Capt. John Reynolds, Sr. 1933-2006
Many are saddened by the passing on December 31st of Capt. John Reynolds, Sr., 73, of Point Pleasant, West Virginia. Capt. John was born on February 14, 1933 aboard the SHOWBOAT MAJESTIC, which was built by his father, Capt. Thomas Jefferson Reynolds, who operated it from 1923 until he sold the showboat and sternwheel towboat ATTABOY in 1959 to Indiana University, after having leased them to the drama departments of both Hiram College and Kent State University. The MAJESTIC has been at Cincinnati since being sold by IU in 1967 and now has a steel hull.
Following his youthful years on the showboat, Capt. John was a much respected towboat captain and pilot, working for O.F. Shearer & Sons, Ohio Barge Line and later becoming port captain for AEP, which named a towboat in his honor in 2003. In retirement, he remained active in river affairs and was an avid supporter of the new Point Pleasant River Museum. Capt. David Smith wrote a very fine tribute to his mentor and good friend in the January 15th issue of The Waterways Journal. Capt. Luke Moore also wrote a heartfelt remembrance in that issue.
I'm sorry that I never had the opportunity to get to know Capt. John better, although I am grateful that I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with him a couple of times. And when I was on the BELLE OF LOUISVILLE, I remember him calling on the radio several times to chat with Capt. Doc Hawley. They invariably talked of their native West Virginia and about playing the calliope. Doc told Capt. John he always liked to hear him play My Blue Heaven on the showboat's calliope.
And so we lose yet another fine riverman from the great river fraternity as well as a link to a very beloved and respected family whose name was well known along the Ohio and other waterways for bringing wholesome entertainment to many a river landing. A long and two shorts of the whistle in memory of Capt. John Reynolds, Sr.
Last edited by Keith Norrington; 01-22-2007 at 06:57 AM.