With 2017 looming, it’s time to imagine some possible goals for the near future, assuming we have time.  “Big River” mentions a lot of places I’ve yet to see from the water.  Johnny Cash’s 1962 version isn’t my favorite, I link to it here because he looks so young.   This style boat named Natchez–for one of those places–has worked on the big river in many many capacities for a long time.  Anyone now who is credited for introducing steam to the Mississippi River system?  Answer follows.

By the way this Natchez was launched in 1975, but

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the steam plant that drives it

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has been around since 1925, albeit in a different vessel.

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New Orleans is over a hundred miles from the Gulf and the number of sea-going vessels that pass is phenomenal.

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And since they have such wanderlust-feeding names, I’ll let them speak for themselves . . .  the one directly below is SeaKay Spirit.

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Here’s a version of “Big River” closer to what I usually listen to, and it was recorded in long-gone Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City.

And speaking of Roosevelts, that’s who teamed up with Robert Fulton to introduce steam boating to the Mississipi River.

So why are there no contemporary and catchy songs about the Hudson watershed?  Oh, I’m no songwriter and play no instruments.

Now if only I can get a job sailing from St. Paul MN to the Gulf.  I’m working on it.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

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