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A Christmas Call

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Old 12-23-2009, 07:14 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: On the "Beautiful Ohio" at New Albany, Indiana, opposite Louisville, Kentucky
Posts: 2,078
Default A Christmas Call

This has been a rather quiet and somber holiday season for my family, owing to the recent illness of a close relative, who spent the past two months in the hospital and whose funeral service was conducted yesterday. The sadness of the day was dispelled last evening when the phone rang and it was my dear friend, Capt. Charles Henry Stone, calling from Point Pleasant. Although he, at age 94, and Miss Jean are not doing well healthwise, his always UPbeat attitude, humor and kindness gave my sagging spirits a real lift. He asked me to convey his best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all his many friends on the river -- and to please remind them to not forget him now that he is confined to home and can no longer attend gatherings. I assured him that will NEVER happen! Despite his near blindness and other health issues, he knows just about everthing that's happening on the river (he reads The Waterways Journal with the aid of a special reading device) and enumerated his many blessings and all for which he is thankful, particularly citing his river and church families. He told me he's more than ready to "depart for the great pilothouse in the sky" and wonders why he is still here. I told him that he's needed by all of us who love him dearly and that his gifts of friendship, wisdom and counsel are regarded as a year round blessing. Yes, there IS a Santa Claus and he's Capt. Charles Henry Stone!

Time, like the river, rolls on. My sincere good wishes to ALL for a wonderful Christmas and a bright 2010. Thank you for your friendship and for your support of the Howard Steamboat Museum which, as you well know, is very dear to my heart as I begin my 42nd year of association on deck. Keep up steam and I look forward to seeing y'all in the new year!

May God Bless Us Every One!

Vintage Christmas Cards from an old scrapbook kept by Capt. Roy Barkhau:
(1) DQ card from Horace Lyle, Greene Line passenger agent for many years.
(2) Christmas Sternwheeler with lighted tree on roof.
(3) A linoleum block print made by Miss Ruth Ferris.
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