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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    On the "Beautiful Ohio" at New Albany, Indiana, opposite Louisville, Kentucky
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    Default River Ramblings Retrospect

    "The River as Muse", the second offering in the "River Ramblings" program series at the Howard Steamboat Museum occurred last Saturday evening. Despite the wacky weather of sleet, huge snowflakes and then heavy rain, an appreciative audience of 48 filled the ornate moorish music room of the mansion. Capt. Bill Ray, equally at home at the Belle's big oak pilotwheel or behind a fiddle and banjo, kept the audience entertained in his inimitable style. A poignant moment in his concert came when he sang and played John Hartford's "Delta Queen Waltz" and dedicated it to the memory of Ann Zeiger, who departed from our midst on February 13th. One of the DQ's most devoted admirers, Ann would have loved Bill's kind and appropriate gesture -- and I could just hear her giggling.

    After an intermission, during which I served homemade cookies and warm apple cider in the museum dining room while Yvonne opened the gift shop, Tony Ellis and wife Louise Adkins presented the second part of the program. They have a very impressive musical pedigree, having played Carnegie Hall and all over the world! Beautiful music beautifully played on banjo and reed organ -- and a well deserved standing ovation brought forth an encore! They have a number of CD's, also available on their website www.tonyellisbanjo.com. One of my favorites, of course, was their "Becky Thatcher Waltz", dedicated to the former steamer MISSISSIPPI, which was renamed BECKY THATCHER in 1966 at St. Louis and has been at Marietta since 1975. As I stood at the front door to bid farewell to our guests, many of whom told me they were first time visitors, I heard nothing but compliments and the hope that we would offer a program like this again. I always enjoy hosting nighttime events, as the mansion takes on an entirely different look, with the fancy chandeliers glittering, etc. And those talented musicians certainly "lit up" the stately house with delightful music on Saturday night!

    After all of our guests had departed into the rainy night, Yvonne and I took down all the folding chairs, cleaned up the dining room and managed to get the HEAVY Steinway piano back into place. It was discovered that the roof in the den, where we had moved the sofa and some of the other music room furniture for the concert, was LEAKING! Running an old house museum is NEVER dull!

    Don't forget that the annual spring festival (A Victorian Chautauqua) will take place during the weekend of May 19th and 20th. The theme this year is "The 1937 Flood Remembered". The next program in my "River Ramblings" series is on the calendar for Saturday, August 25th when our own Pat Carr will present "Footlights Afloat", relating her experiences of living and working aboard the SHOWBOAT MAJESTIC while a student at Hiram College. More details will be forthcoming on the museum website at www.steamboatmuseum.org. Y'all come!

    Curator Keith
    Last edited by Keith Norrington; 03-06-2007 at 11:17 AM.

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