Red Alexander

Red Alexander: Shipwright and Folk Artist is a delightful 30 minute visit with 80 year old Robert “Red” Alexander. Red’s livelong passion is ship building (both model and real). By the age of 10 he had discovered the Oakland waterfront and was making detailed wood models of the ships he saw there. In 1934 he joined the Shipwrights, Joiners, and Boat Builders Union – Local 1149, and he worked for the next 46 years as a boat builder, shipwright and dock master. As the Oakland estuary changed from a shallow backwater to a modern harbor, many of the traditional aspects of ship building were lost, but with his handmade models, Red remained true to his beloved wooden boats and ships. Today his kitchen is a studio where he makes intricate models of all types of working ships and boats – tugs, scows, liners, container ships. This moving portrayal of a true folk artist and natural born storyteller is woven through with music and tales of his days as a shipwright as Red visits with folklorist and fellow union member, Archie Green. 30 minutes, 1998.

DVD $20 Home use ONLY – please contact us for other uses