The past couple weekends, I've had the opportunity to indulge one of my quiet fascinations, ships, especially old tallships. Baltimore recently celebrated the 200th anniversary of Francis Scott Key's writing of what would become our national anthem with gala festivities that included celebrity appearances, aerial stunts by the Blue Angels and a fireworks display that outdid even the Olympics. At the harbor was a parade of tallships that came in and out and invited tourists aboard for tourists. I was fortunate enough to tour the commissioned U.S. Coast Guard Barque Eagle and the smaller, but no less historic Gazela.
Funny enough, I would find the Gazela again the following week docked at its permanent home at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, where we struck up convo with one of its crewmen and it capped a wonderful trip around the town. Even the battleship U.S.S. New Jersey, which survived Pearl Harbor and assisted American troops in Vietnam is sitting at Penn's Landing. I can't say my knowledge of ships is deep, though I have a yeoman's understanding. Like aircraft, I'm utterly fascinated with ships and I found my share at Penn's Landing, which you can also sample below behind some pics of the Baltimore event.
Baltimore's Inner Harbor:
Penn's Landing, Philadelphia:
Listenin' to: Yes - The Yes Album
Ray Van Horn, Jr. is a veteran entertainment journalist whose writing and live photography has been featured in Blabbermouth.net, Dee Snider’s House of Hair Online, Fangoria.com, Horror News.net, About.com Heavy Metal, MetalManiacs, New Noise, Music Dish, AMP, Hails & Horns, Unrestrained,Noisecreep, Impose, Pit, The Big Takeover.com, Rough Edge.com, Pitriff and others. His blog The Metal Minute won a “Best Personal Blog” award in 2009 from Metal Hammer magazine and he wrote and produced his own hard rock e-zine, Retaliate.
He has contributed essays to UK author Neil Daniels’ Iron Maiden and ZZ Top biographies. Ray’s fiction has been published in various periodicals and anthologies, including his flash fiction piece “Off the Record” for Akashic Books’ “Mondays Are Murder” noir series. His recent short stories “Before the Ball” and “Widow” were featured in subsequent editions of Alex S. Johnson’s Axes of Evil anthologies. Ray wrote serialized original superhero fiction for Cyber Age Adventures and five of those stories appear in the anthology Playing Solitaire. He was the winner of Quantum Muse’s fiction contest in 1999.
Ray is a former NHL game analyst for The Hockey Nut and one-time host of the forum “Comic Books” at ReadWave. He has done beat reporting, photography and lifestyle articles for Metromix, an affiliate of The Baltimore Sun, Carroll Magazine, The Northern News and The Emmitsburg Dispatch.