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The River: Welcome to boat ownership, Everett Dameron, who finally found a vessel of his own


The riverboat captain is a storyteller, and Captain Don Sanders will be sharing the stories of his long association with the river — from discovery to a way of love and life. This a part of a long and continuing story.

By Capt. Don Sanders
Special to NKyTribune

Everett, though, in spite of his reluctance to assume boat ownership, was always welcome aboard the CLYDE where he’d been the cook, dishwasher, first mate, and steersman on the initial delivery trip.  

What a shock it was when self-proclaimed “boat whore,” Everett Dameron, recently sent an email saying he’d bought a boat. Ev never turned down the chance to “slip between the sheets,” so to speak, whenever an opportunity emerged to crew someone else’s vessel while remaining aloof every time a chance arose to own one of his own. 

After all, the CLYDE was supposed to be his boat; not mine. I owned a boat, the SUN*FISH in Decatur, Alabama, so when the two of us drove to Alma, Wisconsin to gawk at the most-authentic small steamboat look-alike on the river, Dameron was supposed to be the buyer, not me.

Back at the motel after test driving Ed Newcomb’s “backyard-built-boat,” Everett revealed he “wasn’t able to come up with enough cash” for the purchase of the CLYDE. Thankfully, I had several shares of some underperforming stocks I’d sold and deposited the resulting cash into my checking account before we made the long drive to see the CLYDE. Otherwise, the paddlewheeler would be elsewhere other than Aurora, Indiana, now.

Everett, though, in spite of his reluctance to assume boat ownership, was always welcome aboard the CLYDE where he’d been the cook, dishwasher, first mate, and steersman on the initial delivery trip.

Ev became reasonably proficient at handing the often cantankerous paddlewheeler, and he piloted the boat through several lockages along the route. That change of duties, though, was in part because I teased Ev by calling him the “worst deckhand on the river.”

Ev became reasonably proficient at handing the often cantankerous paddlewheeler, and he piloted the boat through several lockages along the route.

He wasn’t the worst, of course, but he’d been on a sailboat charter, previously, and he learned some things differently at sea than the way normally done on the river. It was more comfortable teaching Ev how to pilot a curmudgeonly paddlewheeler than it was to re-educate him on-deck.
 
About the last thing I expected to read when I opened the message from Everett was this:
“Well, I’m a dock neighbor. Bought the WET SPOT, a 37-ft Marinette on A Dock.” 

“Hmmmmmm…. did I read that right,” I wondered.

I had to see for myself to believe Ev finally became respectable and changed from his gadfly style of maritime participation by finally springing for an ark of his own. He promised to be at Aurora’s Lighthouse Point Yacht Club on Tuesday, and I agreed to be there, too.

By the time I finally arrived at the dock after responding to an inquiry concerning the CLYDE that I have listed for sale, Ev was already aboard a clean, well-maintained Marinette cruiser. Someone was beside him on the flying bridge showing the rookie how to maneuver the sleek, all-aluminum vessel. They were floating off the dock and putzing-around, so I took a couple of long-distance pictures and watched from afar.
 

“Well, I’m a dock neighbor. Bought the WET SPOT, a 37-ft Marinette on A Dock.” 

When I saw they were heading for more expansive waters in the marina lagoon near my neighboring dock, I went onto the floats to get a closer shot. That’s when Ev saw me and waved as the Marinette coasted back toward its home slip. Again, I made the long haul up the rather steel ramp on B Dock and headed to Ev’s A Dock moorage.

When I finally made contact and saw the WET SPOT for the first time as Ed was getting tie-off instructions from the seller and long-time owner of the boat, Dave Kreidenweis. Immediately, Ev and I began bantering about his decking abilities, and I told Dave that I called EV “the worst deckhand on the river,” but added, “He’s a pretty good steersman.” 

Once inside, Dave continued giving Everett lessons on about how to shut-down the generator and twin engines of the WET SPOT, and I realized I needed to save the chit-chat until class was out. So I watched, and I hope Ev remembers all his instructor had to say, as there was much more to shutting down the SPOT than the CLYDE requires.

Ev was already aboard a clean, well-maintained Marinette cruiser. Someone was beside him on the flying bridge showing the rookie how to maneuver the sleek, all-aluminum vessel.

After everything was secured, we all sat around as Ev and I brought Dave up to date about our mutual CLYDE experiences during the hot summer of 2012. After a while, I saw that Dave was ready to continue with other aspects of getting his buyer settled into the responsibilities of boat ownership.

Soon he announced:

“We’ll all have to get together sometime when I can hear more about your time on the CLYDE, but Everett and I have to get up to the office and get straightened out there.”

I went back to my dock, and after a while, Ev came aboard the CLYDE where I had a hamburger waiting I’d bought him at the IGA store. We must have talked about his boat, my boat, and boating in general until it was time for him to face the horrid Lawrenceburg traffic and drive the 27 miles back home. 

Congratulations, new, respectable boat owner, Everett Dameron. Your former jaded maritime escapades are but whispers in the night.

Captain Don Sanders is a river man. He has been a riverboat captain with the Delta Queen Steamboat Company and with Rising Star Casino. He learned to fly an airplane before he learned to drive a “machine” and became a captain in the USAF. He is an adventurer, a historian, and a storyteller. Now, he is a columnist for the NKyTribune and will share his stories of growing up in Covington and his stories of the river. Hang on for the ride — the river never looked so good.

Ed was getting tie-off instructions from the seller and long-time owner of the boat, Dave Kreidenweis.

Congratulations, new, respectable boat owner, Everett Dameron seen with the former owner, Dave Kreidenweis.


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4 Comments

  1. Connie Bays says:

    Always nice when a longtime dream comes true! Thanks for sharing the wonderful news! Life is grand!

  2. Cornelia Reade-Hale says:

    Wow.the river gets in one’s blood and it never leaves. Yet again Don brings a bit of river activity to life. I felt i was on the float watching n listening as Ev learned about his new boat. Thanks. Capt Don. Congratulations Ev!!

  3. Ronald Sutton says:

    What’s the saying, the Happiest Days of a Boat Owners Life are the Day He Buys It, and the Day He Sells it? Another well written tale.

  4. Bob Sanders says:

    Everett, I am jealous! Congratulations on your new boat.

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