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Old 02-13-2008, 07:51 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: On the "Beautiful Ohio" at New Albany, Indiana, opposite Louisville, Kentucky
Posts: 2,078
Default Str. SPRAGUE

Since there's been considerable interest in the Str. SPRAGUE, here are two more images. The first one was taken in the pilothouse of the DELTA QUEEN and shows Capt. Charles Brasher (standing) and Capt. Eugene Hampton (longtime master of the SPRAGUE) in the early 1950's. Appears to be in the New Orleans harbor, judging from the wharves in view. Note how "bare" the pilothouse interior was in those days! Capt. Brasher came from a steamboating family at Rising Sun, Indiana and served Greene Line for many years before leaving the river for a time and moving to Texas. In 1967 he was lured back to the river and was master and director of operations for the BELLE OF LOUISVILLE until his death on December 18, 1975. Cap was a quiet and very kind man who gave me my first job when he hired me to work on the BELLE despite the fact that the age minimum was 18 and at the time, I was 16 -- soon to be 17 in several months. When he offered me the job of calliope player and assistant purser I told him I'd love to be part of the crew but didn't meet the age requirement. Cap's response was, "I won't tell if you won't!" Capt. Charlie and his wife, Mary Lou, treated me like a son and I knew that I always had a job on the BELLE during high school and college summer vacations.

Photo #2 is, yes, you guessed it -- yours truly at the 13.5 foot in diameter pilotwheel of the SPRAGUE. Taken on June 19, 1969, I was barely 15 years old. Despite the DO NOT TOUCH sign on the wheel, the gracious lady guide, with a delightful southern drawl, said it would be "puh-mitted" for me to touch it because she had "nev-uh seen a young man so in-tuh-rested in steeeeeam-booooats." Oh, to be THAT slim again!!!
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Name:	Sprague pilothouse with Keith at wheel 1969.jpg
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ID:	1416  

Last edited by Keith Norrington; 02-14-2008 at 06:37 AM.
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