Wednesday, June 16, 2010

mv. Aliquippa (with minor correction)

Yesterday evening (Tuesday), I was in downtown Huntington, W.Va., waiting for something. As  I usually do, I went to Harris Riverfront Park. There I saw a boat coming up the Ohio River. Then I noticed the second boat farther downstream. Because I had the time, I went up on the 6th Street bridge to get some overhead photos.

The first boat was the Tennessee Hunter. The second was the Aliquippa. And that's the one that interested me more this particular evening.

As the Aliquippa approached the bridge, the fading sunlight started discouraging me. But as the first of five barges appeared out from under the bridge (a long time ago, someone described Appalachian speech as very prepositional), the clouds parted, bathing the river in glorious, warm reds and oranges. Thus, I got this photo of the Aliquippa.

This boat and two others like it -- the Vulcan and the Titan -- are of particular interest to me because I'm pretty sure one of them was the first towboat I ever photographed with a single lens reflex camera and color film. It was back in the fall of 1976, I think, and the boat was painted green and white. It was headed downriver after exiting the Gallipolis Locks and Dam. I didn't get a good enough shot to determine the name of the boat.

So I figured I had a decent photo of the boat (you can see another shot of it passing downtown Huntington by going to my Flickr photostream here). This evening (Wednesday), as I was looking at my photos, I noticed this fellow on the Aliquippa. In the first couple of shots that I saw him, he was staring up at me, probably wondering who this twit with the camera on the bridge was. In the later shots, he's looking back toward the bridge and the setting sun. He must have had a pretty good view of things from where he was.

So that's my intensely interesting personal story for tonight.

Correction: I found the photo from 1976. The boat was mostly white, with green along the bottom. It was heading upriver, about to enter the Gallipolis locks. I also found a photo take a few months later of a similar boat (or the same one, repainted) that was all white. It was heading downstream, having just exited the Gallipolis locks.

1 comment:

Henry M. said...

I remember seeing all three boats in the late 50's & early 60's. I think that the Titan was the one mostly in the Huntington trade, it had the hideous paint scheme, the window area was a yellow stripe and above and below were green. The other two had a lot of green but were predominately white. At the same time U.S.Steel had the C. F. Hood (now Eileen Jewel) in the same trade. Both companies ran the same way, down with 11 MT's and up with 11 loads, a single lockage knockout with the standard barges of the day.