Enjoying many river boats

    About a hundred years ago (I can say that since I am headed toward my late 96th), there were still a few steam boats going up and down the Illinois River. When I was 4 or 5 years old, and would hear the loud boat whistle, my mother would say, “Get your shoes on and get out and sit on the curb.” I would be there and Grandpa Roberts would come by and pick me up and take me to the boat landing. Grandpa was a retired railroader, and was now hired by the city to meet all steam boats and check in all the supplies coming to Beardstown and have a list of the products that were to board the ship for Peoria or St. Louis. Having never seen a black person, I would sit and watch these people carrying barrels, big sacks, and wood boxes down the gang plank, chanting or singing all the while.

 

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