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Avondale Shipyard Closing !

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    Avondale Shipyard Closing !

    Greetings From New Orleans ,
    It has been reported recently in the local New Orleans newspaper , The Times Picayune that the Avondale Shipyard located just northwest of the city and near the Huey P. Long Bridge will be closing its gates in the very near future . Supposdly , after the last ship that is now being constructed and is on Avondale's " Ways" , is completed , the shipyard will close its gates . For the last few years the shipyard has survived on government contracts and evidently those same contracts have dried up and now Avondale will be closing . Having said that I personally believe that the government will step in , like it has so many times before and save the shipyard and futher subsedise the shipyard which is actually owned by the Gruman Corporation and keep it in some form of limited operation . You would think that a working shipyard of this size and magnitude and located strategically near the Gulf Of Mexico and on the Mississippi River could find a way and means to survive . Especially when you consider Avondale's dry dock facilities . You would also think that this shipyard would also fall in that government catagory of , " Too Big To Fail " and that it too could receive some type of government bailout ! I remember that when I first steped foot on the Str. Delta Queen , she was in winter layup at Avoddale and what an eye opening experiencce I had to witness the size of not only the shipyard but to see the Str. Delta Queen get her anual make over and face lift !
    Smooth Sailing !
    Ted Davisson
    Attached Files

    I have wondered the same thing about Jeffboat. Drive by there today and it is a ghost town compared to what it was just a couple of years ago. The rumor on the street has it that after they complete this series of hopper barges for their parent company ACL, they have no more contracts for new construction. They have already pretty much closed the marine repair department.
    Just think of the inland shipyards that have closed in the past thirty years such as Dravo, St. Louis Ship, Hillman, Nashville Bridge, the list goes on and on.


      Crowning Achievement

      That's bad news to hear of the proposed closing of the Avondale yard. Many memories were made during the times we had the DELTA QUEEN in for winter layup. Chief Kenny P., Gabe, and YT made good use of our Sundays off when we would roam around the yard with bottles of Boone's Farm wine in hand. Yessiree ... especially when Big Cap and Chief Cal left in the VW for the oyster bars in the French Quarter.

      One event occurred when Cap, Cal, and Bill Muster were in Felix’s Oyster Bar, on Bourbon Street, eatin' oysters and downing steins of frosty brew that changed the look of the DELTA QUEEN and persists even to this day:

      Being from Covington, Kentucky, the home of Commodore Fred. Laidley, owner of the L&C Packet Company, also called the "White Collar Line" for the distinctive 'white collars' on the Commodore's steamboats, I wanted to paint one on the smokestack of the DQ. Maybe a little of Boone's Best bolstered my daring, and Kenny and I were nearly done with painting the gleaming white circle around the stack when Cap, the Chief, and Bill pulled up in the Volkswagen, got out, looked up in amazement, and with a general shaking of heads, immediately approved our artistry. But the next day, however, Mr. M. had the Avondale paint shop pros turn our white collar into a royal crown, and to this day the DELTA QUEEN wears a crown around the stack, but painted a bloody red instead of the handsome, regal, white crown, that, yes, was harder to maintain, but we always keep it looking fit for a Queen.

      Ironically, the Rabbit Hash Shipyards are doing well and only close on a whim; otherwise, both the Rabbit Hash and Decatur yards are healthy.