william (bill) pilkinton 6/29/66 greensville, mississippi
Delia UcmiiTÂ»t-Timcs Greenville, Mis.s- Wednesday, June 20, "60 15 Ole Man River And Industry CAPT. WOODRQW "SOAPY" JOHNSON erf Ccnlerville, Miw., n river man for 26 years, knows the Mighty Mississippi as well as most people know the name Mark Twain. Once a deck hand he now pilots one of the largest pushboats on U. S. Wind waterways. waterways. An old friend of Capt. Johnson's once made the remark that ho was no bigger than a bar o! soap after a hard day's wash, and the nickname "Soapy" has stuck. Capt. Soupy likes lo read historical novels and work crossword puules and reminisce reminisce about the "good ole days on the River." * * * * * * THE MW HORSEPOWER J. E. Alqultt, H feet wide and 2M feet long, pushes lome of the largest tows on America's inland waterways, and can maneuver up to 4t,MO tons of loaded barges. It operates In every kind of weather and has s o p h i s t i c a t e d naviga- tional equipment Including ra- dar, radios, depth sounder, autopilot. Furnished in flnt hotel styling, it has wall to wall carpeting in captain'* and guest rooms, private baths, television, lounges and paneling. This floating village is kept as clean and sanitary as any land borne, for this is where 11 men live for 10 to 49 days at a time. * * * Hy J A N E STAFFOHD DU-T S t a f f Writer The men oT the Mississippi have a great respect for the grent waterway thai sinuously i winds its 2470 miles from North Minnesota to the Gull of Mexico. The river is beautiful and ugly; active and lonely; good and evil. And because o! this she has won the hearts of many a man. Us romance has been the creative inspiration of novelist Murk Twian; its treacherous nature had caused such catastrophic catastrophic as tho overflow of 1927; its accessibility has created one of the most competitive business, es in the United States. Our Delia city with its Latco Ferguson harbor is of such location that we are able to share dircclly in the profit from the river. The towboat industry in a manner of speaking has "put bread on our tables." Products of all kinds are skillfully skillfully and expertly moved up and down stream. And this skill and efficiency is demanded of all persons aboard a motor vessel. The J. E. Alquist, skippered by Capt. Wood row "Soapy" Johnson and Capt. William (Dill) Pilkinton, is one of the largest, most luxurious boats on the river. But its pilots and cre,w arc typical examples of the kind of men needed lo do tire job :iml are proficient and tyke pridi; in [their work. The 1 days nf the rwdclk 1 wiioel ploys tlurjs.iruls of pcqile --Â· are gone, and the river i n d u M r y ' i r u n |:.iin!cr *'. tlic has mushroomed into one of |iic-.v hsnt to prcsiik.it of a barge modern sophistication thll cnl-'liiiL'. RELIEF CAPT. WILLIAM (Bill) PILKINTON hails from Tennessee Tennessee and has been on the river for about 20 years. He has a great respect for the Mississippi which he says is as "unpredictable "unpredictable as any woman." When he isn't on the river, he's tending several acres of land. A Westera musk fan, Capt. Bill tunes in the radio on the lonely affwatches. But to him the dawn of a new day Is (he most beautiful time'on the river. That's when he leans back In his big green leather swivel chair, prop* his feet up and in jest says, "It's a lorry life." * * * "JUST DON'T ever gel the cook mod at you," warn members members of the crew, who in jest sny he's the only one on board t h a t really matters. James D. Ward of Memphis, Tcnn., started cooking when he was in the Army. When discharged, discharged, he drove a truck for a whilt 1 , but found the job uninteresting. uninteresting. He's been on the river now for several years, and can brew everything from tasty sauces lo the juclesf, fenclerrat stcnks around. AT MEALTIME liie crcÂ« o! 11 eats on tÂ«o half hour shifts. Breakfast is at 5:30 and 6; dinner, 11:30 arid noon and supper, 5:30 and 6. Feeding these men doesn't seem to pose any serious serious problem as the jobs they do create hungry appetites. balanced, three or four course meals -- from soup to dessert-quickly replenish and restore energy. Gene Herrcn passes hot rolls ID Tommy Spillman of Gloster, Miss. The socially on Saturday night Is T-bone steak, and Roy Sparks ol Oxford, (other side of (able) is making yEiort work of his. THE ALQUIST culs engines just long enough for a fuel boat to come along side (o replenish the SOOfl gallons per day needed to operate the vessel which hns a fuel capacity of 17,1,000 gallons. At (he port of Memphis '15,000 gallons nf fuel, drinking water and lubricating oil uere pumped aboard. * * if THE R4JBY f i , port of Memphis, comes along side the Alquist to board groceries, laundry and long sought after mall. The cook takes his grocery list, which includes something like 120 pounds of beef, 30 pounds of fish, JO gallons of milk, 12 dozen eggs, 22 T-bone steaks -- everything from soup lo nuts -- to (he skipper Â«ho radios Ihe order In the boat store (Iho nearest supply area.) * . * . * . . * * * A Solute To The J. Â£ Alquist IT'S A WARM 151 degrees in the engine room. In the foreground is a chain hoist Â«Â»ed In pulling engine heads for overhauling. The huge round cylinders carry the engine's exhaust through smoke slacks atop the vessel. ENGINEER RUSSEL DcLuunu of I'aBulonn, Tox.. watches gauges thai record the vessel's pulse. In the engine control he can efficiently monitor and control operations from a point. The beauty and luxury ol tho Alquist arc secondary the engine room which is the very heart of the vessel, 'the employs an automatic grease lubrication system which services propeller shafting, rudders and steering linkages. 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