Texas Surf Museum China Beach Exhibit, Scheduled to run through 2020.
The Texas Surf Museum, a longtime fixture in downtown Corpus Christi, officially opened the China Beach exhibit at their site on October 4, 2019. CSM attendees Dale Smith, Dave Carroll, and Jane Schmauss were on hand to congratulate the staff and crew on a very productive museum-to-museum cooperative effort.
Dale Smith and a guest swap stories at the grand opening.
“China Beach: Surfers during the Vietnam War and the Healing Power of Surfing,” which had run for nearly two years at CSM, had been carefully packed up, loaded onto a truck, and transported to Corpus Christi back in February. All the panels and the signature surf clubhouse replica had to be re-configured to fit in TSM’s long, narrow floor space. The exhibit also includes a number of filmed interviews with veterans and additional memorabilia on display.
“Donut Dolly,” the Red Cross volunteer, made the trip to Texas and has a place of honor next to an army jeep sporting a “SURF CC” license plate.
Many thanks to our hosts TSM president Brad Lomax, staff members Keith Bass, Kyla Griffin, Gavin Snider, and Emily Veazey for treating us to Texas hospitality at its best!
A powerful and heartfelt display of bright silver dog tags anchors one end of the exhibit. The tags were freshly minted to honor over 3400 Texans who lost their lives in Vietnam. This project was achieved with the help of the Vietnam Center and Archive at Texas Tech University.
Surf legend Robert August, Jane Schmauss, and longtime Texas surfer/collector Pat Magee were honored to be a part of TSM’s Surftoberfest activities.
CSM’s Dave Carroll, who built the model of the China Beach Surf Club, met with Vietnam veteran, helicopter pilot Robert Kunicki. Kunicki gave the exhibit a hearty thumbs up!
Table display honoring those veterans who were prisoners of war or had gone missing in action.