Friday, May 6, 2016

Gone But Not Forgotten: Ashland Oil marine operations (more)

For your consideration, from 1987, when Ashland Petroleum, a division of Ashland Oil, was about to christen its new towboat, the Valvoline.

First, the invitation.

The news release.

Here is a photo from the announcement, as provided by Ashland Petroleum. First is the black-and-white photo in its original form, then after I did a little cleaning up on it. I don't know why it aged so poorly.

I got to ride the Valvoline in spring 1988, when David Smith was captain. I boarded at the Belleville Locks and Dam and got off at Kenova, maybe. Or was it South Point? I can't remember, but I'm 90 percent certain it was Kenova. Someday when I dig into my deep archives I will find the article I wrote about the trip. I think there was a deckhand named Jim Chittenden, and the cook was from Vevay (pronounced Vee-vee, he said), Indiana, but again, I'm not certain.

Anyway, we had to wait a while to get through the old locks at Gallipolis. Namely, we had to wait for a boat called the Howard S. Guttman of Mon River Towing to lock through upbound. The Guttman was the old Vavoline, sold and renamed. The Guttman was scrapped a few years ago.

As for the Valvoline, it's now the M/V Nashville of Marathon Petroleum. I rarely see it up here in its old territory. It spends most of its time on the Mississippi.