Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Larry Durdines, OBL mate and a good man

Last month I received word that Larry Durdines died at the age of 58. I worked with Larry on the riverboats run by Ohio Barge Line, and I'm sorry to hear he died so early.

He had two blogs. http://tenmilecreekcountry.blogspot.com/ about his home town. Also http://larrythekidman.blogspot.com/ a site with some of his humor.

Larry was a good man. He was a pain in the butt mate, though. Of course, as I recall, they all were. Larry was always a little excited. He was excited to be alive, even if it meant going out on the tow to wire up 15 coal barges for the trip from Clairton, Pa., down to Kenova, Ky., which was dirty work often done in the rain, heat or cold. But he was always ready for it and ready to give you a smile. I guess he was just more into deck work than I ever was. He told me, later, that it was "man's work."

I'm sorry he's gone. We always talked about getting together and drinking some and talking about the old river days. We got laid off back in 1984-85, I believe it was, and I never went back on the towboats. I lost track of Larry, then one day at a festival in Greensboro, Pa., here he walked up, in a tie-died t-shirt. Smiling.

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