Sunday, August 22, 2010
About a week ago I was notified by my little brother that his son, my nephew, would motor past a location close to home and would I snap a few exposures? But of course! Said nephew is a crewman on the Motor Vessel Gerald Majors, the newest towboat in the widespread fleet of a home-town enterprise, Pine Bluff Sand and Gravel Company. The boat’s home port is in Louisiana close to where my nephew resides. This week its business was in Arkansas waters very close to home.
Believing that a shot of the mighty boat going under a bridge would be nice, I stationed myself under the US Highway 79 Bridge over the Arkansas River north of Pine Bluff. Since the temperature was hovering in the low hundreds and the humidity was bouncing around in the pegging-the-meter mode, the shade offered by a four-lane bridge seemed to be the way to go — unless you did not take exception to a fried brain.
Not knowing exactly when the boat would be in camera range, I arrived a couple of hours early and discovered a couple of women fishing under the bridge. They were initially reticent to converse, but after they discovered that I was relatively harmless and wasn't going away, we started to chat. We never got around to the introduction stage. Nevertheless, the banter was friendly.
After about thirty minutes of planting my duff on the standard Mule Head Brand five gallon bucket/stool I carry in the bed of the pickup, I decided there was a story in front of me and I shot the picture you see above. It occurred to me that I was witnessing human activities in harmony with Mother Nature.
The long awaited vessel arrives: Brand new, the MV Gerald Majors cuts a proud image on the river. She is headed upriver with a compliment of barges. The speck under the "G" in Gerald Majors is my nephew.
The river, calmly running by, was docile and about as clean as one would expect a modern river of its size to be. The sturdy bridge provides a needed service, disturbs nothing — and fish apparently like it. I say that because this is a popular fishing spot. Although the women were not setting any catch records, there were enough fish in their ice chests for a good supper.
Finally, the river is an artery of commerce providing for efficient movement of goods and a source of employment. If all that ain't harmony, I'm a retired Russian cosmonaut.
N O T E S:
SEE THE BOAT
Most of the time, there is more to the Photo of the Week story than can be told in an essay. And most of the time there are more pictures to be seen. Presuming that some folk will enjoy being privy to this trove of information, I have created a blog, “Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind,” where I am showing and telling “the rest of the story." There are also some blatantly commercial mentions of some of the things we do to earn our beans and taters. Click on the Weekly Grist logo and go to the blog. — J. D.