Word is going around that Madison Coal & Supply has sold a couple of my favorite towboats. People are telling me the Ohio and the Indiana have been sold, are heading down the Ohio River with the MCS logos removed from their stacks, and could be headed for South America.
I have an e-mail in to someone at MCS. If I hear anything back, I'll pass it along.
Since I was a wee one many decades ago, the old "turtleback" boats have been among my favorites on the river. For the longest time, I could recognize them by the sounds of their engines. At least, before some of them were repowered.
South America? I hope not, but they weren't being used much here on the Ohio River. I hope they have long and useful lives left in them wherever they are. Better South America than the scrap yard.
I have a photo in an old album that I took with an Instamatic camera maybe in 1971. One of the Ohio River Co. boats was across the river, waiting to lock through the Gallipolis Locks and Dam. About the time I pressed the shutter button, a red bug of some sort landed on the lens. You can see the bug clearly as it appears to be crawling over the boat. I'm saving that one for the book.
This is the Indiana, taken as it approached the Robert C. Byrd Locks and Dam in December 2008.
And this is the Ohio, taken from a point in Huntington, W.Va., in July 2008.
A few months ago, I wrote a longer piece about the boats here.