I have always started my Currents column with a greeting from the flight deck of Midway, but alas, it is time for me to bid adieu and go ashore for good to begin the next chapter of my life as a retired guy. 

This is truly a bittersweet time for me as I am truly looking forward to my retired golden years, but I am also sad to be leaving the best job I’ve ever had. What has been done here in San Diego with Midway is truly magical, and it has been the honor of my life to have been at the helm for the journey.

When Midway arrived in San Diego Bay in January 2004, the dreams were in place but the realities were daunting. The ship only had four restored military aircraft on board and not much else. We had no electricity, no running water, no bathrooms, no exhibits, no staff and, oh yes, no money. 

The folks that fought so hard to bring the ship here, overcame significant obstacles along the way and had high hopes and the dream of what Midway could become. What has happened since would not have been possible in any other city in America, and I can say that with authority because I’ve seen the other ships. Only Midway has been able to develop into the successful and sustainable operation that we all enjoy today. This city and the volunteers from San Diego made that happen. San Diegans are great dreamers, and they have worked very hard to transform Midway into a museum and idea that our city is very proud of.

“What has been done here in San Diego with Midway is truly magical, and it has been the honor of my life to have been at the helm for the journey.”

Today, we are the most visited historic naval ship in the world, able to sustain our operation and invest in our long-term future. We formed the Midway Foundation to share our success with other military, veteran and first-responder non-profit organizations. We have become uniquely positioned as a not-for-profit museum that shares our resources with other organizations that support our mission focus. 

We continue to be the #1 thing to do in San Diego according to Tripadvisor, and we have helped transform the Embarcadero into the most visited pedestrian area along the bayfront, a far cry from what it was before Midway arrived. 

We are finalizing plans to build the largest veterans park on the West Coast next to Midway on Navy Pier, and we are positioned to become an iconic landmark that future generations of Americans will come to enjoy during their San Diego visit. You should all be proud of these accomplishments because if you are reading this article, you are part of the network of San Diego leaders that made the dream come true. 

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this historic effort and know that I will look forward to Midway’s future for the rest of my life. Now, go build that park and continue to build upon Midway’s legacy. 

 My sincere thanks and admiration go out to all of our staff, volunteers, board of directors and the many San Diegans who have built the Midway dream.

Onward and upward,

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