Sunday, June 21, 2015

An unusual christening

I knew this was coming, but I was told to keep it a secret.

Murray American Transportation and Murray American River Towing had a christening ceremony yesterday for the M/V Michael T. Somales. The boat is the former M/V Tom Hoffman. Somales is the president of the company, which is part of Murray Energy Corp., the nation's largest privately held coal company.

After Somales and his girlfriend, Pam Wrobleski, broke the bottle of champagne on the boat, Somales announced he and Wrobleski were getting married then and there. And they did.

I covered this for the Waterways Journal, so Somales told me about it earlier in the week. He said he had something to tell me about the christening ceremony, but I had to keep it a secret. I told him I would as long as it did not involve a matter of national security or criminal activity.

After the ceremony, I told Somales that I told myself several years ago that I was never again taking pictures at a wedding. This is why you never say never.

More details will be in the article for the WJ, unless they don't want them. The YouTube video links above were shot by my younger son, Adam, with an old point-and-shoot camera. They were handheld. He didn't know about the surprise until a few minutes before. I told him so he could get some pictures or video if he wanted, which he did. Undoubtedly there are a lot of iPhone and Smartphone videos out there, too.

Adam calls his YouTube channel Project681 because he has a goal of saving money to buy the school bus he used to ride. It was retired from regular service in April 2014. It's now a spare, and it's due to come up for auction in two or three years. Before he was a river fan, he was a school bus freak. It's how his brain works.

This was the third christening Adam and I had attended. It was the first to include a wedding. We have no more on our schedule right now, but this one will be hard to top.