Gov. Rick Scott poses with veterans at the state Capitol after personally signing cans of soda pop and handing them out to members of the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Gov. Rick Scott and his wife, Ann, are about to have an interesting conversation about where they should place a special gift from the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association.
Right now, they're not exactly on the same page.
Today, the association honored the governor's naval service by presenting him with a model of the ship he served on nearly 40 years ago.
It's a model of the USS Glover. Gov. Scott worked as a radar man on the ship from 1972 to 1974 and he has many memories.
Scott demonstrated his special business acumen as a sailor on the USS Glover. When the ship stopped selling soft drinks, Scott said the Navy let him bring his own cans of soda pop onboard. For the record, Scott sold Pepsi, Coke and 7-Up.
"And so I would go get as much money as we had in the bank. I would go buy all the soft drinks that I could for a cruise and then I would double the price and I made more money selling soft drinks on the ship than I did in getting my pay."
The construction of the model is part of an effort by the Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association to create a Navy warship museum in downtown Jacksonville.
Scott loves the model and says he has the perfect spot for it in his office. But there may be a rub. His wife thinks it should go in the Governor's Mansion.
Asked who would win if the conversation becomes protracted, Gov. Scott laughed and said, "Ann always wins everything."
The association is trying to raise $3 million in the short term for the museum project. The group's president, Daniel Bean, says it would be a great tourist attraction.
"We believe that it'll have about a $3.5 million economic impact, create about 28 jobs and bring about 120,000 visitors to downtown annually. It gives the opportunity for people to sleep onboard, eat onboard and experience a Navy warship."
Bean says the museum will cost around $9 million over the long term.
"The bulk of the money is for a state of the art pier that would survive a 100-year storm. We certainly don't want her going anywhere in a storm. But Jacksonville has a great history of being safe and secure and so hopefully that won't be necessary."
The group is working to bring the USS Charles F. Adams, a former Navy destroyer, to Jacksonville from Philadelphia for the museum.
The Jacksonville Historic Naval Ship Association currently has about 800 members and is looking to add more. For more information, go to www.adams2jax.org.
First Coast News