Friday, November 30, 2018

Heading to Miami tomorrow

We will be at Context Art Miami next week... so flying to Florida tomorrow for the "big dance" of the art world.

These gorgeous works by Amy Lin will be featured at the fair!

Artist Opportunities

Bethesda Fine Arts Festival
Apply by December 21, 2018

The 16th annual Bethesda Fine Arts Festival will be held on May 11 & 12, 2019 in downtown Bethesda, Maryland. The festival features 130 booth spaces and they'd love for YOU to apply for your chance to showcase and sell your work alongside some of the best artists from across the country. 

Important Dates:

Deadline to Apply:
Friday, December 21, 2018

Notifications Mailed:
January 25, 2019

Festival Dates & Hours:
May 11, 2019,  10am - 6pm
May 12, 2019,  10am - 5pm

Submit 6 images (a booth shot is required). $35 entry fee.
Applications are due Friday, December 21, 2018. 

Thursday, November 29, 2018

The 85th Annual Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature at Strathmore

The 85th Annual Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature, currently on exhibition at the gorgeous Strathmore Mansion in Rockille, and organized by The Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers Society of Washington, DC (MPSGS) through January 6, 2019 impressed three things upon me when I visited the show this past weekend:
  • There are a lot of paintings of cats and dogs in this show
  • The show has a lot of red dots and was packed the rainy, miserable, sleety day that I visited
  • This is the best art show that I've seen in 2018
For starters, this show is described as:
More than 700 mini-masterpieces travel from across the globe to be included in this prodigious juried exhibition. You’ll marvel at the ability of the artist to create a portrait, still life, or landscape the size of a postage stamp.
Creating miniature artwork is a genre of art which has always earned a lot of respect from me, and one in which I have dabbled myself. In fact, two or three decades ago I was part of one of these annual exhibitions organized by the venerable MPSGS!

As my family was with me, and as there are over 700 works of art to examine, I asked both my wife, who is not only a highly trained artist herself, but also a researcher in the field of arts integration into the classroom, and a published author in this seminal field, and my 9-year-old son, already a seasoned visitor of hundreds of art shows and dozens and dozens of art fairs, to help me. Over the years I have also learned how children's eyes often see art in ways in which adults do not.

This spectacular show was juried by the very skilled painter Chris Krupinski, one of the most talented watercolor painters alive on the planet, and one who's gonna forget more about watercolor than the rest of us will ever learn. 

Krupinski is a magician with a brush and her selection of award-winners for this show, for the first time that I can recall in any show that I've reviewed in the last 30 years, closely matched a lot of my top picks, although we differed in the Best in Show award, and a few others, as anyone would expect.  Over the last 2-3 decades I have juried, curated or organized over 200+ art shows around the DMV and the nation, so I feel pretty secure in going toe-to-toe with Chris, although I will admit that she's a much better painter that I could ever dream of being!

Oil Country by Dean Mitchell

Chris awarded the Edith Trifiletti Memorial Award - Judge's Choice - Best in Show to this watermedia painting by Florida artist Dean Mitchell.

The painting is brilliantly executed, with all the freshness and looseness that all painters are told to strive and aim for, and which seldom few truly achieve! 

One recommendation for Dean Mitchell: Lose the copyright symbol before the year - that symbol is not needed for visual arts copyrighting any longer.

Chris awarded the First Place John Thompson Memorial Awards for Portraiture to the below piece by British painter Michael Coe. It is this spectacular work that I would have (with some struggles to be highlighted later) awarded the Best in Show.
Girl With Gold Earrings
Michael Coe
This work is not only a flawlessly executed painting, and there are a few of us who still admire the technical skill required to deliver a gem such as this, but it is also a superb portrait in the way that it has acquired, and represented for the viewer, the psychological signature of the subject. Let's not skip any accolades, this is an artist with enviable skills and the inner "it" to capture a person's most intimate and revealing facade. And thus Mr. Coe earns my Best in Show Award.

Back to cats - as I noted earlier, there were an awful significant number of cat and dogs paintings. That fact struck me as somewhat sacchariny for an art show, but then, I realized that when one has a 700+ art show, it is just a matter of numbers, and that cats and dogs will make their appearance in numbers not seen around here since the last Artomatic.

