Digest>May/Jun 2012

Photo Caption:

Steamboat Elsie is shown standing next to the Longmans Landing Lighthouse in Henry, Illinois. James Gray in The Illinois wrote about his 1939 meeting with Steamboat Elsie. “She is small and dark and quiet. About her love of the river she feels a decent reticence. She can not dramatize it or exploit it. At first I tried to employ an interviewer’s tricks to nudge her into expressiveness. My questions were intended to make her confess how she had come to feel so great a need to hear whistles. I wanted a romantic declaration about man’s immemorial yearning for the sea, but would have settled for a bit of personal gossip – some little anecdote, perhaps, about a seafaring great-grandfather who had visited all the romantic ports of the world. But Steamboat Elsie was incorruptibly honest. Loving the river was just an idea of her own.”
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Story:

Steamboat Elsie
Back to the edition of: May/Jun 2012

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