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Old 02-05-2016, 09:13 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.
Posts: 1,584

*Memories of artist/musician Dorthea Frye*
Steamboating colleagues:
Judy, thanks for jolting me with '16 years ago,' memories of our beloved Dorthea Frye. Has it really been that long ago? Remember that bitterly cold, frosty day with brilliant winter sun for her funeral. Dorthea always had a good listening ear for those of us with 'mother issues' as you wisely said. And what an accomplished steambot artist she was--among many other talents and interests. Capt. Doc Hawley, whom Dorothea did a great painting of the AMERICA, said "When you look at a Dorthea Frye steamboat painting you just don't look 'at it,' you can actually see IN to it. She could paint steamboat smoke stacks that actually look round," meaning the way she could paint a boat showing decks, engine and boiler spaces in near 3-D reality with micro scale figures. Dorthea during W.W. II days was a true 'Rosie the riveter' trained in aircraft assembly for the war at the huge 'Wright's Plant' later moving on as an inspector of aircraft assembly--no small accomplishment in those days.

I first met Dorthea, Roscoe, Mickey, Larry/Ethel Walker, Bill/Darlene Judd at the then SSHSA [Steamship Historical Society] meetings here at the Cincinnati Public Library. And what a great group that was including Bob McCann, now and then Letha C. Greene, Capt. Jesse Hughes et. al. This in/around 1956 +. Mickey attended in time Hughes High School here in Clifton, I attended Withrow High School in Hyde Park with us bonding as real river buddies. The Frye home on Probasco Ave. in Clifton a virtual 'clearing house' for steamboat/river and general friends. Roscoe for years worked the night shift as a high crane operator for, I 'think,' ALLIS CHALMERS or AMERICAN TOOL WORKS. A party on Probasco always meant lots of music, river talk. Mickey and I often in those 1950s years took 'hops' on the DELTA QUEEN when she pulled out being permitted to ride the boat down to the lock and dam. Jim Reising on the money about those DQ Pittsburgh trips then for 10 days R/T in Cincinnati. Mickey and wife Linda moved back to Florida from Probasco Ave. the other year with their Christmas card the first always received here the first of December. Judy pulled togeher one touching memorial service in Marietta, OH that September with a fine art display, program, music with Keith Norrington playing the pipe organ and memories from some of us. This over some negative comments heard in the Lafayette Hotel. Thanks, Judy for what you did in her memory. Indeed, she a grand original.

Dorthea a great fan not only of the DELTA QUEEN but of the then AVALON/BELLE OF LOUISVILLE, NATCHEZ, PRESIDENT etc. One time on the AVALON here in town, Doc Hawley was aboard. Dorthea and all down on the boat. There was a deck hatch open with a ladder going down. Dorthea asked what it was with Doc telling her. I 'thought' it was where they stored all the bottled beer. "Here, hold this," Dorthea said whipping the stole off her shoulders and promptly climbed down inside to have a look. When she wanted to see something she wanted to see all outside and in--with it showing in her paintings. When I was much older, Dorthea would look at me with a little wry smile at parties and say, "Dale, does your mother know you're being a bad little boy?" We love you Dorthea.

R. Dale Flick
Old coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati
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