Posts Tagged ‘Missouri’

The S.S. Admiral

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

This fine old craft is mentioned in Route 66: The Mother Road. I have fond memories of it, here’s a taste from my book:

“On summer afternoons, below the well-used Route 66 crossing [the Chain of Rocks Bridge], shrill whistles from the calliope of the S.S. Admiral could be heard up and down the river. The Admiral, an all-steel excursion luxury liner with five mammoth decks, became a fixture on the riverfront. It was popular with natives and visitors to St. Louis and was billed as the world’s largest inland steamer. On summer evenings couples sipped cold beer and danced in air-conditioned comfort as the big ship churned through muddy waters beneath a canopy of stars and moonlight.

During the late 1970-s and early 1980-s, the steamer’s hull was damaged and the excursion ship became snarled in financial difficulties. It ended up moored at the downtown levee alongside renovated sidewheelers and a floating McDonald’s restaurant. The S. S. Admiral stopped cruising the river and the sound of its calliope could no longer be heard at Chain of Rocks.”

Michael and Suzanne, 1968

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

Michael and Suzanne

The first time I ever saw Suzanne was when I walked into that classroom at the University of Missouri — a raw and ready guy straight out of the Marines. I was struck by those Irish-Danish looks. Her smile and hair and eyes knocked my socks off.

That was in 1967. Nothing has changed that way.

Our lives blended in the turbulent and wonderful 1960s and since those long ago days we have become one in so many ways. She inspires me, counsels me, and keeps me on course.

Once I tried to find the right words to describe how I feel about this woman. Then it struck me — I remembered being a little boy and coming downstairs at Christmas and seeing that tree. I recalled the tinsel, and gifts, and the candles and ribbons. That’s what it is like being with her — that is what it is like every time I’m off somewhere and come home or those times when I look up and she walks into the room. It all comes back full force and I‘m a kid again moving down those stairs and I’m seeing those lights. She still gives me that Christmas light feeling.

My Irish luck held when she came into my life.