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R. Dale Flick 03-24-2009 09:54 AM

*Memory of Capt. Tom Greene.*
Steamboating colleagues:
Just catching up here after very busy days. The top thread RE: 'A different (Optimistic) view' mentioned the profit motive pursued by Capt. Tom Greene, his mother, Capt. Mary B. Greene, wife Mrs. Letha C. Greene. Capt. Chris Greene, Tom's brother, had tragically passed on earlier. Capt. Tom was in the steamboat business for a profit with a 'new' view of the river cruise business when he purchased and remodeled the DELTA QUEEN 1947/1948. Capt. Tom (1904-1950) died in 1950 as many know within two years of entering his big, new boat in service. Though a businessman out and out, Tom was just as 'hooked' on steamboats then as we all are now coining the great term "Steamboatiana."

I pulled from the archives at Literary Club here last night a collection of poems titled THE YESTERDAYS by writer/editor Clark B. Firestone. Firestone, as mentioned here previously, was a long-time friend of the Greene family going way back. He rode the boats penning a number of books, monographs and poems. The following was written in poetic form as a memorial to Capt. Tom by Firestone.

'And then Came Capt. Tom'

"There came--and went--the Pageant of the Packets,
When wharves that hummed with life grew strangely still,
And towns that once acclaimed the steamboat's whistle
Heard nothing more louder than the whippoorwill;
To ply between them in the rivers' sweep,
The cities ceased to know and love each other,
And all the little towns were sunk in sleep.

And then came Tom, and came a Transformation;
Again the levees knew the tramp of men,
And up and down America's great rivers
Moved thronging boats; the Past came back again.
Again the neighbor cities smiled and beckoned--
St. Paul, St. Louis, Chattanooga, all--
And glowing, smiling, veiled in dreams and distance,
There loomed once more the Creole Capital." END

Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River.

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