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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    I presenbtly live in Covington , LA.

    Default A Sentimental Journey !

    Greetings From New Orleans ,
    Last week I flew to St. Louis to buy a car of all things and although I did not think or realize it at first but the trip home became both a memorable and sentimental journey for me as I made my way back . I intentionally routed my way home through Memphis , Helena , Vicksburg and then Natchez for a reason and I was not disappointed . When I reached Memphis , I spent the night in the famous Peabody Hotel , made a sacred pilgrimage to Beal Street , came back to watch the New Orleans , Saints decimate the Arizona , Cardinals in the bar , only to break away long enough to witness the Peabody Ducks exit the fountain and lobby for their roof top nesting place . The next morning I made it down to Mud Island where we use to land the Delta Queen and to take in the sights there as well . After seeing what I remembered most in Memphis I left for Helena , Arkansa where I attended the National River Academy back in the mid 70's . Unfortunately the river academy is gone but not the memories and great times that I and others experienced while there . Bon fires on the levee , cruising Cherry Street , and other " activities " that I cannot mention here inorder to protect the guilty ! That evening I took off for Vicksburg and the entire ride down through the Mississippi delta brought back the good times I experienced both on and off a river boat and the good times that were experienced at the river academy . When I arrived in Vicksburg , I spent the night at the Hampton Inn , on Clay Street and directly accross form the Vicksburg Military Park , which also has on display the remains of both the Steamer Sprague and the Union Ironclad Gunboat , Cairo . The ride through the park was very sobering as expected and to view the graves , statues and monuments of both Union and Confederate soldiers that gave their lives for this cause laid heavy on my heart . There was really very little to see of the Steamer Sprague but the Cairo exhibit was very impressive . Visitors to the exhibit were allowed to walk through the vessel and it was truly amazeing how well the gunboat was reconstructed . Next stop was the Vicksburg waterfront on the Yazoo River and one new addition that is still under construction is the Corps Of Engineers , diesel towboat , Mississippi . She is out of the water , on the shore and blocked up with a temporary fense aroud her and I was told that she has been turned into a museum which will open this coming April . Its my understanding that this Mississippi is the fourth , Corps Of Engineers , Mississippi and the fifth Mississippi is in Memphis . Also , Mississippi ( 5 ) , is larger , has three engines , and will accomodate more passengers and vip's than Mississipp ( 4 ) did . Another interesting point concerning Mississipp ( 5 ) is that my good friend and long time buddy , Capt. Finley Frasier is now one of the two pilots which will operate her during the 2010' inspection season . When I was working on the steamboats , Vicksburg was always a " good time " for the officiers and crew of these boats and we experienced the priviliage of everything from walking the decks of the Steamer Sprague to having these Lebanese sister , four in number to come to the boats and always show us a good time while in the fair city of Vicksburg ! My next stop on my way home to New Orleans was Natchez , where I lived for about four years during my early steamboat days . I stayed at the Eola Hotel , had a great view of the city and part of the river and just had a good time remenising of my " adventures " in Natchez . I paid " tribute " to the Natchez Under The Hill Bar , where the likes of Capt. Howard Tate spent much of his " Quality " time there and many of his steamboat models still to this day sit above the bar .
    The hardest part of the trip was to leave Natchez and my past life and experiences in these towns but the memories are as real and and vivid as when I and others made and experienced both the good and bad times that made these same memories so very real !
    Smooth Sailing !
    Ted Davisson
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