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Steamboat Romance???

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Old 02-09-2008, 02:49 PM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 130
Default Steamboat Romance???

Crewing on a Steamboat is somewhat like living in a small town. When I worked on the D.Q. the avarage age was possibly 26 but most of the crew was early 20's, young men. There were a few females also in the crew, darn few.
Even with the odds against it, once in a while a couple got together and well the inevitable was inevitable. Some still are together today and some lasted an evening. Two weeks was a long time for a "Steamboat Romance". After the break-up you still had to be around the other party which added to the feeling of confinement one could get after several weeks on the boat.
We landed in Memphis one evening to take on stores and several new crew members. One of these crew members was a tall, dark haired young lady that struck my interest. Knowing what animals my fellow crew members could be, this young lady looking as if she might start of here steamboat adventures on the wrong foot with the wrong guidance. I decided to offer my services in taking her bag to her room and and told her I'd be happy to help her get intorducted to the world of Steamboatin'.
Working maintaince on the boat I pretty much had run of the boat. I met her the next morning on the deck she had been assigned to as a housekeeper and had a chance to talk to her for a while.
After several days we were spending a good deal of time together and I was filling her in on all I knew about steamboats. This was when Betty Blake was running the company and I did not think much of her pay and time off policies. I also note several personal habits of hers which I did not think showed well for a woman of her standing. I was not shy about expressing these feelings.
The young lady and I kept company for a few weeks. One night she knocked on my quarters door. I had the king size bed, hung from the ceiling on the Stbd. side of the engine room. I was by myself at the time. She came in and seemed in a rush to tell me something. I had to promise to tell no one. She would lead up to what she wanted to tell me and then stop. Needless to say my mind was racing, what could it be, was there a landing I'd better not show myself at? Was she on board avoiding the law? What?
Finally after again promising my sealed lips she broke the news. "Fred, I agree with most of what you have told me, but you must know. I'm Betty Blakes niece". As the taste of boot leather filled my mouth, she again made me understand why no one on board must know.
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