Farewell To A Friend

Table of Contents

Title Page
The Editor's Notebook
Marine News
The Joys Of Patent Medicines
Lay-up Listings
Rothesay Revisited
Farewell To A Friend
The Invasion Of Toronto Harbour
Ship of the Month No. 97 James B. Eads
Additional Marine News
Table of Illustrations

She rocks serene by the dockside,
Communing with the Fates,
"Standing By" for final orders
As scrap to forge new plates.

A rusty, battered old hull in
The dry landlubber eye,
Decks stripped of cabins and rigging,
Just junk to passers-by.

Not so to the aging lake sailor,
Relaxing on the pier,
They're "shipping mates" from the channels
Share in a long career.

The "Old Man" visions a queen there,
Beneath her cloak of grime,
Matured by years of performance,
Majestic in her prime!

Past hazy lenses meander
The gales and seas they rode,
The men and cargo she cradled,
The crippled craft she towed.

She dared the ice - gave it battle!
She tip-toed through the fog.
Historic trips up and down
Were recorded in her log.

His rugged heart cries "Avast"-
Then ere the torch descends,
The mist re-echoes "Ahoy, there!"
Greeting of passing friends!

R. Frances Hepperla

The above item, while definitely not the world's best poetry, seems to capture part of what many of us felt during 1980, the "Year of the Scrap Tow". We have all been saddened by the passing parade of old (and some not-too-old) friends making their last trips, attended only by the none-too-gentle ministrations of uncaring tugs. Most of the freighters that we once thought were "old" have now passed from the scene, and many of those that seemed relatively new but a few short years ago are now the veterans of lake service.

Yes, time passes far too quickly, a fact that is all too evident to the marine historian. If only there were some way that we could turn back the years and see again those steamers which were once so familiar to us all.

The poem is reproduced (with, excuse please, a few amendments for which Ye Ed. must take credit or blame, as the case may be) from the July-August, 1961, issue of "The Bulletin", published by the Lake Carriers' Association. We thank our good member John Connelly, of Deer Trail, Colorado, for reminding us of it.


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