And yet, this gorgeous painting by Akiko Watanabe stood out, in spite of its sucralose subject (I wonder how many ways to say sugary I can think of...), because it is an intelligent, well-composed... ah... magnificent painting.

Curious Rusty
Akiko Watanabe
The judge awarded it the 85th Anniversary Award, one of the top three prizes in the competition. It was one of my favorites as well, but I have some that I ranked a little higher - no slight to the enviable painting skills of Ms. Watanabe - I also really liked her other two entries in the show even more than the kitty painting!

Bernese Mountain Dog
Vivian Matsick
While we're on the sneezy and itchy subject of cats and dogs, there is actually a Best in Dogs award in this show (I kid thee not), which probably upsets cat people, as there's no Best in Cats Award that I found. 

Since I'm allergic to both, I'm neutral on the subject.

The award which is titled the Diane L. Templar Memorial Award for Best in Dogs went to Vivian Matsick of her impressive portrait of a Bernese mountain dog. Ms. Matsick is also a very good painter and a very well-executed painting.

I must mention that this painting was also in my son's list of his top selections, and Anderson really, really liked it! 

With over 700 pieces in the show, there are a lot of awards, all well-earned and highly deserved, and there is a Richard J. Palco Memorial Award for Best in Animals, where Krupinski and I agreed on the winner again.

Racing the Waves
Judy Lalingo
Ms. Lalingo's heroic portrait of the two muscular horses is somewhat distracted by the stylized waves, as the rhythm of the waves seems to mimic the surface tension of the horses' muscles. But I am being pedantic here... this is yet another master at work with yet a different, but just as enviable set of technical skills and a well-trained eye for what makes a painting stand out by intelligent use of light and dark - well done!

There's One in Every Family
Judy Schrader
There are five awards in the "Oil Awards" category, and the juror and I agreed on four of the five awards, although I struggled (as am sure that she did) between three of them, all equally superior.

But I think that my top award would go to There's One in Every Family by Judy Schrader... or was it Old House in Rome by Lena Leitzke?

Old House in Rome
Lena Leitzke
There are five "Watermedia Awards" in the show, and the juror and I agreed on
four of them. 

Krupinski gave the first award to Denise Horne-Kaplan's exquisite painting of three popping zebras titled Three's Company, and that little gem was also in my short list for Best in Show. It is a very striking painting.

And yet Elaine Nunnally's King Street, 9 p.m., also tugged at me mightily.

In fact all three of Nunnally's paintings in this show could have won awards as far as my highly educated and opinionated eye could discern.

There were also five drawing awards, and they were all excellent choices. 

I once read that I am the best drawing artist alive on the Earth (I wrote it, then I read it). And as such, this is my category to huff and puff about, and these artists are all masters of this most essential of foundational skills. Not included in this set of awards, but a drawing nonetheless, was the winner of the Margaret Hicks Memorial Award for Best New Artist, which went to Sue deLearie Adair.

The Sunbathers
Sue deLearie Adair
I was also intrigued and fascinated... almost hypnotized by Mary Serfass' entries, each one more obsessive/compulsive than the previous one; there are all perfect examples of an artist defining a niche for herself that (frankly) I've never seen before, and coming from one of the planet's most experienced art peepers (me), that is a singularly unique compliment. When you go to the show, do not skip them, and I dare you to just glance - you can't! You will be magnetized to them...

On to the five pastel awards: we concurred on three of the five awards, and the awarded pieces by Helen Mathyssen-Dobbins (First Place), Leland Williams (Second Place), and Jan Vermilya (Honorable Mention) all could have been first prize winners, and I suspect that the judge also struggled with these great pastels.

I was pleasantly surprised to find small sculptures in this miniature show, although nowhere near in the numbers for two-dimensional work - of course. The Col. Archibald King Memorial Awards for Sculpture's top prize went to Joy Kroeger Beckner's playful sculpture of a dog... cough, cough.

A Good Life (Wire 12/50)
Joy Kroeger Beckner

I am not really sure what the next media was, but there are also five awards for Ivory/Ivorine, and the winners of the Levantia White Boardman Memorial Awards for Ivory/Ivorine were all exceptional choices.  
Gray Tree Frog 
Linda Lawler

My choice for first prize in this category would have been Gray Tree Frog by Linda Lawler. Since this was Anderson's choice as well, we win 2-1!

