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Date: January 31, 2003 at 06:08:37
From: Keith Norrington, [66.83.131.6.nw.nuvox.net]
Subject: Re: Goldenrod Showboat - Update


Mr. Oakley: It's great to see your posting on this board. I well remember when you operated the GOLDENROD at the St. Louis levee. My involvement with the showboat began in 1967 when I was just 13 and wrote a letter to Capt. J.W. Menke asking for information and photos. Frank Pierson, who then owned the boat, passed the letter to Ruth Ferris, who was setting up a riverboat museum on Frank's other boat, the BECKY THATCHER (ex -str. MISSISSIPPI) just aft of the showboat. That letter led to a friendship with Ruth (my mentor and patron saint of steamboating!) that lasted until her death in 1993 at the age of 95. She was THE river historian/curator in St. Louis and her museum on the BECKY had a lot of artifacts and memorabilia from the GOLDENROD. It's a shame that the largest showboat ever built (and one of only two authentic showboats in existence) is now in such peril. I wish somebody could take her back to the St. Louis levee and bring back the "good old days" when the boat reverberated with ragtime music and old time melodramas were presented on the stage. She made an amazing comeback after the disastrous fire in 1962, so here's hoping a miracle will happen and she will survive her current dilemma as well.


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