My wandering spirit was shaped by the Mississippi River in 1993.
In mid-April, just before the floods of ’93, I was one of six guys who took a pontoon from Lake Michigan in Chicago to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
The “Party Hut” boat was 28 feet long and eight feet wide. It was owned by Bill FitzGerald, the patriarch of FitzGerald’s roadhouse in Berwyn, Ill., an inner ring suburb of Chicago. The boat managed 18 MPH in the best of conditions. Besides myself and Bill, the crew consisted of Bill’s brother Chris, Tom, a fine chef and pilot, chef-pilot Kevin and Steve the stock trader.
We all got to be good friends. Very patient friends.
We snaked down the Chicago River to the Illinois River before meeting the Mississippi River around the Our Lady of Rivers Shrine near Alton, Ill.
These are my slides of a trip of a lifetime with a prelude along the Mississippi in Lansing, Ia.