My real relationship with Alan didn't start until I turned 13 and was old enough to join Alan's sea scout ship. Why Alan wanted to be a scout leader, I'll never figure out. Unlike my experience in the boy scouts where you worked to advance from tinderfoot to second class, to first class and so on, in Alan's troop there was no advancement. Everyone was equal rank, this also meant there wasn't much direction; but we had fun. We went on many trips....we canoed on the Kentucky River to find the wreck of the SEA LION an early ABL steam sternwheel towboat. We found the wreck (a bunch of rotting hull timbers and rusty bolts), for years I had a bolt from the SEA LION. We canoed the White Water Canal, before it became the tourist attraction it is today; we had to steer around dead chickens and piles of garbage. The most memorable part of that trip was after arriving at the canal, we went into town to get something to eat and the only place that was open was a bar, pool hall, house of women with negotiable morals; quite an experience for a 14 yr. old. Unfortunately the sea scout ship didn't last too long; Alan got into a disagreement with the powers that be at scout headquarters, he called one of them "a f--king genious", and that was the end of Alan's scout leadership.
It was while I was in the sea scouts that Alan became the first president of the Howard National Steamboat Museum. The museum wasn't open yet when Alan became president, it was still basically the Howard's home. So Alan with a supply of free labor, his scouts, set about turning the Howard home into a steamboat museum. We would meet every Saturday at museum to tote display cases, move furniture, wash windows, set up exhibits, whatever it took to get the museum ready for its grand opening in May of 1958. This was my first experience of what would become a life long affiliation with the Howard Museum. Most importantly was I got to know Loretta Howard.