A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

The River: Plenty of tales to tell in whispered tones — some about how to be rid of troublemakers

By Capt. Don Sanders Special to NKyTribune “I killed a couple roustabouts,” the old pilot began with no prompting. The pilothouse, otherwise hushed except for an occasional vibration caused whenever the steamboat found shallow water and labored, abruptly became a confessional for the elderly boatman behind the “sticks” guiding the vessel on the dark and trackless stretch of the Lower Mississippi...

The River: Franko was a drinking man — and there are plenty of memorable stories to tell about him

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 Franko-the-Capstan-Man, born in Madison, Wisconsin, sailed at sea for many years before he found his way aboard the DELTA QUEEN, in early...

The River: A boy’s life couldn’t get any better — all that mattered was the river and learning all he could

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 The PAL-O-MINE was at home at the Newport Yacht Club, on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River upstream from the Mouth of the Licking River...

The River: From a young boy terrified of the river to a grown-up who can’t stay away from it

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 Two rivers bless Covington along its borders – the Ohio and the Licking. Of all the streams I have been on, and that’s a few, the...

The River: As gambling boats go into free-fall in Iowa, Diamond Lady paddles toward uncertainty in Miss.

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 When I joined the DL’s crew just before the first anniversary of the day I watched as Vanna cut the ribbon on April Fool’s day in 1991,...

The River: The story starts in 1991 as Vanna White cuts the ribbon opening casino boat gambling. . .

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 April Fool’s Day 1991. Aboard the DIAMOND LADY on the Upper Mississippi River at Bettendorf, Iowa, the letter-turning, game show hostess...

The River: As the New Year approaches, it’s time for remembrances of the year past — and the stories told

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 As New Year’s 2019 is but a day away, and if my calculations are correct, this is the fifty-sixth River Column I’ve written for the NKy...

The River: Whistles have a special place on boats and there are so many stories to tell about them . . .

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 In 1971, when the DELTA QUEEN lay moored below the BECKY THATCHER, formerly the U. S. Army Corps of Engineer’s Inspection Boat MISSISSIPPI,...

The River: Cold? Not until your mustache freezes with a ‘ping’ while working on a riverboat

By Capt. Don Sanders Special to NKyTribune 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. Winter will officially be here in a few days, but, already, the frosty temps the Ohio River Valley has experienced since early autumn has...

The River: An enjoyable time aboard the BELLE of CINCINNATI 2018 River Hop comes to an end

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 Relieved to be up and off the hard main deck of the BELLE of CINCINNATI, I was dressed by 7 a.m. Even with an inflatable air-mattress, the...

The River: Continuing the River Hop, with great crew of BB’s BELLE OF CINCINNATI and still having fun

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 The BELLE of CINCINNATI was quiet except for the distant rumble of a generator toward the stern, inside the engineroom, a deck below. I was...

The River: The story of my journey on the BB Riverboats’ BELLE of CINCINNATI as ‘river historian’

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 On the 25th of September, this year, Captain Terri Bernstein, CEO of BB Riverboats, based on the waterfront of the Ohio River at Newport,...

The River: From the Ice Age to Locks and Dams on the Ohio River, as told aboard BB Riverboat Belle

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 Before we jump way ahead of ourselves and discuss the system of locks and dams on the Ohio River, let’s ask, “What IS this Ohio River;...

The River: The Great Flood of 1937 as told aboard the BB Riverboat Belle of Cincinnati in 2018

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 The Great Ohio River Flood of 1937 took place in late January and February 1937. With damage stretching from Pittsburgh to Cairo, Illinois,...

The River: Finding right relationship with tough Capt. Beatty and continuing to learn as much as possible

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 Last of three parts On one fateful day, after the Captain guided the CLARE across the river to the Point Pleasant Boat Store to refill the...