When I was in high school upstate, I had to read this novel about drums . .  and history.

Now imagine this interior monologue . . . our speaker doesn’t read much . . . he works and then goes to the river to fish with his best friend the bottle . . . a riverine Rip van Winkle.  He slings in some bait, he dozes, he hears an approaching engine . . . and he sees this!

He shuts and reopens his eyes . . . and it’s closer.  He rubs his eyes .  .  .  and it’s still there.  He flings the cursed bottle into  . . . nearest recycling bin (of course), swears to mend his dissolute ways, and runs along the bank yelling  “OMG!!  It’s a Douglas F3D Skynight!!”   He just happens to “favorite” that aircraft of all the ones ever developed . . .  because of having built a model of one as a boy.

Our Rip has found new purpose.  The 2012 Erie Canal season has delivered the vehicle to turn his life around!

He vows to walk or run or bicycle along the Erie Canal as far as he needs to in order to see where this jet will land.

Then he hears another noise … another DonJon blue tugboat pushing a scow laden with

OMFG!!  He has no idea, and all the life-remedying he’d promised minutes ago . . . is in danger.    He turns and walks back to where moments before he had enjoyed the bliss of fishing along the Mohawk.  He stopped once and

looked back at Cheyenne and the scow.  “Nah . . . that never happened,” he decided.  Never.

Downriver some 100 plus miles, the day before, another blue DonJon tug had been pushing this dredge spoils scow toward the Bayonne Bridge when the 747/Shuttle flew past.

To be serious, the wonderful fotos above come compliments of Don Rittner, of the Onrust project, about which I did many posts a few years back.  Here are a few representative Onrust links:  2010September 2009 (see the last foto), May 2009, and 2008.    Use the search window to find many more.  Last foto is by Will Van Dorp.

The aircraft –a Skynight, a Mig-15, and a Supermarine Scimitar–have migrated from Intrepid Museum, which needs to make room for the Shuttle display, to ESAM, an upstate aerosciences museum.   The blue tugboats have all appeared here before; in order they are Empire, Cheyenne, and Caitlin Ann.

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