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John Steinbeck's "Western Flyer" Gets Brought Back to Life

Video from CBS Mornings

John Steinbeck's "Western Flyer" Gets Brought Back to Life

Dec 23, 2023

After writing "The Grapes of Wrath," author John Steinbeck explored the Gulf of California in a famous boat called the Western Flyer. Since then, the boat has inspired adventurers and scientists for generations, but the original ship was nearly lost. CBS News' Jeff Glor reports on the person determined to give it new life.

John Steinbeck's "Western Flyer" Gets Brought Back to Life
John Steinbeck's "Western Flyer" Gets Brought Back to Life

John Steinbeck
John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck was an American novelist who is known for works such as the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, 'The Grapes of Wrath,' as well as 'Of Mice and Men' and 'East of Eden.'

Who Was John Steinbeck?

John Steinbeck was a Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist and the author of Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden. Steinbeck dropped out of college and worked as a manual laborer before achieving success as a writer. His works often dealt with social and economic issues. His 1939 novel, The Grapes of Wrath, about the migration of a family from the Oklahoma Dust Bowl to California, won a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award. Steinbeck served as a war correspondent during World War II, and he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962..." from the article: John Steinbeck

Western Flyer Literary History Heads Back to Sea with Sherry Flumerfelt - WYL 261

"Jul 11, 2023

In 1940, writer John Steinbeck and marine biologist Ed Ricketts chartered the fishing vessel Western Flyer for a six-week exploration of Mexico's Gulf of California, resulting in the groundbreaking text The Log from the Sea of Cortez (1951). The boat returned to fishing for decades, disappeared, sank, and was in disrepair when marine geologist John Gregg purchased it in 2015. With admiration for the Pulitzer Prize winner and Nobel Laureate who contributed Of Mice and Men, Tortilla Flat, East of Eden, and The Grapes of Wrath to the American literary canon, John founded the nonprofit Western Flyer Foundation (WFF) and embarked on restoring the historic boat and bringing it back into service for research and education. By the summer of 2023, after years of planning and craftsmanship by master shipwrights and the addition of a new hybrid-electric propulsion system, the renovated Western Flyer will once again trawl the waters of Monterey Bay and beyond. Classic Boat magazine, recently acknowledged this tremendous effort by awarding the Foundation a prestigious Classic Boat Award for the “Best Restored Power Vessel”. Sherry will share the story of this iconic boat, its restoration, and the organization's plans for the future.

Technical Director - Sean Restivo

Production Manager and Camera Operator- John Bechtol

Stage Manager - Arjun Sodhani

Runner and Production Assistant - Walter Crompton" from video introduction

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