When I was growing up along the Ohio River many decades ago, my parents had a dislike for two types of people. First, they would get agitated when they heard Gypsies were seen in our area. They ran a store, and they feared that a band of Gypsies would come in and steal everything they could stick in their clothes.
Second was people who lived on shantyboats. This was kind of odd, as my mother's family lived on at least two boats, and I have a photo of one of them. The thing about shantyboat people was that they helped themselves to what your grew in your garden along the river, my parents said. The rule of thumb was the first two or three rows of your garden were there for the shantyboat people to steal.
I've seen one shantyboat in my time, but it's either out of sight or gone now.
If you're in the Marietta, Ohio, area in the near future, the Ohio River Museum has taken possession of a shantyboat and is restoring it. That's another reason I need to plan a trip up that way soon.
The Corps of Engineers is repairing problems with the Ohio and Mississippi River levees at Cairo, Ill., following deficiencies that came to light during the big flood this past spring.
Rising Sun, Ind., isn't one of the larger communities along the river, but it's fighting to keep its riverfront casino business thriving. Next up: a new hotel.
Tom Cruise is shooting a movie in Sewickley, Pa. He spent part of his youth in Louisville, by the way.
Here is Huntington, we had Matthew McConaughey for a while during filming of "We Are Marshall," and Jamie Oliver took over the kitchens of an elementary school and a high school for a season of "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution." Two of my kids, who attended Huntington High while he was there, didn't like the changes to the menu.
Oh, Huntington is the hometown of actor Brad Dourif. He played Wormtongue in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Among other roles, he saved the ship from the Kazon on "Star Trek: Voyager," and he was a deputy who got on Gene Hackman's bad side in "Mississippi Burning."
A side note to that side note: A lawyer I know in Chesapeake, Ohio, which is across the river from Huntington, was one of the FBI agents on whom the story "Mississippi Burning" was based. I interviewed him for the Huntington paper way back when about the real story of how the FBI handled t he investigation.
And I think I got some decent pictures of a towboat lit up by the setting sun this evening. And this time,I had a clean memory card and a fully charged battery.