Monday, April 26, 2010

Helicopter seeds

The other day, when Adam and I went up on the 6th Street bridge at Huntington, W.Va., to get photos of the mv. Linda Reed passing Huntington, he gathered as many "helicopter seeds" as his hands would hold. One by one, he threw them off the bridge, counting the seconds until they hit the Ohio River 87 feet below (usually more than 30).

The breeze was at our back, so when he let them fly, they went out where we could see them and he could count the seconds. Sometimes the breeze carried them so far he couldn't see them when they hit the water.

Before we left the bridge, he found a better way to launch the seeds. Every few feet, the sidewalk had drain holes that went straight down. Adam would drop a seed in the hole and watch the breeze catch it and shoot it forward like it came out of a gun.

From the archives 7: the Delta Queen

These photos are from the late summer or early fall of 1984, taken when I knew the Delta Queen was coming up the Ohio River. There’s a spot at the mouth of Hildebrand Run that gives a clear, straight shot up the river to the Gallipolis Locks and Dam. So I went there.

The first photo shows the Delta Queen coming up on the locks, with the Oliver S. Shearer tied to the West Virginia shore.

This second shows the Delta Queen approaching the locks themselves.

In October 2008, I followed the Delta Queen on its final cruise down the Ohio River through my area. I caught it after work between Crown City and Miller, Ohio, so I could have the setting sun at my back and shining on the boat. The river was smooth and glassy, making for some fine reflections.

As darkness was about to fall, I got my last photos as the boat finished passing old Lock and Dam 27. I headed home, and the last I saw of the Delta Queen, I was crossing the Huntington East End bridge, with the boat a few miles up the river in the rapidly fading light.

And that wraps up this trip down Nostalgia River. Eventually, I’ll scan some more old photos.

(Reminder: All photos on this blog, except as otherwise noted, are copyrighted by me, Jim Ross, and are not to be downloaded, used or reproduced without my written permission.)



From the archives X: A bit of housecleaning

Before I post the final installment of photos from the 1970s and 1980s, I need to take care of a couple of items.

First, most of the people who have contacted me about that green boat owned by Oil Transport Co. say it was the Bayou Beouf. Maybe that's why I thought the original photo was illegible. I have a sister who has lived in Louisiana for 30 years or more, and she knows a lot of Cajuns. Maybe I should ask her how to pronounce that. At least she let me know how to pronounce "Charlie Melancon."

Second, the photo of the old Ashland Oil boats drew some attention. On his Flickr photostream, C.R. Neale posted one of the old Valvoline as it was tied up the bank prior to its being scrapped. You can see that photo here.

Barry Griffith sends word that the Aetna-Louisville and the Allied-Ashland both are on the job in South America. The Aetba-Louisville is now the Don Eduardo, and the Allied-Ashland was renamed the Loyd C. Beesecker.

The final archive installment should be up later today.