Stories of a Mississippi River Boat Captain
An illuminating record of fifty years as a pilot on the mighty Mississippi River
Most people only consider the Mississippi River when they cross it or when it inconveniently abandons its banks. But every year, millions of tons of cargo are transported by towboats on the river. In Peep Light: Stories of a Mississippi River Boat Captain, Captain Lee Hendrix provides unique insight on people who work and live on and near the Mississippi River. Hendrix, formerly a pilot for the Delta Queen Steamboat Co., has worked on the Mississippi for fifty years, first as a towboat deckhand in 1972 and eventually as a pilot of towboats and passenger vessels. For Hendrix and others like him, he is at home on the river, living and dining with the same people they work with, working with familiar faces for years at a time and yet meeting new people every day.
Demonstrating a fascination not only with the river but also with the passions and dreams of those who live and work on it, these stories range from personal reflections on aging, experiencing one’s first night on the river and the complex emotions that come with it, working on the deck, promotion to pilot, the characters working aboard these boats, and the history of the river itself. Peep Light unites humans with the river through engaging storytelling and sheds light on Hendrix’s rare experience along one of the most powerful and important waterways in the world.
"Peep Light: Stories of a Mississippi River Boat Captain is a one-of-a-kind book about the folkways and lore of barge and towboat crews on the Mississippi River. These are stories filled with suspense, humor, and heart."- Macon Fry, author of They Called Us River Rats