About 30 years ago, surrounded by a notorious housing project, sewage treatment plant and city dump, the city’s ragged municipal marina was suffering from a serious case of landlord neglect. Local lobsterman and visionary Kaye Williams changed all that. Most of us view the world from the land out. Kaye sees it from the water in. Captain’s Cove Seaport is a gem of a reminder what can be done against the odds. Man of the Waterfront, the story of Kaye Williams and Captain’s Cove authored by Ralph Harvey provides insight into the man and the marina. Check out the exhibit at www.citylightsgallery.org. About the book:
Growing up during the Great Depression, Kaye Williams began his lifelong fascination with ships and the waterfront. The ships were passing tugboats, freighters and lumber schooners, and the waterfront was in Bridgeport, Connecticut–a gritty industrial city on the shores of Long Island Sound, and once the home of P. T. Barnum. After marrying his teenage sweetheart Vivian, Kaye pursued careers as an ironworker, boat dealer and lobsterboat captain. But it was his fourth career that attracted international attention–the creation of Captain’s Cove Seaport, and the restoration of the Rose, the replica of an eighteenth century British frigate. Captain’s Cove Seaport began an urban revival in a crime-ridden, backwater corner of Bridgeport. By restoring the Rose, Kaye created an internationally renowned sailing training vessel that became Connecticut’s official state ship. And he didn’t stop there. Building a replica of an early aircraft led to a friendship with retired Chief Justice Warren Burger, a wedding that was moved from the North Pole to a Baltimore courthouse, and the involvement of Russian sailors on a Bill of Rights bicentennial tour aboard the Rose. Man of the Waterfront is both a compelling human drama and a look at the social impact of efforts to revive a mid-sized, industrial city.
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