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Like some farmers I know who use their tractors for decades, careful with maintenance, it seems vessels like John B. Caddell have remarkable longevity.  If I drove a 67-year-old Chrysler on my commute, I’d spur some bewildered looks, strange comments in the coffee room.  Yet John B. and sibs never do.


Here’s John B. Caddell taken last summer, at work.


This is my belated (actually I march to a different drummer) entry to Tillerman‘s November “group-writing project.”  Besides some must-haves to invite for dinner like Herman Melville, Joseph Conrad, Jan deHartog, and Jules Verne . . . imagine the banter there . . . how about inviting the 1941 master of John B. along with


crew from the same era of Mary Whalen, W. O. Decker, Pegasus . . . all of whom must have been intimately acquainted with Newtown Creek, where John B. was loading/offloading (?) when I took this last fall.


Oh, the stories they could tell.  And at dinner, I’d suggest we visit their old vessels, still afloat,  as dessert.  I’d love to eavesdrop on their reactions to John B.‘s pilot house equipment today v. their circa 1941 essentials.


And how might they react to the rules and precautions of fuel transfer now compared with then


and global energy and economic politics and


water quality and waterfront jobs and sixth boro resource utilization and . . . .

From what I can tell, John B. is a fit survivor, one that I’d like to know better.

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Graves of Arthur Kill

Click to order your copy of Graves of Arthur Kill, by Gary Kane and Will Van Dorp. 3Fish Productions.

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November 2008
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