Wicomico resident a man of many talents

by Sherry Hamilton - Posted on Aug 13, 2014 - 01:09 PM

Photo: Island resident Skip Bloxom is spending his retirement pursuing hobbies and activities he enjoys. Here he is shown with one of the more than 100 model boats he has built, many of which are replicas of actual boats. Below, a close-up of the

Island resident Skip Bloxom is spending his retirement pursuing hobbies and activities he enjoys. Here he is shown with one of the more than 100 model boats he has built, many of which are replicas of actual boats. Below, a close-up of the "Chesapeake," which he built for Ray McElligott of Hayes. Photos by Sherry Hamilton

Photo:
Robert “Skip” Bloxom of Wicomico retired 11 years ago from his job at Anheuser-Busch Corporation, but he’s not spending his time sitting on the sofa watching television.

Instead, Bloxom can usually be found in the barn on his Carmines Island property, helping a friend with some boat repair or other, building a model of a workboat, restoring an old car to pristine condition, or even constructing a full-size skiff. For the past five years, Bloxom has been oystering regularly, and in his spare time, he likes to go deep-sea fishing. When he has a chance, he intends to go deer hunting once again.

“I’m not killing myself,” said Bloxom, “but I’m working on things I like to do.”

With two projects in the works at the moment, Bloxom, 70, would appear to have plenty of things to do. He is finishing a replica of the “Chesapeake,” a workboat belonging to Ray McElligott of Hayes. He already finished one replica and turned it over to McElligott, but said he likes to have two of each model he builds—one to sell or give away and one to keep. Because of the time it takes for the glue to dry, he said, he can make two models in about the same time it takes him to make one.

Photo: One of Skip Bloxom’s many hobbies is restoring antique and vintage cars, such as this 1951 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe. Photo by Sherry Hamilton

One of Skip Bloxom’s many hobbies is restoring antique and vintage cars, such as this 1951 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe. Photo by Sherry Hamilton

Before he began making the models, Bloxom helped McElligott build a new cabin on his full-size workboat. He said that Chesapeake Bay boats are his favorites to work on.

A model of a sport fisherman’s boat, the “High Return,” stands next to the “Chesapeake,” waiting for Bloxom to have the time to finish it. That model was built for Captain David Swain of Oregon Inlet. Bloxom has completed over 100 model boats over the years, most of them replicas of full-size boats, and he’s able to rattle off many of their names and the names of their owners off the top of his head.

Bloxom is also restoring a 1970 Chevy El Camino—for the second time. A Gloucester resident since 1988, Bloxom said he had just finished restoring the El Camino after his 2003 retirement, when Hurricane Isabel hit. The heating system under his house was destroyed and he had 30 inches of water in his garage, ruining the restoration job on the car.