I was in Putnam County, W.Va., today covering the 15th anniversary of the groundbreaking ceremony for the Toyota engine and transmission plant. I figured I would run into Lori, a photographer from my place of previous employment that dumped me after 30 years, nine months and one day of faithful service (but who was counting?), and I did.
Lori's father passed away in spring 2010, I believe. He was retired from either Ohio River Co. or Ingram, as he had been a captain on the Harllee Branch Jr. As we were all about to leave, I mentioned to Lori that her father's boat had been renamed, but I couldn't remember what the new name is. She got out her phone and showed me a carving that the family had been able to put on his headstone. Below his last name was a drawing of the Harllee, three-quarters view, with the name below the pilothouse.
The thing is, she didn't know if he would have appreciated what the family did. He liked being on the river, but whether he really liked his job, we may never know.
UPDATE: I should have added that the Harllee Branch Jr. is now the W. Scott Noble. Sorry.