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Alan Bates and Me 4

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    Alan Bates and Me 4

    In 1962, I was a senior in high school looking forward to graduating and going on to college. By then Kenny Howe and I were truly BBFLs having met in school a couple of years before. We used to go to the Howard Museum on Friday nights and print pictures from the museums collection of glass plate negatives for Mrs. Howard would sell in the gift shop. We would also do any heavy lifting and furniture moving Mrs. Howard might require. During this time I introduced Kenny to Alan, they immediately liked each other. We would often visit Alan at his Lyndon home which was always fascinating because Alan would inverably be in the middle of some project like building a sidewheel houseboat to be named VIXEN. One of the distilleries here in town had torn out an old wood whiskey holding tank and replaced it with stainless steel, somehow Alan acquired all the old wood from the tank. He was going to use this wood to build the hull of the VIXEN. He stacked the wood next to his driveway, on hot summer days as the sun leached the whiskey out of the wood, Alan's whole place smelled like a whiskey barrel. Alan got some rib work done on the hull, built the pilothouse, which sat in his driveway, had a chasis and motor from an old early 50's Pontiac, which was going to power the VIXEN, in his backyard and that's as far as he got. Oh, he also had painted the toilet seat he was planning on installing on the VIXEN, around the seat in Alan's finest lettering was "We aim to please; You aim too, please". The VIXEN never hit the water, he dismantled the pilothouse, sold the wood, and I imagine that old chasis and engine are still out there rusting away. I don't know what happened to the toilet seat. I do know that Rita never let him install it in their house.
    A note about Alan's Lyndon mentioned before Alan built it himself when he and Rita returned from California after the war. The house was next to the L&N's mainline track. Alan wanted to watch the steam engines whistle as they passed his house; but within just a couple of years after moving in, the L&N had completely dieselized.
    Then in April 1962 Jefferson County Kentucky bought the AVALON and all our....Alan, Kenny and me...lives changed.

    *RE: 'Alan and Me 4*
    Hi, Jim!
    Now,I am hooked and good. Keep it up!

    R. Dale Flick
    Old Coal Haven Landing, Ohio river, Cincinnati.