A collection of blogs and musings from the people that work at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum - Florida's Finest Lightstation.

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Introducing a Lightkeeper

Posted by: Rick Cain in From the Lens Room

It occurs to me that I should introduce myself prior to doing any blogging. I am the operations director here at the lighthouse. I am 49 years old, have a wife and two (almost-out-of- the-house) teen-age kids. I have been doing this basic job under different titles for the past five or so years. The museum just keeps adding to the list of things that I have to do so that I don’t get bored. The interesting part is that we are also an active aid to navigation for the U.S. Coast Guard. That means that our big light is not just on for show. It actually functions as a working lighthouse…cool! So that is the other part of my job; making sure the light stays on at night. That makes me a lighthouse keeper as well as a museum director… mondo cool!

I grew up in tourism in Branson, Missouri, lived a short time in California working for Universal Studios, and then moved back to the Midwest and finished College (B.A. in Philosophy with a minor in psychology). I spent the next 20 years working in medicine (my wife and I are both Registered Nurses). When I came here (moved from Wisconsin) I wanted to take a break from medicine and so looked for a summer job giving tours (like I did in Branson and L.A.). I figured I would get a real job at the end of the summer. I was hired by the lighthouse and never left.

Being a museum director is not a walk in the park. It is challenging and there is always work to do. I have grown personally since coming here and they have taught me a lot. The team I work with are talented professionals and we all have this job of teaching and preserving history which is rewarding, especially working with kids. But the big payoff of this job? When I get stressed at my desk, I can go climb up to the deck of the tower, smell the salt air, and have a 25-mile view of the ocean. Not too many jobs where you can do that; keeps me in perspective…very therapeutic… I think I’ll stay.


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