We got a wonderful note from long time fellow Woody Boater Art Armstrong regarding how Molly -O got her name and if you read on, how she got her name back. Love this story and love Molly – O as one of my favorite boats out there. Molly-O is a special Sportsman 24 that was a special Smith Family boat.
Art sent some old family photos, I love old family photos.
Note the air horns, which I actually have, they haven’t been on the boat in many years. The “trumpets” need repair and I don’t have a clue who could do it. That same pic was taken in the late 40s Molly-O is actually in the same boat well (slip) today as it is in that pic. The big difference is- there had been a boat house built over it.
And of course, taking to the next level. Art riding with his grandad
This was the correspondence between myself and Joy Smith for their book TRANSOM. I think it fits into today’s fun.
It’s kind of ironic that the descendants of Chris Smith are involved in this project, as our boat Molly-O also has a direct connection to the Smith clan. My grandfather, Milton Meier, was a friend of Owen. In 1938 Owen asked him if he was interested in purchasing one if the seven 24 foot boats that were being built for family members. Apparently one of the family members changed his mind before the boats were completed so his boat became available.
Now on to the history of the name:
My grandfather purchased this 1939 24 foot Delux Utility from Chris Craft July 23rd, 1938 and had the name Molly-O put on the transom before delivery. The CC employee that lettered the boat was Ed Posey…….more on that later.
All of my grandfather’s boats were named MOLLY-O after his wife whose name was Marie and her maiden name was McQuisten…..very Irish. However, she always went by Molly. The “O” was a reference to her Irish heritage.
The boat was owned by two other (very local) families from 1960 thru 1978 and each one changed the name, FIN’S FOLLY and then Woop’s Hi. We purchased her back in 1978 and began restoring her to her original condition. During the restoration, we considered many names and settled on REFLECTIONS……………alluding to the boat’s heritage and the light dancing off the varnish. I refused to name her MOLLY-O as, I’m sorry to say, she was not my favorite grandmother…..I’ll leave it at that.
So it came time to contact a person to letter the boat with REFLECTIONS, and a former CC employee, Tom Cutherbertson, recommended another former CC employee, Ed Posey who was well into his 80’s. Ed came to the house one day to letter the boat in gold leaf and we described the lettering that we wanted. He took one look at the boat and announced……….”that’s MOLLY-O which I lettered at the plant”. He then went on to describe the original lettering style and colors and told us that he remembered every boat that he lettered. At that point we decided that fait was directing us and the name MOLLY-O would live on!
Since MOLLY-O lives in an enclosed boat house, we have been able to retain the Ed Posey work of art to this day.
Art and Janie Armstrong