Great pictures as always Walt. It seems obvious to me that you have a love of all things old, rural, farm and machinery related, and I would guess of course the gatherings of people who enjoy the same. Maybe "pastoral" is the word I am looking for. No doubt you enjoy the photography part of it and sharing it with all of us on here. You must know yourself how it makes people feel to see these scenes from the past. At 49 I'm not really old enough to have been any part of these times, but often feel like it was when I should have lived. Thanks for the pics. I also had to respond to this particular post from you because of some other underlying things. I will try to keep this short, and if you've ever read some of my other posts you know that means less than can be read in a day. I worked on the Mississippi River, on a towboat like the larger one you showed, for about 8 years, in the 80's. The scene at Caruthersville is very familiar to me. In 83 (and more recently) that was all under water, and I watched all of it from the middle of the river. In 88 it was just the opposite. The river just very nearly dried up. I have pictures (paper) of the Mississippi Queen and Delta Queen docking together right at the spot where you took those pictures. Those two boats used to race from N.O. to St.Louis every year for the 4th of July. So you hit the nostalgia button for me twice on this post.
Additionally, I lived in Piggott Ar. during the time I worked on the boats, and so am very familiar with all of the towns you mentioned, and many more. Clay county has the distinction of having two county seats, Piggott and Corning. It goes back to early days when it was difficult for people to get from one side of the county to the other, because of Crowleys Ridge and the Black River. My mother still lives in Piggott, and in fact she came over to the show to see if she could spot you and visit with you a little. She actually went to see if she could pick up some serial number and other "details" info for me (do mothers ever stop trying to please their kids?) on letter series Waterloo tractors, but wanted to catch you as well. You see her maiden name was Ferguson. Her sister lives on the Natchez Trace, near Collinwood Tn. She came home and sent me kind of a dejected e-mail, that she had not spotted you. I had told her ahead of time to look for someone taking a lot of pictures (and not to pester you too much), and had sent her one of your past posts that showed you in a picture. Maybe next time. Thanks again for the memories and past it brings back for me, and I'm sure many others. I could go on forever about my time in Clay county, and my life on the rivers, but this is your post. Thanks Walt. Tim
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