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Tom Schiffer 05-21-2006 05:31 PM

Howard Steamboat Museum
Cap'n Walnut hove off to the Howard Museum do yesterday with Ms Carol Schiffer and Ms Nan Freking. They found the weather delightful and the grounds filled with plants, booths, displays reinactments and such...Ted G [I][/I]was there with his monkey, saw Kenny Howe, Keith Norrington, Bill Judd & Mrs., Jim Reising and others too numerous to name...Ted issued a certificate to the Cap'n certifying that he would not play Marchin' thru Georgia on any organ, any time, any place. I think that he is safe in that pledge. Missing were any number who were paying homage to the BELLE on board either as crew or pax. The Community Band was excellent and when they deigned to play Rossini and Donezetti, the day was complete. If you could keep both feet on the floor during the "BARBER", you are likely over due at the undertakers! Thus sayeth the good Cap'n.

Keith Norrington 05-22-2006 08:23 AM

The 14th annual Howard Museum festival is now history! We were blessed to have beautiful weather both days and, although the crowds weren't as large as last year, a good time seemed to be had by all. Nearly 600 people went through the museum each day. Many attendees come for the booths, food and entertainment and don't come into the house, so I haven't heard the final tally on gate admissions. Quite a number of visitors told me that they were "local" and it was their first time to see the museum. Also had some tell me they were doing local events in lieu of driving long distances in the interest of saving expensive gasoline! It was good to see "river people" like Capts. Bill & Darlene Judd, Jo Ann Schoen, Travis Vasconcelos, James Hall, Capt. Don Sanders & son Jonathan, Tom & Carol Schiffer, Jim Reising, Kenny Howe (who has agreed to serve on the museum board) Chuck Parrish and others. The "Women at the Wheel" program (presented several times) under the able direction of Janice Molnar, was a "hit". Well researched vignettes of Capts. Mary Miller, Mary B. Greene, Callie French and Blanche Leathers by costumed re-enactors were very nicely presented and greatly enjoyed by the large audiences. Organ grinder & former DELTA QUEEN purser Ted Guillaum (who graciously donates his time and talent each year) provided lilting melodies and handed out certificates to those who tried their hand at organ grinding. The husband/wife team of John & Gwen Noftsger ("The Ohio River Minstrels") gave a great performance (Gwen also portrayed Capt. Callie French) of river music as did former DQ entertainers Barton and Para. "The Big Muddy String Band" with BELLE OF LOUISVILLE pilot Capt. Bill Ray -- always entertaining and a real crowd pleaser -- performed John Hartford favorites and other toe tappin' tunes under the big tent on Sunday afternoon. Inside the mansion I had the "second deck" all by myself both days. It's always fun to meet and greet the multitude of visitors, but it's exhausting for this ol' curator (who started volunteering at the museum in 1968 at age 14 -- GOOD GRIEF!) to monitor all the rooms and dispense information too! A great need for the festival is MORE VOLUNTEERS! If anyone is so inclined for next year (always the third weekend of May) we would welcome your assistance! Many THANKS to all who attended and to those who helped in ways great and small. A long whistle salute to the museum board members/staff and volunteer committee who work long and hard to make the festival happen. Don't forget our "Paddlin' into the Past" program on Saturday, July 1st at 3:00 PM., featuring a sight and sound program on the history of the steamer IDLEWILD/AVALON presented by steamboat buffs Dave and Jonathan Tschiggfrie of Dubuque, Iowa. Visit the website at [url][/url] for more information!

Ted Guillaum 05-22-2006 09:34 AM

I would like to thank the Howard Steamboat Museum for another successful Chautauqua Festival. As Capín Walnut and Keith said, the weather cooperated for a perfect weekend and it was great to meet up with so many steamboat friends. Yvonne Knight, the staff, and ALL the MANY volunteers that it takes to put on such a successful event deserves a huge amount of praise and support. As Keith said, there is always need for more help. I am always amazed as I stand off to the side doing my organ grinding thing to watch how hard all the volunteers are working to make this event happen. You donít notice it if you are there as a visitor to enjoy the event because they all do their jobs so well. So many things are happening at once, from the people cooking and serving food to coordinating the entertainment, keeping the grounds clean, selling tickets, etc, etc. Never mind all the meetings, planning, and preparations that take place long in advance of this event. It is that kind of dedication that keeps the doors of the Howard Steamboat Museum open for all enjoy. My hat if off to all of you!

