Model Boats Come Alive At Biloxi Exhibit

Charles Robin Jr. views his passion for building model boats, as a hobby and a historic responsibility.

"I was a shrimper for about 60 years and I got off the big boat and I got onto doing these models cause when my family passed away I said we've got to have somebody to represent our ancestors," says Robin.

"I said I've got to do something so I started building the old boats they used to use," he added.

Boats that just like his models, we're built by hand and by family.

"Daddy and Grandpa they were all boats builders and house builders. At that time you had to be a little bit of everything and watching them do it and helping them, that's how I come to know how to build the boats that I build today," Robin said.

Robin and his small fleet are part of the 16th Annual Gulf States Model Boat Exhibit.

Many of his boats are replicas of the eigt full size boats he himself built in his younger years, like the beautiful 52 foot long 20 foot wide Ellie Margaret.

"There's a real Ellie Margaret sitting out there," says the former Captain.

"I had to get off the boat because I got sick and then I got off the boat, so I gave it to my son. I said just keep that boat and take care of it boy. Keep it in the family you know, because there ain't going to be many like that no more," Robin said.

Charles hopes to keep the model building craft in the family as well.

"I got two grand kids that might take after me, carving you know. And I said don't let it die. Keep it going, because I said you ought to be proud of it you know, of what your ancestors did for you," he said.

For Charles there's no better way to honor that great legacy than in this small way.