By Boomer Jack Boardman
It was just after dusk when she arrived, gliding almost noiselessly, her twin bio-diesel engines barely above idle, past the Centennial Showboat moored permanently along Harriet Island. Almost no one was aware of her near-silent passage. Almost.
“T” had been on the island for hours, looking to capture something different, as if she hadn’t photographed everything possible this time of day along the riverfront—except that boat.
She wasn’t expecting a boat to be passing by, at least not one worth the effort, still, she was ready, her reliable Kodak disposable, fastened securely to her tripod with a number 4 rubber band (they work the best), the camera was already aimed—precisely—as if she knew the boat would be there—just then.
Without hesitation or even much thought, she expertly snapped the shutter—just so. Months of experience told her this one would be good, perhaps even award winning. Those photo-nerds on Flikr will go nuts over this one. She was right.
Mac was in the Sparrow’s pilothouse, guiding the big boat past Harriet Island, Boomer beside him, the others all sleeping quite soundly, thank you very much. Or so they thought.
“I think we’re expected in that open spot in front of the Showboat,” Mac said as he surveyed the landing, “At least that is what we were told yesterday.”
“Good location, Mac,” Boomer replied, “The van should arrive in the morning.”
“Hola amigos,” a cheerful Ines said as she entered the pilothouse, startling the two, “This place does not appear to be Danger Bay.”
“INES!” Mac rumbled in surprise, “Ya scared the daylights outta me!”
“This is Saint Paul, no?” Ines asked, “I must get the others, they should see this!”
“It is Saint Paul,” Boomer smiled, “but let the others sleep. We’re spending the night aboard, and in the morning, it’s organically & shade grown, French Roast coffee at Joe’s Café & Coffee.”
Mac soon had the boat docked at the landing, and shut down the big engines. Crewman Armstrong arrived moments later for the overnight watch. Even night-owl Ines decided to retire for the night.
The next morning, the rented tour van was waiting, bright and early, and (a still sleepy) Ines, Maggie, Bob, Lysa, Sarah & Boomer (the latter two wide awake), left the Sparrow and climbed into the van.
The van made its way up the winding Ohio Street hill, to Cherokee Boulevard, and onto the High Bridge for a quick trip across to Upper Town, home of Joe’s Café & Coffee (Pretty Good Food & Great Coffee).
“Welcome, welcome,” “Proud Czech” Josef Rusicka greeted as the friends filled his tiny café, “Coffee is hot & fresh, and on Boomer.”
“This doesn’t look like Danger Bay,” Bob observed, “Big A musta done more than we thought!”
“Hungry,” was about all Lysa could say, “You serve breakfast?”
“I’m paying?” Boomer feigning a touch of outrage at the thought, said.
“GREAT!” Bob exclaimed, “Fix me up with your most expensive breakfast, Josef!”
“I wasn’t all that hungry,” Maggie joined in, “but I seem to have developed an appetite…”
Josef hadn’t sold so many breakfasts in one morning, ever, as everyone seemed to have an appetite (Joe’s IS a very small café), but handled the situation just fine, thank you very much. Boomer’s wallet ended up being only a little lighter virtually speaking.
“Where to now?” Lysa asked as the gang was enjoying a last mug of after breakfast coffee.
“I’ve arranged a tour of the town for us,” Boomer replied, smiling.
And that’s all he would say…