I must admit that Grandpa's Paints by Jeanie Gordon, and No Fly Zone by Lynn Wade also tugged at me and are outstanding paintings.

In fact, between all these wizards of this media, I had to research it, and quickly discovered that it's just the substrate for the painting - basically a painting executed on ivory or its man-made replacement, Ivorine. 

The John Thompson Memorial Awards for Portraiture were easily won by Girl With Gold Earrings by Michael Coe, who I thought should have won Best in Show. This was a tough competition, as there were a lot of portraits (not as many as cats and dogs).  Innocence by June Holloway is a brilliant portrait of an adorable little girl, and was in both my wife and my list.

There were also a lot of still life paintings and the genre had its own category, and my top choice was Apples for Sale by Elaine Hahn. I've followed and admired this artist's works for over three decades and she just keeps on getting better and better!

Apples for Sale
Elaine Hahn
There are separate awards for international artists, and they rocked this show! Let me tell you: I do not think that anyone on this planet can paint antique show cars any better than Joyce Rowsell! This lady can handle a brush to deliver some car smell in these little beauties - every single one of her entries is a prizewinner!

The Picnic at the Show
Joyce Rowsell
And Gini Harris and Hanna Woodring are also masters of the brush, my highest possible accolade to a painter! I also loved the blue in the gate of Chrysoula ArgyrosOld Blue Gate - another excellent painting.

Late Afternoon of Long Shadows
Gini Harris
Ginger's Ginger Jar
Hanna Woodring
There were also a category for animals, and we've spent words discussing cats and dogs... there were also multiple horses, and a suspicious number of pink flamingos. However, according to my son the best in this category was Carol McCleesFox in Profile - more on this painting in a few paragraphs. As noted earlier, Judy Lalingo's athletic horses did it for me.

Since this was a team effort, let me document that my wife's favorites also included Meditation Pond by New Jersey artist Linda Rossin and Assateague Island by Pennsylvania's Judy Schrader - both excellent picks! She also quite admired June Holloway's Innocence, which was also a prizewinner (Second Place in Portraiture).
Fox in Profile
Carol McClees

In addition to the mentions discussed earlier, the littlest Campello selected I'm "Nut" Fat by Celyne Brassard as his Best in Show winner (aligning with the judge's selection of this work as Best in Realism awardee) - but split that top prize with Carol McClees' previously discussed Fox in Profile! The first choice is indeed a wonderful painting, but I quite liked her Influenced by Mary Pratt a little better.

Jennifer Rutherford's Field with Trees After Storm was selected by Anderson as his First Place winner, and Still Waters by Barbara Stanton as his Second Place choice and Stonehenge by Elizabeth Stechter as his Third Place award winner.  

Marshes and Clouds
Leland Williams
He gave Honorable Mentions to The Artist's Sister by John Brennan, Sir Floyd by Lauren Carlo, Friends by Raymonde DeBruyne Chavoor, Long Shadows by Marilyn L. Milici, Flying by Claire Mitchell, and two of James Rogowski's entries. Also to Falls Church artist Nancy Garcia for Lake Powell Sparkles. 

I had a lot of other faves in this show: I quite liked Leland Williams' Marshes and Clouds, a pastel which won the Second Prize in that category, Bringing Spring Indoors by Hanna Woodring (who is a remarkable trompe l'oeil painter), all of Lynn Wade's entries, also Karin E. Snoots works, Rachelle Siegrist's watermedias, Melissa Miller Nece colored pencils, Brenda Morgan's oils, Helen Mathyssen-Dobbins' pastels, and Luann Houser (whose A Lady and Her Gentleman won second prize in oils).

Also standing out above the masses were the three entries by Oklahoma artist Eric Matthew Gonzalez, and Ohio's Jeanie Gordon's Homegrown was the most painterly of all the entries - I cannot even imagine the skill required to be "painterly" and "brushy" at this size! Her Homegrown oil on Ivorine was all of that and more! Add to my list New Jersey artist Eva Marie Fitzsimmons - all three of her Acrylic on panel paintings were excellent and the best deal in the show as far as price was concerned.

Of interest (to me anyway) my son and I agreed on a dozen artists or so, including Celyne Brassard, John Brennan and Lauren Carlo.

