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Capt. Tony Harrison

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Old 12-27-2007, 11:27 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: I presenbtly live in Covington , LA.
Posts: 673
Default Tony Harrison - The " Right Stuff "

I too was certainly saddened to hear of the passing of Tony Harrison . I cannot say that I knew him that well nor did I work with him that long , but I did know him well enough to know that he certainly did have the " Right Stuff " , that many with a superior licence did not have . I have always been of the opinion that you really cannot judge someone by the CG license he or her may hold but much more importantly , whom would you want to be with in a time of a genuine crisis , which did happen quite frequently during those early days on the Mississippi Queen . Tony Harrison certainly did have the " Right Stuff " to be the river - man that many others only dream of !
Smoothe Sailing !
Ted Davison
Originally Posted by Shipyard Sam View Post
The sad news reached the RH Shipyard, just as the Christmas party was getting into full swing that Captain TONY HARRISON died earlier this month, and it put a damper on our holiday mood.

Tony and I met through his late brother, Jim Harrison, when the "Tee" was unemployed and looking for any sort of work. That was just after Cappy Lawson Hamilton hired me to run the P. A. DENNY, but there wasn't a slot for him on deck as we had such notables as Nelson Jones, Bill Barr, and Tom Cook were filling the station bill during their summer break from college. So I sent Tony over to the Cincinnati Landing and told him to look up Captain Gabe who would surely give him a job if he had an opening; he did and Tony was hired on the DELTA QUEEN.

Tony asked, before he went over to see Gabe, that if an opening occurred on the PAD, to let him know, especially in September when the school boys returned to school. Right before the 1976 Sternwheel Regatta, "T" was sent a postcard saying he'd be hired if he was still interested in the DENNY job, and I received a call from him phoning from the Under-the-Hill Saloon in Natchez. Tony came to Charleston for the festive week, was impressed, and stayed.

After he "sat" for his 100 Ton Master's ticket, in the Fall of 1977, I presented him the command of the DENNY as a Christmas gift while celebrating aboard the sternwheeler that holiday season. Tony was BB Riverboat's first Captain when he commanded the BETTY BLAKE, but T's specialty was sternwheelers, and he was right at home on the MARK TWAIN when BB acquired that cute little paddlewheeler; especially-so as Tony had a strong resemblance to a young Mark Twain, the man.

Captain Tony had some sad breaks, but when he was at his best, he was terrific. T. could cook like a pro, and he rustled up some tasty grub over open fires on several riverbanks when we were tramping the DENNY. Tony was a fine boatman and as good a sternwheel boat handler as there was on river for his age and experience. I will surely miss him.
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