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Sandbars , Steamboats & Fond Memories

 
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Old 09-16-2007, 03:57 AM
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: I presenbtly live in Covington , LA.
Posts: 673
Default Sandbars , Steamboats & Fond Memories

Greetings From New Orleans ,
It never seems to fail that this time of year , when the river is low and the sandbars start makeing their persence known and I see the Delta Queen go by , certain fond memories from long ago , conjour up and bring a smile to my face . It was on one cold Christmas Eve night , when I was drafted into running Relief-Captain on the boat and we were on our way to Natchez , when I figured , what the H _ _ L , why not , so we made an unscheduled stop . This was certainly no ordinary stop , but a stop that was a Christmas present for the crew , whom were at work , on a boat , far away from home and family on Christmas Eve . In those early days of my career on the river , Captains and Pilots not schedules and bean counters ran the boat and a Captain named Wagner taught me that you should expect much from a steamboat crew but you should also give much more to that same steamboat crew . So , I figured it was long over due for this crew to be shown a little appreciation for their hard work and sacrifices . So , without checking with the office or even sending a fax , we nosed the boat into the sandy beach of Profit Island and experienced a Christmas Eve party that in all likelyhood has not been equaled to this day . We had a bonfire that I am sure could be seen all the way to Baton Rouge , we had music that I am sure could be heard well into the next parish , we had gourmet " steamboat food " that was " liberated " from the passenger galley , we had drinks , we had liquor and we had the boat's maids make their presence known in a fashion that only young and unattached ladies can do, but best of all we had each other on this cold Christmas Eve night out on a Mississippi River sandbar . Well , as for me , I certainly had to make my presence known as well by escouting this young Jewish lady from New York , whom had never been on a Mississippi River steamer , whom had never been on a Mississippi River sandbar and certainly whom had never celebrated Christmas as well . Well , to say the least , that all changed on that very special night . I remember just looking at the boat as she was all dressed up for Christmas , I remember hearing the crew laugh and sing along with an old Led Zepplin song , I remember the stars just jumping out of the sky above us , and I remember just wondering if it could just ever be any better than this ? Now , every so often , when I am on a ship at the Exxon Refinery in Baton Rouge , I will hear on my radio the south bound towboats checking for traffic at Profit Island and I think of that cold Christmas Eve night on the Delta Queen as she was nosed into the beach on Profit Island . I also wonder if my Jewish friend from New York has ever celebrated Christmas again and if she remembers and also has a fond memorie of a sandbar and a river steamer on a very special special cold Christmas Eve night ??
Smoothe Sailing !
Ted Davisson
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