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Proms on a Paddlewheeler

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    Proms on a Paddlewheeler

    With another school year winding down and many high school students looking forward to their proms, I thought the attached images might be timely to share. This was the time of year that the faithful old Str. AVALON (now our beloved BELLE OF LOUISVILLE) tramped the river, taking out proms in various river towns. My parents-to-be were aboard for the 1949 New Albany High School prom (and they didn't even buy me a souvenir captain's cap!) in the last days of New Albany's cobblestone wharf, before the floodwall was built in 1952. My dad remembers seeing coal shoveled into the boilers and visiting the engine room, while my mother recalls how she and many of the girls were chagrined to have their white ballerina slippers coated with river mud after walking across planks to reach the stage!

    NAHS chartered the AVALON, and later the BELLE, many times for their proms. In 1972, when I graduated, our prom was at a convention center. Whoopee!

    Images:
    (1) AVALON at the New Albany Wharf for NAHS prom - 1949
    (2) AVALON at Louisville for NAHS prom - 1961 - Rhythm Masters Orchestra in residence.
    (3) NAHS girls visit Capt. Wagner in the pilothouse - 1961
    Attached Files

    #2
    Thanks, Keith. Notice how the Big Captain can easily put his arms around THREE girls, and not even stretch out?

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      #3
      Yeah! And they don't appear at all intimidated by BIG Cap! Of course, he likely didn't bellow something like, "BOBBY, DIDJA BRING THAT WATER HOSE IN YET?!" into their young and delicate ears!

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        #4
        My prom was on the BELLE. Since I worked on her at the time...and the charterer (Atherton High School) didn't see fit to schedule (read: pay for) the calliope, I didn't go. Yes, a proud riverman at 18!

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          #5
          Originally posted by Keith Norrington View Post
          My parents-to-be were aboard for the 1949 New Albany High School prom (and they didn't even buy me a souvenir captain's cap!) in the last days of New Albany's cobblestone wharf, before the floodwall was built in 1952.
          Keith - I think they left you something much more valuable than a souvenir captain's cap - they left you with a rich river heritage.

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