I’d like to thank the folks who came to my talk and book-signing Thursday night at the Friendswood Public Library. We had a good time. It was the only the second or third time out for that particular presentation, “Captain Dave vs. the Yankees,” and the first opportunity to incorporate my more recent research on McCluskey’s opponent in the struggle for Sting Ray, Acting Ensign Börner. Being able to flesh those two out as individuals, with personal histories that happened to intersect briefly in May 1864 on the deck of a schooner in the Gulf of Mexico, I think makes the story of the blockade more accessible and more vivid for the audience.
And speaking of the audience, they were really engaged. At the end of my talk, one person asked about the Confederate raider Alabama, which appeared briefly off Galveston and sank U.S.S. Hatteras. (This is not a subject mentioned at all in my presentation, so it wasn’t floating around at the top of my brain just then.) In answering his question, I momentarily blanked on the name of Alabama‘s executive officer. Another member of the audience simply prompted, “Kells.” How cool is it that someone in this group knew that?