R. Dale Flick 05-22-2006 09:45 AM

Hi, Keith:
Many thanks for your interesting report on the steamboat weekend at Louisville. Sorry I missed it but duty called here at home Saturday/Sunday. Shipyard Sam sent news also. These preliminary program announcements you and others post--with the following report--are important on the web. Will be packing for the long 'hegira' to Michigan for the summer on June 8th and...well...600 miles northwest is no small distance. The Howard Museum is a true one-of-a-kind gem in the United States and the work all of you have done over the years is incredible. I'm sure Loretta Howard is looking down bursting with pride at all the work accompished.

R. Dale Flick

R. Dale Flick 05-22-2006 03:29 PM

Dear Ted & gang:
You bet the gang at the Howard Museum work long and hard keeping the mansion and collection in tip top condition. It's a labor of love. They've many great plans at the Howard for the renovation of the enclosed back porch gallery. The museum gift shop is one of the best with books and other fine items to benefit the work there. For those looking to find that 'right' steamboat book, or related publication, it's there.

We talked in the past about the history of the Howard family and mansion. I encourage those interesed to seek a copy of SCENES FROM MEMORY - A Happy Childhood, 1900-1910, by the late Frances Howard Kohlhepp. Incredible insights from her memory and experience living in the mansion. Running of the household, activities at the old yards across the street, the neighborhood, cooking/serving of food, workers, visitors and trips across to Louisville. A real exercise in 'prosetry' if there's such a word. The Howards lived well--very well. Yet, from what Keith, Alan, the late T.J. Smith and others have discussed there was a 'family thing' about it all. Laborers were thought of highly and in times of need there was a helping hand. More than can be said of other 'Gilded Age' enterprises of the era. When you view the wonderful interior work of the mansion you're seeing what a fine 'brag' boat looked like of the era in the wood carvings, panels, furnishings etc.

R. Dale Flick

Keith Baylor 05-22-2006 05:49 PM

Having only Saturday free, I had to make a tough decision. I elected to go to the Kentucky side and engage in the River Life Festival / "Belle" packet trip event. 'Twas a most pleasant day indeed! Captain Bill Ray and cohorts entertained. I did a little business with Captain Alan Bates in order to enrich my literary holdings. Perfessor Travis Vasconcelos delivered an admirable performance on the steam pi-anna as well as running commentary during the short cruise. Having recently taken on fuel, the "Belle" was drawing 5+ feet at the head and found herself stuck on the mud at the Cox Park landing. The crew skillfully worked her off - not unlike an authentic packet boat landing. I heard Captain Don Sanders mentioned on the boat's PA speakers but didn't catch what the remark was about - was he piloting Saturday...?

Sorry to have missed everyone at the Howard, but eagerly looking forward to The Tschiggfrie Talk on 1 July !!!

Don Sanders 05-23-2006 11:18 AM

I was riding, but not guiding. Captain Kevin payed me the time-honored courtesy by inviting me to the Pilothouse for the landing, which I greatly enjoyed and appreciated. There is a new album with over fifty pictures of the boat ride, so far, on [I]Buster and Willie[/I] that I have yet to officially announce until Buster uploads some additional shots from his camera.

Keith Baylor 05-23-2006 04:32 PM

"Belle" Packet Trip
Captain Sanders - sorry I missed you, sir. I hope for better luck another time!

Shipyard Sam 05-25-2006 08:50 AM

BELLE's Cox Park Trip
This will link you up to the pictures of the BELLE OF LOUISVILLE's excursion, landing at Cox Park and picking up "walking freight".


Keith Baylor 05-25-2006 04:32 PM

Packet Trip Pictures
Great pictures!

Chief on this trip was Steve Mattingly. Striker was Tom Coursen. Wayne McDole fired the furnace.

Shipyard Sam 05-25-2006 09:07 PM

Thanks Keith, where do you fit into this BoL picture, so to speak? Captain Mullen has a great boat and the right crew to go along with it. I was itchin' to jump in and help Casey run out the lines.

Keith Baylor 05-26-2006 07:49 AM

My "fit" would best be described, I suppose, as "steamboat engineer wannabe".

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