Wednesday, September 9, 2009

If the River Catches on Fire

I'll be ready if the river catches on fire. Found this fire extinguisher among the litter above the Morgantown Lock and Dam last Saturday.

You may think I'm just being funny, but some of you may remember hearing stories of how bad pollution was on our nation's rivers. I always heard this story about the Illinois River, which, by the way, is a place I'll always regard as one of the coldest on earth. When I worked on tow boats up there in the winter I was afraid of freezing to the steel decks, waiting for our boat's turn through one of the locks.

I heard that there was so much oil and other petroleum discharges on that river that the deckhands were warned not to throw a match overboard. UPDATE: My friend Mike Breiding, who is now a member of MORFS (see below) just sent me this information about the Cuyahoga River Fire of 1969. See what I mean?

Well, that's an old river tale now, and I don't think I'll need that extinguisher. Since the Clean Water Act of 1972, we can celebrate the recovery of our rivers. The Mon, for example is a great place to swim! After our litter cleanup, I like to just jump in and splash.

It's not the same as a swimming pool, or the ocean. Hey, anyone want to join my group: Monongahela Organization for River Fun and Swimming, or MORFS? Let me know. Leave a

I'll be swimming in the Mon River up until it's too cold.

Hey, my wife, Maureen, makes a great deckhand. I was watching her putting a line around the floating pin in the lock, and thought, "How many times have you done that, and did you ever think Maureen would?'

I must explain: I worked on towboats for 11 years when I was young. Midwest Towing, Valley Barge Line, Ohio Barge Line. I was promoted to "watchman" which is the same thing as second mate. My friend Larry Durdines was a first mate. He lives at Clarksville, Pa. and has the blog

1 comment:

  1. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I think I will leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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