cliffsvictorySomebody had fun making this artifact (it has a cover page, which I won’t display for reasons I won’t disclose). I found it in the Landfill Dungeon last weekend during yet another de-hoarding session. I’m not going to get rid of it. I’m trying to decide whether it belongs here at the Landfill or maybe at the moomincabin. We’ll see. For now it is lolling about on top of the Landfill Microwave. (Yes, we have one! I bought it in Sault Ste. Siberia from my second cousin once removed!)

The Cliffs Victory was a favorite Great Lakes shipping vessel when I was a child. Not that it was my favorite. I liked to watch the boats go by but I had other interests that kept me occupied. Like reading every blasted biography in the kids’ section at the Carnegie Public Library (the one with the big lions!). And (later on) obsessively practicing the Taffanel / Gaubert flute exercises. Hey, those “wallpaper” exercises are more fun than you might think and obsessively practicing them helped me get first seat at the Interlochen All-State camp — ahead of a few snooty Planet Ann Arbor kids [wink wink]. When you grow up here on the Planet, you can actually take lessons with Detroit Symphony folk or UMich profs, etc. Me in the Yooperland? Mostly no lessons at all… But that would be a whole ‘nother blahg entry and, since I evolved into a systems analyst and haven’t touched my flute in a long time, I’m not sure what the point would be.

Off on a tangent again. That’s me lately. We were in an intense design session this morning and I looked out the window and derailed the whole thing by interjecting “Blue Sky!”. It was okay, the LSCHP derailed it a few times too. Oyster costume? Okaaaayy… Anyway, my old coot and my brother the engineer were true boat nerds. I remember three boats from that era, the Cliffs Victory, the Ryerson, and the Sykes. I think the Sykes is still operating although it rarely locks up into Gitchee Gumee. Not sure about the Ryerson. Is it still running anywhere? I *think* that was my bro’s all-time fave. I can’t ask him but I have a pitcher somewhere of him on the bridge getting a tour. The Cliffs Victory died in 1987 when it was dismantled over in South Korea.

My brother didn’t live long enough [alas] to get an iPhone and download the Marine Traffic app. I no longer have to listen to a scanner or use binoculars to figure out what boat is out there in front of me. I just look at Marine Traffic. The Engineer (my brother) didn’t live long enough [alas] to be on facebook. Therefore, he cannot follow the Cason Callaway or the Algolake on facebook. So much fun. And this winter, they are both over [I think] in Wisconsin (Lake Michigan) for dry-dock stuff. There are Canadian (Algolake) and American (Callaway) “rows” there. The Algolake is doing maintenance on their propeller. Lots of hard, cold work. I’m sure they’re having fun too. Knowing The Engineer, he would’ve probably been direct-messaging those guys asking them questions and whatever and prob’ly getting invited on board, etc. Miss that old boy big time.

3 Responses to “CliffsaVictory

  1. Margaret Says:

    Neither one of my deceased brothers lived long enough to have a computer or an iPhone. Patt was crazy about boats/ships too; although he was seasick for 4 years in the military, he still loved the water.

  2. Marquis Says:


  3. l4827 Says:

    That was my mom’s favorite ‘BO_AT’, as she would say. ARMCO was a very close second. She enjoyed watching the boats both when we were at the SOO and when we lived in Port Huron on the St. Mary’s River. Ship Ahoy, Mom. One long and two short.