We came to work on the Monday after Thanksgiving realizing that we wanted to add a fiction imprint to McElfresh Map Company. The name Tammy Norie Press didn’t have to be discussed. The Tammy Norie was my father-in-law’s forty-foot sail boat. She was beautiful—Honduran mahogany construction with teak decks culled from a British World War II cruiser. She was majestic—dark blue topsides, a handsome bowsprit, brass portholes and brass ventilators. Under full sail her distinctive beauty came alive with her ketch-rigged reddish sails.
My husband, a cartographer, prefers the land. But the Tammy Norie loomed large in his life. The boat was built in England and had to make its way to the US. He, his sister, their parents and a crewman, who later became his brother-in-law sailed the boat from Wisstock’s Boatyard in Woodbridge, Suffolk, in England to Madeira crossing the Atlantic in the route of the trade winds (the same route as Columbus) to Bermuda and then up to Essex, Connecticut. In the summer of Woodstock, as the rest of us were watching the first man walk on the moon they were watching the sun—his father relied entirely on celestial navigation.
The trip was successful, after fifty-five days at sea the stunning Tammy Norie, with her crew of five, gracefully sailed into Essex Harbor and remained part of the family for twenty some years.
The name Tammy Norie Press was a given….