Even a hard worker like me needs to take a break from it all. It sure is nice to take a relaxing break at the fleet with no orders on hand. Pretty soon will come a fat dinner and a siesta in my bunk. My pal and deckhand on the Poseidon, Craig Clemmons, took this photo for me. Craig was a young guy that was a hard worker and had a riverman's instinct running in his bloodline. I took him under my wing and taught him tow work, which he picked up so easily because he had what Pops called "a little C.S." or common sense. I taught him how to tanker a barge and in no time he was unloading and loading them for me.
I remember one time when Craig told me to get an electric shaver to shave his hair off. I proceeded to do so but intentionally left a strip of his hair across the top of his head. After looking at himself in the mirror he decided to keep the mohawk because "who cares there wasn't anybody around." Shortly after that we went through some locks. The lockmaster thought he was a nut.
The pilot onboard the Poseidon, James Hall, sure was a character too. He was a skinny chain smoking fellow that just had to put a four letter word in every sentence that he said. James was the guy who didn't trust anything, especially the government. He would vote for his dog, Bear, in presidential elections and encouraged everyone else to do so.
James, Craig, and I had a little sign language lingo going on. We were watching some show about Olympics etiquette. We learned that the "thumbs up" gesture meant something totally different to a person from Australia - and it wasn't good. It meant "up yours."
Every time we'd run into somebody we didn't care for we'd giv'em the
ole thumbs up. Looking back I think that ole Tiny Henderson must have thought
we were all very enthusiastic towboaters!
I ran into my old buddy Craig at a dock on the Houston Ship channel in the summer of 98. A boat that he was on just happened to tie up next to us. It's always wonderful to run into someone that you rode and lived with. Craig has grown up, gotten married and has two kids. When he left, I gave him the ole thumbs up.