Lots of men live with the challenge of carrying on their family’s legacy. Tony Gregory’s just weighs 27,000 tons, is nearly two football fields long and could — but probably won’t — sink into Galveston Bay on Wednesday.
Gregory, president of the Battleship Texas Foundation, will watch from land as the warship his grandfather helped the state acquire, and where generations of schoolchildren have learned a little about the sea, military service and Texas history, eases back into the deep.
What happens after that is what Gregory has spent three years planning with an army of assistants, advocates, volunteers and veterans. Either the only dreadnought battleship still in existence will creak and crack as tugboat chains tighten, her stern slides across some silt, her riveted hull holds true and the big girl leaves La Porte in her wake; or somewhere along 40 miles of Texas coast the Battleship Texas will list into the brackish waters and become a lost relic.