Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on August 6, 1972 · Page 53
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August 6, 1972

Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 53

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Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, August 6, 1972
Page:
Page 53
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Page 53 article text (OCR)

ail Char IE--August 6, 1972 -Beauty Afloat By Connie Shearer She's 138 feet long. She's 28 feet wide. She weighs 200 tons and when she needs a facelift, 300 gallons of paint are needed. She's the Robin D and she can be seen most any day floating in all her glory up and down the Kanawha River or docked at the 25th Street landing in Dunbar. Next to Robin Dawn, granddaughter of the captain, the Robin is Capt. Pete Denny's pride and joy. Robin Dawn christened the boat last year and sent it on its way off the coast of Kanawha City. On the very same day the Robin D brought home second place honors in tbt boat races. Capt. Denny's main concern is to make sure all who come aboard are as comfortable as possible. To this end, the boat is furnished with all the comforts of home. Hie captain's stateroom boasts of heavy furnishings with a private bath and nautical theme. The captain's wife has her own stateroom and Robin Dawn has her private quarters. Mrs. Denny's room has a Colonial feeling. There's a floral print carpet and an overall green and gold theme. The bedspread is avocado and a comfortable chair is gold crushed velvet. A white Colonial lamp is used on the dresser. Robin's favorite colors are used in her French Provincial room. The bedspread is moss green velvet and a small high- back brass chair has a plush blue velvet seat. The furniture is gold and white and even a French telephone rests on a brass muffin-type table. In what would be the living room in a house, the captain chose a red 1 and black color theme. Black leather chairs and a large red leather sofa are used on the red and black carpet. Red draperies complete the color scheme. The captain's dining room sports a table which can seat up to 16 passengers. Red is the predominant color here too. The kitchen (galley, in this case) is equipped with built-in stove, sink, cabinets and dishwasher in avocado green. There's a large family-size refrigerator and an upright freezer in the same shade. The upper deck is furnished with brightly colored umbrella tables, chairs and lounges. Here tHe captain has been known to entertain as many as 150 people. (Photos by Frank Wilkin) THAT'S ROBIN ON THE DECK OF THE ROBIN D Giant Pleasure Craft Was Commissioned Last Labor Day Capt Denny Shares His Joy FRENCH PROVINCIAL FOR ROBIN Colors Are Her Favorites--Moss Green and Blue By Delmcr Robinson. "Our family didn't have much when I was a child," the hard-working owner of the Robin D. said. "Some people were good to us, so now I want to be good to other people," P. A. Denny said. And that's the reason he donates the use of his beautiful sternwheeler riverboat to charitable groups and others. Among the groups who have thrilled to a ride on the river are the children of Bronco Junction, the cerebral palsy group, and the mentally retarded. But he does not limit the use of the boat to charities. Civic and social groups have enjoyed excursions on the boat, too --among them the Beni Kedem Gold Band, dental technicians, Dunbar city employes, St. Albans Boat Club and Charleston Boat Club. Oh, yes, and schoolmates of his granddaughter Robin Dawn (the boat was named for her) had a boatride, too. Not just her classmates, but all the children of Dunbar Elementary School. Said a teacher: "The children may forget much of what we taught them this year, but they'll always remember this boat ride." Not only does Denny donate the use of his boat, but his services, too--not even charging for the fuel used. It's his way of sharing the joy he has in the boat. "I saw this hulk on the Kanawha and fell in love with it. So when I sold out my coal mining interests I bought it." He spent a substantial sum of money (he refuses to say how much for publication) in remodeling, rebuilding and furnishing the boat. He kept a close eye on the whole process, even choosing the furnishings. The result: the largest privately owned pleasure boat ever docked at Pittsburgh --one that can accommodate upwards of 200 persons for cruises. Actually, it's listed with the Coast Guard as a yacht, but Denny asks "who ever heard of a paddlewheel yacht?" Although it's true it has a Lido deck. It was commissioned last Labor Day. Altogether, it's quite an investment of time and resources in a hobby by Denny, and it's typical of the man that he wants to share it. "I quit school in the fifth grade to go to work. There were 10 of us children and as the oldest I had to help raise the family. His father, an emigrant, had a small "punch" mine, near Rayland, Ohio. Living wasn't exactly easy. "We worked hard for everything we got. Except a time or two near Christmas there would be a basket from an anonymous donor at our door. "I never knew for sure, but I thought the Masons donated the baskets, and as soon as I was able, I started doing the same thing." (He also joined the Masonic order). He came to West Virginia to work in the steel mills at Weirton. But he got into strip mining during the infancy of that industry in West Virginia, working his way up through foreman, superintendent and general manager. It was a period of hard and long work--usually seven days a week and sometimes for two days at a time. In 1951 he came to this area to start the Denny Coal Co. After he sold his interests two and a half years ago he bought the boat to keep him occupied during retirement. But even such a boat cannot serve as an exclusive outlet for his energies--he's planning to get back into the coal business "on a limited scale." DINING ROOM CAN SERVE AS CONFERENCE CENTER Through Door Can Be Seen 'Living Room' CAPT. DENNY AT THE PADDLE WHEEL 15-Foot by 15-Foot Wheel Has 24-Inch "Buckets" .1.

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