To close this review and discussion, let me circle back to the beginning: this is the best art show that I've seen in the region this year, and a gigantic bow of thanks is owed to the juror, Chris Krupinski for a most admirable job in what most have been a really, really... really hard jury task!

You can see all the award winners here.

The Mansion at Strathmore is located at 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda, MD 20852, 301-581-5109
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 10am - 4pm
Wednesday: 10am - 9pm
Sunday: 12 - 4pm

Closed Monday and Holidays

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Art Scam Alert!

Beware of this scammer:
From: lucas david
I want to make a purchase on some of your products.I have a private freight forwarder that can handle the pick up.
-Can you ship to the Cayman Islands?
-Do you accept credit card?
-What is the delivery time?
I await to ready from you asap.
Lucas David.
82 N Sound Rd, George Town, 
Cayman Islands  
345 949 5655

Monday, November 26, 2018

Art Scam Alert!

Beware of this asswipe trying to rip off artists:
"Peterson Jackson"
Good Morning ,
I want to know if Ship to Portugal and accept credit Card as Payment Method? regarding the shipping l have a freight forwarder that you will contact regarding shipping they will pick up the orders and deliver directly to my store doorstep without  any problem 
Looking forward to read back from you
Peterson Jackson

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Art Scam Alert!

Beware of this mutant trying to rip off artists!
Andrea Catsimatidis
    My name is Andrea Catsimatidis. I wish to place an email Order from you. I have heard a lot about the quality and standards of your work. Thus I have decided to place an order with you. I want to ask you questions, your efforts would be appreciated
   Do You Accept pick up from your location?
   Do You Accept E-Mail Order?
   Do You Accept Visa/Master Credit Card and Cashiers check?
    I look forward to your reply with your current product price list 
Best Regard
Andrea Catsimatidis

Friday, November 23, 2018

Stolen Artwork

Received an email from the daughter of a collector who died unexpectedly of a heart attack - I am sharing in the hope that the eyes of the Internet can help... here's a bit from her email:
I had plans to keep most of her vast collection of artwork, especially the mermaids. It’s a longer story but her house was ransacked. They came with a giant moving truck and took pretty much everything that wasn’t nailed down. (The neighbors thought we hired movers. These were good con artists and they vanished into thing air.) My heart was shred to pieces. The material possessions are one thing, whatever. But the art... her passion for art was intense and she instilled it in me. Losing the artwork was one of the lowest blows I’ve ever received.
I've advised her to report it to the FBI's stolen art unit... but I will also keep an eye on the secondary art market to see if any of the below pieces show up...

Thursday, November 22, 2018

The Rampant Lilith

New watercolor which will be at Context Art Miami in about a week and a half as part of the Art Basel Miami Beach week of art fairs!

Suddenly, She Wasn't Afraid Any Longer (The Rampant Lilith) (Detail)

Suddenly, She Wasn't Afraid Any Longer (The Rampant Lilith) 36x36 inches

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Art Scam Alert!

Beware of this rip off artist:

"Potter Carlos"
How are you doing? Guess your business is going smoothly? My name is
Potter. Me and my wife stumbled on your page while searching for art
pieces. After seeing your various works, i give you accolades!!! Quite
an insane level of creativity you got. I am interested in purchasing a
piece as a SURPRISE GIFT for my wife, she seems fond of your designs.
I would really love to receive further information if you would be
kind enough to confirm the availability of the art pieces ready for
immediate sales. Thank you and my best regards.  Potter Carlos

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Tia Ñica moves on...

Yesterday my aunt Ñica passed away in her beloved home in Miami Beach. 

She was in her nineties and holds a special place not only in my heart, but also in my family's history. 

Tia Ñica and her husband Jose immigrated to the United States in the 1950s and settled in Brooklyn, in the old Italian neighborhood clustered around the beautiful Our Lady of Loretto church, convent and school in East New York. 

One of 11 children to Galician immigrants to Cuba, not only did she herself become an immigrant to a new land where she did not know a single person, but also (I am certain), the first woman in her family to work. 

She worked in the factories that back then surrounded the neighborhood, and "after work", also worked babysitting the neighbors' children while their parents worked late hours. By the late 50s my aunt and uncle had saved enough money to buy a six apartment brownstone on Sackman Street, which is where they lived, and where my family and I landed in the 1960s when our family left Communist Cuba as political refugees during the "Freedom Flights" that allowed hundreds of thousands of Cubans to escape the political wrath of the Cuban dictatorship. 

