The featured interview in this episode is with Tom Tag, who is the technical advisor for the U.S. Lighthouse Society. Tom’s passion for the history of lighthouse optics has made him the premier American authority on the history and technology of lamps and lenses. He formerly served on the U.S. Lighthouse Society’s Board of Directors, along with lead roles in several other lighthouse organizations.
Tom Tag was born in Chicago but grew up in Laporte, Indiana. After retiring from a career in management of computer programmers, he was looking for something different to do. Tom has written many articles on lighthouse technology for the U.S. Lighthouse Society’s journal The Keeper’s Log.
His work as a lighthouse researcher earned Tom an F. Ross Holland Award from the American Lighthouse Council. He also has had a major hand in the development of what is now the J. Candace Clifford Lighthouse Research Catalog, and he has developed many other historical resources on the U.S. Lighthouse Society website.
In the history segment, hosts Jeremy D’Entremont and Cindy Johnson recount the story of Theodore “Crazy” Judson, longtime light keeper and raconteur of Stratford Point, Connecticut. Judson’s interviews with newspaper reporters described sightings of mermaids and a 200-foot sea serpent.
Jeremy D’Entremont is the author of more than 20 books and hundreds of articles on lighthouses and maritime history. He is the president and historian for the American Lighthouse Foundation and founder of Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses, and he has lectured and narrated cruises throughout the Northeast and in other regions. He is also the producer and host of the U.S. Lighthouse Society podcast, “Light Hearted.” He can be emailed at Jeremy@uslhs.org