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Keith Norrington 08-30-2007 07:45 AM

"Miss Helen" Hughes Prater - A Birthday Milestone!
3 Attachment(s)
Just a note that on Monday, September 3rd, "Miss Helen" Hughes Prater will celebrate her [B]95th[/B] birthday! The daughter of Capt. Jesse P. & "Aunt Telia" Hughes and beloved by multitudes on the river, Miss Helen is, and always has been, an inspiration to us all. It has been my privilege to know her since I was a teenager and she has long been a bright light in my life. She has often been compared to the "Energizer Bunny"!

[B]HAPPY BIRTHDAY MISS HELEN! [/B] Many thanks for your love and friendship of over three decades -- and may you keep rolling along like the mighty river you love so much. A long and loud whistle salute to you!

In the first photo, Capt. Jesse is on watch in the pilothouse of the Greene Line steamer GREENDALE, with daughters Lillian (who long was the popular hostess on the GORDON C. GREENE until her untimely death in the late 1930's) and Helen. The second picture was taken by yours truly at the S&D meeting in 1977 and features Capt. Roddy Hammett, Capt. Lexie Palmore, Miss Helen and Ann Zeiger. I snapped the third photo of Miss Helen and daughter Lil Prater Smith aboard the BELLE OF LOUISVILLE as we were en route to Tall Stacks in October, 1992.

Jo Ann Schoen 08-30-2007 09:13 AM

Wonderful photos! HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Helen, from someone who knows she's really Hell-on on wheels!

Ted Guillaum 08-30-2007 10:13 AM

Happy Birthday to the best piano player on the river.You keep on keeping on Ms. "Hot Fingers"!

Mary Sward Charlton 08-30-2007 11:22 AM

Miss Helen, Happy Birthday, and many more! Mary Charlton

inactive user 02 08-30-2007 11:34 AM

A very happy birthday and all the trimmings that go with it, Mom! Miss Helen, I am proud to know you and regret I will not be with you at S&D this year...but I gotta keep up the steam out here on the river. See you on the DQ soon, or where ever we meet up...because that is inevitable!

And keep that daughter Lil of yours in line! She gets me in trouble!


Alan Bates 08-30-2007 11:42 AM

Happy birthday, Helen. I have a request for Twenty Years With The Wrong Woman. In EB, please.

Shipyard Sam 08-30-2007 12:40 PM

HBD from the Rabbit Hash Shipyard. The boys have locked the frontgate and getting ready to cut the cake in your honor.

Bill Judd 08-30-2007 12:58 PM

Mrs. Helen Hughes Prater
Actions speak louder than words. Show up at Marietta on Sept. 14th. for the real Birthday party. It's going to be a big bash affair. As a side note also plan to attend the S & D Annual Meeting, it too is going to be a first class event. S & D main speaker is to be William Howland Kenney, professor, lecturer and author. His topic is "Jazz on the River: Music,Race and the Parade of Power on the Mississippi and Ohio River". Don't miss this one.

Ginnie Rhynders 08-30-2007 01:34 PM

And Ralph and I add our very best wishes to a lovely lady. It's was such a pleasure to meet you and hear you play that great music. We can only hope there's another opportunity to see you again someday on some river.
Ginnie Rhynders

Keith Norrington 08-30-2007 03:14 PM

2 Attachment(s)
As you said, Ginnie, Miss Helen coaxes some great music out of a piano and has been doing so since the days she entertained passengers as a youngster on the Str. TOM GREENE and other boats.

Attached are a couple of pictures I took some years ago at a party at "Rock Hill", home of Capt. C.W. and Lucy Stoll, following one of the steamboat races here. The twin pianos always got a workout -- especially when Miss Helen presided at the keyboard! In the second photo, Capt. Alan and Rita Bates visit with the "artiste" during a break.

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