My aunt was a strong, powerful, opinionated woman, with a strong will and even a stronger, loud voice that could and would command attention in the chaos and cacophony of Cuban family dinners. For a few years, when I was a teen, I would accompany her after school, as we went door to door in Brooklyn selling oil painting portraits, where she'd send a photo to someone in Spain, who would then send back a pretty good oil copy of the photo! In retrospect, my "training" as an art dealer started back then! 

My aunt and uncle moved to Miami Beach in the early 1970s, and bought a gorgeous house on Alton Road surrounded by palm trees and avocado trees, and as a teenager my parents would "ship" me to them for the summer. I would always be picked up at the airport, and waiting in their house would be an ancient, retired Spaniard who would then give me a haircut and bring my hair length to my aunt's severe, anti-hippie standards, part of her belief that long hair, not wearing a watch, bell bottom pants and parting your hair down the middle, all contributed to moral corruption! 

Those summer months spent with my aunt and uncle remain as some of the happiest times of my life. But my strongest debt to this powerful gallega remains the fact that it was because of her and her loving husband, that my family was able to escape the living nightmare that their birthplace had become. 

And on behalf of your my children, and their future descendants, I send her a warm hug, and a most sincere "gracias" for all that she did, and the key part that she played in my destiny... and for all the love and support that she gave me through the decades: I love you Tia, and "teikyrissy" on Tio Jose!

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Coming to Miami

Laura Beth Konopinski
As usual, we'll be returning to Miami this coming December for the big dance of the art world during Art Basel week in the Greater Miami area, with over twenty art fairs all over. This will be our 12th year coming to Miami!

This year we're returning to Context Art Miami, where we'll have two booths: C321 and C322 and featuring works by Matthew Langley, J. Jordan Bruns, Michael Janis, Erwin Timmers, Amy Lin, Tim Vermeulen, Dulce Pinzon, Elissa Farrow-Savos, Laura Beth Konopinski and Audrey Wilson.

J. Jordan Bruns

J. Jordan Bruns

Tim Vermeulen

Tim Vermeulen
Erwin Timmers

Friday, November 16, 2018

Lori Katz at Longview Gallery

Lori Katz at Longview Gallery - November 29 -January 6

Opening reception
 Thursday November 29, 6:30-8:00


      Longview Gallery
      1234 Ninth Street NW
      Washington, DC 20001

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Eerie magazines

Marcus, drop me an email to lennycampello at

Monday, November 12, 2018

On Veterans' Day 2018

A warm cyberspace shout out to all my fellow vets and to the men and women of the US Armed Forces all over the planet, with a special nod to the sailors and marines at sea!

The American flag that I sometimes hang outside my house and which hangs today has a most interesting story. 

As you can see below, it is a gold-fringed flag, which we used to call "a Navy flag" back in the days, because of who knows why... when I was an Executive Officer at the Naval Security Group Activity Skaggs Island, California in the 1990s, I was told that it was because it represented the ability to execute/hold a Captain's Mast.

But I meander away from the history of this flag... my flag.

In 1983 I was the OZ Division Officer for USS Virginia (CGN-38), and the ship was assigned Naval Gunfire Fire Support (NGFS) patrol off the coast of Beirut, Lebanon, in support of the US Marines ashore in Beirut as part of the Multi-National Peacekeeping Force.

We would routinely fly ashore for meetings, etc., and one day I will scan and show you a description that I put on my journal (in pre-blog days) many years ago where I described one such meeting and the interesting event that happened, with 50 cal bullets flying all over the place. Below is a picture of me, ashore in Beirut with the USMC.

