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Salute to our Golden BELLE!

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Old 04-30-2013, 06:06 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: On the "Beautiful Ohio" at New Albany, Indiana, opposite Louisville, Kentucky
Posts: 2,078
Default Salute to our Golden BELLE!

FIFTY YEARS AGO... On this day (April 30) in 1963 the BELLE of LOUISVILLE made her "debut" in a steamboat race with the DELTA QUEEN. Thanks to the heroic efforts of Alan Bates and many others the BELLE was brought back to life from the derelict steamer AVALON to run again for the first time in nearly two years.

Hard to believe that five decades have passed since that bitterly cold, windy day when steamboat racing returned to the river. Equally amazing is the fact that the BELLE will be the focus of a centennial celebration next year!

A whistle salute to our "Golden Belle" and to all the dedicated crews who have kept her going through the years! Speaking of whistle salutes - the BELLE went by the museum a bit ago and Capt. Mike Fitzgerald blew that authoritative and beautifully melodious whistle -- same tooter that she's been blowing for almost a century!

1: During the 1963 race
2: At the Louisville wharf in 1963. Pilothouse dome was bright yellow for part of that season before being returned to blue.
3: Passing under Sherman Minton Bridge at New Albany in 1963. Bridge opened in 1962 and is named for Indiana senator and associate justice of U.S. Supreme Court.
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