Conny’s Melville Connection

Conny's Melville Connection

The Oct. 1 Travel section featured a fine article about the appropriately called "Melville Triangle," titled "Finding 'Moby-Dick's Author In Mystic, Pittsfield, New Bedford."

A visit to those three towns would indeed make a worthwhile trip. Not far outside of the triangle that these points mark, however, is another place not mentioned that should be of interest to those interested in "Moby-Dick" and whaling: West Hartford's very own Conny, a life-sized concrete model of a sperm whale on the grounds of the Children's Museum.

Conny was constructed in 1976 by the Connecticut Cetacean Society (now Cetacean Society International), then under the enthusiastic leadership of Robbins Barstow and Mystic Seaport chantey man extraordinaire Don Sineti. A fully volunteer effort, the whale was constructed from donated material. Some 75 volunteers worked around the clock for three days in the final push to construct the whale model where it still stands today. Concurrently, the society successfully lobbied the Connecticut legislature to name the whale as the official state mammal.

It is expected that Connie will follow the Children's Museum to its new home sometime in the near future. CSI takes great pride in our role in Conny's creation and hopes that her continued presence will spark interest in whales as fascinating creatures and in their significant role in Connecticut and New England history.

As the late Robbins Barstow put it, Conny reminds folks that "whales are still hunted and being killed and ... we must be reminded that the goal to 'save the whales' is as important today as 40 years ago."

George A. Upton, Glastonbury

The writer is secretary of the Cetacean Society International.

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