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Phil Petersen on: His Family of Seafarers
Phil Petersen Q: Tell me about your family being seafarers and being a kid wanting to listen into ships and that being part of the early part of wireless for you?

PP: We looked up the family tree and we found out all my ancestors were building in ships in Norway. They built more ships in that town where they came from in Norway than they did anywhere in the world--tall ships. And they were noted for that and now when they got into steel, other people are doing it but that background I think kind of rubbed off on me a little bit 'cause my father was in an incident in World War I where the German submarine come up and sank his ship off of Cape Cod in 1917. I had a grandfather who left New York with a load of materials for Queens Town Island, left New York in the fall during the hurricane seasons and he never got to Europe and my father lost his father when he was about six years old and I think for that reason my father put a widow's walk on top of our house or had the house built with a widow's walk. From that widow's walk you could look in three directions on Staten Island and see the water to the south, to the east and to the west. And I used to take trips with him on the ship. I think they really were trying to get me to go to sea too but wireless had more of a fascination for me on things and in fact, I used to talk to my brother, who was captain of a ship, too, from my ham rig at home which was done once in a while through him and at sea.



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