From HistoryNet:
At 6:22 on Sunday morning Oct. 23, 1983, a 19-ton yellow Mercedes stake-bed truck entered a public parking lot at the heart of Beirut International Airport. The lot was adjacent to the headquarters of the U.S. 8th Marine Regiment’s 1st Battalion, where some 350 American soldiers lay asleep in a four-story concrete aviation administration building that had been successively occupied by various combatants in the ongoing Lebanese Civil War. Battalion Landing Team 1/8 was the ground element of the 1,800-man 24th Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU), which had deployed to Lebanon a year earlier as part of a multinational peacekeeping force also comprising French, Italian and British troops. Its mission was to facilitate the withdrawal of foreign fighters from Lebanon and help restore the sovereignty of its government at a time when sectarian violence had riven the Mediterranean nation.
... Marine sentries initially paid little attention to the Mercedes truck. Heavy vehicles were a common sight at the airport, and in fact the BLT was expecting one that day with a water delivery. The truck circled the parking lot, then picked up speed as it traveled parallel to a line of concertina wire protecting the south end of the Marine compound. Suddenly, the vehicle veered left, plowed through the 5-foot-high wire barrier and rumbled between two guard posts.
By then it was obvious the driver of the truck—a bearded man with black hair—had hostile intentions, but there was no way to stop him. The Marines were operating under peacetime rules of engagement, and their weapons were not loaded. Lance Corporal Eddie DiFranco, manning the sentry post on the driver’s side of the truck, soon guessed the driver’s horrifying purpose. “He looked right at me…smiled, that’s it,” DiFranco later recalled. “Soon as I saw [the truck] over here, I knew what was going to happen.” By the time he managed to slap a magazine into his M16 and chamber a round, the truck had roared through an open vehicle gate, rumbled past a long steel pipe barrier, threaded between two other pipes and was closing on the BLT barracks.
Sergeant of the guard Stephen Russell was alone at his sandbag-and-plywood post at the front of the building but facing inside. Hearing a revving engine, he turned to see the Mercedes truck barreling straight toward him. He instinctively bolted through the lobby toward the building’s rear entrance, repeatedly yelling, “Hit the deck! Hit the deck!” It was futile gesture, given that nearly everyone was still asleep. As Russell dashed out the rear entrance, he looked over his shoulder and saw the truck slam through his post, smash through the entrance and come to a halt in the midst of the lobby. After an ominous pause of a second or two, the truck erupted in a massive explosion—so powerful that it lifted the building in the air, shearing off its steel-reinforced concrete support columns (each 15 feet in circumference) and collapsing the structure. Crushed to death within the resulting mountain of rubble were 241 U.S. military personnel—220 Marines, 18 Navy sailors and three Army soldiers. More than 100 others were injured. It was worst single-day death toll for the Marines since the World War II Battle of Iwo Jima.
Aboard USS Virginia, the ship's crew went into action, and within minutes our helo was airborne, carrying our ship's doctor and his Navy corpsmen to help with the wounded Marines. Minutes later the helo came back, looking for people and equipment to help assist with digging out the people from the collapsed building. Because my division was the only one that had an Arabic linguist, they came to us to see if he (Sgt. Bobby Jack Irvin, an amazing linguist and as far as I know the only Marine ever to qualify for the Enlisted Surface Warfare pin) could go ashore to help facilitate our doctor's mission, as he had radio'd that several Lebanese doctors had already come up to help him, and he might need language help.

Irvin and I had been ashore the day before (that's him in the photo a few paragraphs above - Irvin is to my left and to my right is Warrant Officer Carnes), but because of our shipboard mission, I felt that he could really help more by staying on the ship and doing what he did best.

Later on, they asked for volunteers to help ashore, and together with some other crew members, we headed to Beirut - other than Irvin, I was the only person on the ship who routinely flew back and forth between Beirut and the ship, and thus I wanted to ensure that I was part of the volunteer crew.
When we arrived at the airport, it was essentially controlled chaos, and dozens of bodies were already being tended to, and our ship's helo - along with others - began taking the wounded to a hospital in Sidon. There were also plenty of black body bags already filled.

With our doctor frenetically working to triage the wounded Marines, and since most Lebanese doctors actually spoke English, after donating blood, I left the medical area and began to help with the digging operations.

This story is not about that part, which was brutal and heart-breaking. This story is about the flag that I found in the rubble.

My American flag.

At the time, it seemed like a natural thing to "rescue" it from the rubble. I brought it back to the ship, where it flew often, as our mission shifted from routine patrol to Naval Gunfire Support (NGFS). When I left the ship, it was given to me, along with a ship's plaque. When I retired from the Navy two decades ago, I used it as my retirement flag and it was presented to me again, after flying over the Capitol - I never put it in a shadow box, as is the custom, but kept it flying every once in a while, as a flag deserves to do.

One day, hopefully I will donate it to some museum, along with its history and story.