My Father, the Boat?

beachsunshine.jpgOr maybe it’s My Brother, the Boat. Or both. Anyway…

I was walking before the sun came up this morning. I watched a huge harvest moon set over in the west as I walked down through the campus and on down along Portage to the locks. There were no boats in the locks. I walked past all the tourist traps and on down Water St. past the fountain.

I got to the Corps of Engineers and I noticed that a freighter was just hanging out stopped in front of the Corps. I didn’t look at it very closely. Actually, I was kind of distracted because there was a sort of a bag lady type person ambling along in front of me. That’s not a very typical sight up here in the Great White North (except for me) and I really hope she wasn’t homeless because winter is pretty darn cold here.

Well, she more or less ignored me and I got on beyond the Corps of Engineers building and over by Brady Park. And the front end of the freighter was there. I started to read the name: “E,” “d,” “w.” I looked at the top of the ship. Holy Toledo! The Edward L. Ryerson! Okay, I thought. Who the heck is in the pilot house this time?

I walked down and stood by the fence. I was literally within twenty feet from the dern thing. My brother once had a tour. There are pics of that somewhere. But I have never been that close to the Edward L. Ryerson before that I know of. I stood there for a while. It was still a little bit before dawn, that “piper at the gates of dawn” time. I was glad for the relative dark so the deckhand hanging over the rail couldn’t see the tears that were suddenly streaming down my face.

Emotions get tangled up sometimes and those tears were as much caused by happiness as grief or sadness and I quickly got a grip. I had things to do and people to see in the world of the living. So, I walked away. I looked back a couple times, then I walked up Ashmun, then climbed the escarpment to the octo-house.

But I couldn’t help wondering who was in that blasted pilot house. You guys, please do not try to coerce the captain of the Ryerson to pilot the ship up Carbeck or Stonybrook. Going past The Commander’s cabin is all we need. And you can make it park in front of the Corps of Engineers whenever I’m in town. I’ll visit.

3 Responses to “My Father, the Boat?”

  1. CliffsVic » Blog Archive » Homecoming 2006 Says:

    […] So, just as Bananne had a homecoming of sorts by way of a lake freighter this morning, mine was this evening in a red convertible. […]

  2. l4827 Says:

    The Stuart J. Court was also observed sailing out bound just west of Birch Point this morning. Last night’s brilliant moonlight made for a wonderful beach fire night.

    P.S. The Cliffs Victory was/is my mom’s favorite “bo-at”.

  3. kayak woman Says:

    Cliffs Victory was an all-time favorite of my brother. And I saw the Cort approaching the Mackinac Bridge as I crossed it coming up. I did get your phone message. Unfortunately, I’m staying in town at the octo-house this trip. We finished closing the cabin today and my aunt (Radical Betty) and I were walking the lastest developer road around the time you called. Have a good bonfire! I’m heading back tomorrow morning. I hate to go, beautiful weather!