In the 50th episode of the USLHS podcast Light Hearted, we asked listeners to write to us to let us know their thoughts. The following was received by email from Renee Gaylor of Texas:
I have listened to Light Hearted from the beginning – and love learning about the people and history you present. In the latest episode, you mentioned how many of the current listeners are already involved in lighthouse preservation or coastal life. I have thought of writing in before but figured you guys aren’t interested from a random person in Texas. But, maybe you are…
I have spent my entire life in the desert. I love my region – the Big Bend and TransPecos – the history, the climate, the plantlife, the communities. I could go on – but I have also had a lifelong fascination with the coast and lighthouses in particular. I had a fantasy image of them I loved. Having zero experience of what it means to live on the eastern coast, it was easy to have this romantic view of the ocean and living in a lighthouse.
In 2004, my husband and I and our youngest daughter went on a 3 week long driving trip of the eastern coast – visiting every lighthouse we could. Along the way, I learned about the USLHS, and joined. The museums and volunteers at the lighthouses we visited changed my view of lighthouses and the work and sacrifices keepers put in to keeping those lights on. Instead of a rose-colored view of lighthouse life, I came home with deep respect and awe. The facts, science, and history of lighthouses is far more interesting than the fantasy.
The podcast and website allow me to continue learning. Thank you to all of you for everything! The podcast, Keeper’s Log, the Clifford research catalog – every bit of it is valuable, even to random people out in the middle of the desert. Keep a good light!
Thank you so much, Renee! You are not a random person in Texas to us. We do what we do for people like you — people who truly appreciate what lighthouses mean to our culture and history. We sincerely appreciate the fact that you took the time to write this thoughtful message to us and we hope you’ll continue to listen to Light Hearted and to be a valued member of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.
We’d love to hear from more listeners – emails can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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