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My Father’s Legacy

My Father’s Legacy

My parents shared a deep love for the African wilderness and, starting in my early childhood they would load all four children into our old stationwagon, along with a great clatter of pots and pans, provisions and a heavy old canvas tent, and we would head for “the bush”.

If you can’t roll with the punches, you’ll miss Paducah!

If you can’t roll with the punches, you’ll miss Paducah!

It was in July that I was about to fulfill my dream of a river cruise on the Mississippi aboard a Paddlesteamer, following in the footsteps of my childhood hero, Mark Twain. So how did I end up in Kentucky? Well, this year the Mississippi River was in flood, and a last-minute decision was made by the captain to head east toward Cincinnati, rather than north to Minneapolis. After some re-organization (thank goodness I have a great travel agent 😊) we boarded the American Queen Steamboat. She is quite a sight with her giant black smoke stacks, Victorian-laced balconies and a huge, red paddlewheel to propel her along. After settling into my very comfortable cabin we cast off and were now steaming up the Ohio River. As you can see, even here the captain had to lower the smoke stacks, the wheelhouse and even all antennae as the ship only had a scant 18 inch clearance when we passed under this bridge near Henderson. Our first port of call was Paducah, Kentucky. A month earlier, on a sunny day in June, the historically quaint river town celebrated the first arrival of the 436-passenger American Queen Steamboat with much fanfare. When the paddlesteamer called unannounced on a bright Monday in July – I was probably just as surprised as the local residents to have docked in this lovely Kentucky town, since my itinerary clearly stated that  we were supposed to be in Hannibal, Missouri. Founded in 1827, Paducah was one of six stops along the Ohio River, all steeped in a rich history derived from its river trade. It served...