Visitors, at left, board the battleship Iowa at the Port of Richmond recently. The vessel is being prepared for its journey to Los Angeles, where it will be a floating museum. (Don Bartletti, Los Angeles Times / May 11, 2012)
The Iowa's ultimate destination is San Pedro, where on July 7 it will open to the public for tours and remain as a central attraction on the community's waterfront.
"In the last century, this was battleship country," said Robert Kent, director of the Pacific Battleship Center, the group that campaigned to win the Iowa for Los Angeles. "All of our battleships called it home in the period from 1920 to 1940, when Franklin D. Roosevelt sent them to Pearl Harbor to put pressure on the Japanese."
Actually, the Pacific Fleet was (and is) stationed from Bremerton WA to San Diego, including a former major presence at Long Beach, slightly south of "Pipas" as San Pedro is known to Angelenos. The gag here is that Long Beach real estate ads were so plentiful in Iowa and caused so many Iowans to move there that it was known as "Iowa By The Sea".
Note to the museum's curator and management: I know you will want to make a big splash with your new toy, but for God's sake point those popguns seaward
before you do this!
Even if you follow naval tradition and don't hit a damn thing, you could burn Southern California down to its fuckin' socks! Heh.
Ship museums are a good thing. Fair winds and following seas to all concerned with this.