to see if there wasn’t some way she could create a fond memento for her dad from this.
Nancy brought the wheel back to [her work (PRC Laser Corporation)] and we called on one of our suppliers, Marlboro Tool & Manufacturing Co., to lend their expertise. They determined that the wheel was made from a marine grade of stainless steel and sent it off to one of the platers that they use, Haward Platers in North Arlington, New Jersey. Mike Simone, the president of Marlboro, said that he got a call the next day from someone at Haward that he had never spoken to before. The man was curious about this discolored thing with globs of melted fiberglass stuck to it. Mike told the man the story and said that Nancy had hoped that there was some way the original luster could be restored, her intent being to give it to her dad for Father’s Day. Well, this gentleman took it upon himself to make it look as good as new and the results were spectacular.
Meanwhile, Nancy found a nautical-themed clock on the internet and ordered it, hoping to mount it on the restored steering wheel. A few days later she learned that the model she had chosen had been discontinued by the clock manufacturer (Weems & Plath). A few more phone calls to nautical suppliers landed her with one who reacted to her story with the same vigor that the plater had shown. He had heard of the boats that were destroyed in the [Warren Grove] blaze and told her not to worry, he would find one. He contacted his competition until he found the clock she wanted in someone’s stock. Nancy placed the order and the clock arrived, with only a week to go till Father’s Day. We brought wheel and clock back to Marlboro, and here is the result:
The boat’s name was ‘JANANSU’, a name her dad created using syllables from his three daughter’s names, JAnice, NANcy, and SUsan. Dad was very pleased, indeed.
‘The Father’s Day gift of his restored steering wheel and clock certainly cheered up my dad! He loved and cherished it,’ said Nancy.”
Originally written by a staff member at PRC Laser Corporation. Images provided by Nancy McNamara.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those who have been affected by the raging wildfires on the West Coast, including the first responders and those who have lost their homes, businesses, pets and loved ones. #staystrong