OWLS HEAD, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- One of Maine's most popular places to visit is the Owls Head Transportation museum, a must-see for people who love old cars or airplanes, and the memories they bring to life. Now the man who has led the museum's growth for the last 36 years is getting ready to retire...sort of.
Charlie Chiarchiaro came to the museum 36 years ago, shortly after it started. He's the only executive director it's ever had. Over those years the museum has grown into a highly respected institution...which now hosts 14 major events each year, has 3,000 members around the world., a one and a half million dollar budget and more than 50 thousand visitors so far this year. In short, a success.
"I would not be retiring as executive director unless I felt the museum was in good condition, not just debt free but people rich as far as resources," says Chirachiaro.
He points with pride to the volunteers. There are more than 200 of them, doing everything from tours to rebuilding cars and planes.
At last weekend's annual auction he bought a 1931 LaSalle -- a car he'd been watching and wanting for more than twenty years.
Chirachiaro loves the feel of the old LaSalle, and the fact that after eighty years it's still solid and strong. He hopes to give it to his grandson to drive one day. Kind of like the museum itself, and the story it tells about where we've been and where we may be going.