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Old 09-19-2007, 05:06 PM
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.
Posts: 1,584

Pete, Cap'n Bill, Lin & steamboating colleagues:
Okay, an E=Mail from a 'shy poster' here asking where the poetic paragraph about the Str. CHATEAUGAY came from I posted earlier above. There's more fine poetic writing and prose out there about steamboats than one could imagine. In fact, a vitual anthology could be researched and printed. One of the first was our own late, great Capt. Fred Way in his PILOTIN' COMES NATURAL describing his first views of the beloved QUEEN CITY. His intro leads all in steamboat literature. But there are others if we dig long enough and deeply.

The CHATEAUGAY piece comes from the pen of Fred Copeland. I don't know if Copeland was a real 'steamboater' or not. His senses caught the mystery of a large steamer in motion. I post the first part below linked to the last paragraph in a previous posting on the subject. How many on this web have been in the same 'set and setting' as Copeland aboard a steamboat or steamship? Read and weep with nostalgia.

"When the days are gray and bitter in November one could still enjoy the CHATEAUGAY with more comfort than a Sunday drawing room, for she had deep, soft carpets in the salon...chairs in front of the rows of observation windows fore and aft. Sometimes before the leaves fell an early snowstorm would float like a curtain over Tremblau Point.

On the last trips...night often settled down...The CHATEAUGAY showed us her comradeship then. The tremor of each stroke of the walking beam parted a reliant pulsing, the fires gleamed with bright confidence, being of fine coal in the roomy stoke hold, the big shaft revolved across the carpeted way of the lower deck. Colchester Light would blink and flash its reassuring flame to the North, and Jupiter lift its motion-less beam in the South..."

What more need be said? You either 'get it or you don't' as Capt. C.W. Stoll used to say. More fine steamboat poetry and prose are much needed at this time. Have hope. Be of good cheer.

R. Dale Flick
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