Sgt. Maj. C. R. (Bobby) Kotlowski, USMC (Ret.) has been named interim curator of the Veterans History Museum of the Carolinas. Emmett Casciato, museum founder and curator, is stepping away from his museum duties until after the November election, as he runs for the office of Transylvania Board of Commissioners.
Asked for details of his work on the Yorktown, Kotlowski said, “I created several exhibits on the ship: the wardroom, officers’ mess, snack bar, sailors’ gift shop, and the galley and scullery. I restored these rooms to their 1968 configurations (before the ship was decommissioned). I handled each year’s 4th of July event, which drew approximately 28,000 people. Pre-pandemic, we handled around 350 events each year, including corporate events, retirements, and weddings, as well as educational/historical events, school groups, and Scout camps.”
“And the fact that people bring personal items of their family members—you do not see that very often in larger museums. People have brought in some really unique things. It’s highly unusual to have the quality of artifacts being brought here. Our displays are more on a personal level, each one part of a story of an individual. That’s what makes this place unique. Larger museums have to ‘speak’ in generalities about historical events.
“This museum is personal. That’s the first thing I noticed. There’s a feeling of connection with the town and the county. This community has a sense of ownership of this place. I’ve enjoyed every minute of volunteering here.