Road Scholar : Home
Southern Heritage on the Mississippi River

Program Number: 20994RJ
Start and End Dates:
12/6/2014 - 12/16/2014; 3/11/2015 - 3/21/2015; 3/25/2015 - 4/4/2015; 11/8/2015 - 11/18/2015; 11/12/2015 - 11/22/2015; 12/6/2015 - 12/16/2015; 12/10/2015 - 12/20/2015;
Duration: 10 nights
Location: Louisiana/Mississippi/Tennessee/Arkansas
Price starting at: $4,530.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; River Boats
Meals: 27; 9 Breakfasts, 1 Brunch, 8 Lunches, 9 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free; None    

Board a magnificent steam-powered paddlewheel riverboat for a classic Mississippi River voyage. Experience the music, food, natural beauty and architectural grandeur of Dixie in historic Vicksburg, Natchez and Baton Rouge and small river towns. Plus spend three days exploring incomparable New Orleans in depth.




Activity Particulars

Please note that this program may require embarking and disembarking from the ship up and down steep embankments. Assistance is available if needed in each port. The ability to stand for up to an hour during field trips may be required.



The 12/6/2015 and 12/10/2015 dates of this program will be in celebration of the Road Scholar 40th anniversary.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Aboard American Queen, 7 nights; New Orleans, La., 3 nights.



Day 1: Arrival Memphis, Tenn. / embark American Queen:

Welcome aboard! Meet your fellow participants, then begin a week of savoring gourmet Southern-style cooking and showboat-style entertainment.



Day 2: Greenville, Miss.:

Explore Greenvillle, the "Heart and Soul of the Mississippi Delta." Located right along the Mississippi River, Greenville is a historic city with a vibrant community and rich cultural heritage.



Day 3: Vicksburg, Miss.:

Discover a unique blend of old and new in this historic city. Learn about the Siege of Vicksburg at the Vicksburg National Military Park.



Day 4: Natchez:

Step into the antebellum South at plantations including Longwood, with its unique octagonal mansion, and grand Stanton Hall. Meet members of the Natchez Gospel Choir and hear them perform.



Day 5: St. Francisville, La.:

Walk the historic streets of St. Francisville and visit Rosedown Plantation



Day 6: Baton Rouge:

Learn the fascinating story of Gov. Huey Long, view the Louisiana State Capitol Building and visit the Rural Life Museum.



Day 7: Nottoway Plantation, White Castle, LA

Explore the enchanting Nottoway Plantation and Gardens. Lecture on Mardi Gras.



Days 8-11: New Orleans / disembark / departure:

Experience the music, food and architecture of New Orleans with a local expert. Enjoy live jazz performances, including one at Fritzel's Jazz Club, and learn about the Mardi Gras Indian tradition. Lodging: Comfortable downtown hotel.





American Queen

The largest steamboat ever built, the American Queen is a recreation of a classic Mississippi riverboat featuring a steam-powered paddlewheel, lacy filigree and, inside, glistening woodwork and antiques. Public areas include the Mark Twain Gallery library, the Grand Saloon and a lounge. Wine and beer are complimentary with dinner.


Meals and Lodgings
   Holiday Inn
  New Orleans, Louisiana 3 nights
   American Queen
  Cruising on American Queen
Vacherie-Oak Alley
St. Francisville
Natchez, Mississippi
Vicksburg
Cruising on American Queen
7 nights
 Holiday Inn
Type: Hotel
  Contact info: 330 Loyola Road
New Orleans, LA 70112 USA
phone: 504-581-1600
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 American Queen
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: The American Queen Featuring six decks and measuring 418 feet in length, the American Queen is the world’s largest river steamboat. Modern amenities meet classic river ambiance aboard the American Queen. The 222 staterooms and suites are filled with modern appointments and carefully selected furnishings. Finely crafted hardwood fixtures, grand furnishings and gleaming brass detail the ship’s interior. The gazebo-style pilothouse and towering “feathered” stacks are both designed to be lowered to allow passage under bridges. Each stateroom has private facilities and ample storage. Cabins differ in size, amenity and cost. Limited singles are available.
  Ship Information: See above description
  Contact info: Docked at River
New Orleans,, LA 70130 USA
phone: 188-887-4952 x80
web: www.americanqueensteamboatcompany.com
  Room amenities: Varies with category purchased
  Facility amenities: Laundry on board.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Upon arrival take a taxi to hotel-you will be reimbursed when program begins. Hotel check in is 3:30pm. Registration and orientation is at 3:45pm. You will be staying at Holiday Inn that night.
  End of Program:
Disembarkation occurs at approximately 9:00am. Return to Memphis Airport by 10:30am. Transportation provided. You will be staying at American Queen the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. GUEST INFORMATION SHEET (yellow) MUST BE FILLED OUT AND MAILED, E MAILED OR FAXED TO THE AMERICAN QUEEN 45 DAYS PRIOR TO DEPARTURE (This can be found in the Program Materials sent to you in advance.) This form is required by Homeland Security and without it your ticket will not be issued.
  Parking availability:
Parking available at Holiday Inn for $15 per night while on the boat.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  New Orleans, Louisiana
  Nearest highway: I 10
  Nearest airport:  Louis Armstron International
  From End of Program
  Location:  Departure
Travel Details
 

Louis Armstrong Airport (Moisant Field-MSY)

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
multiple taxis

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$33 for one or two passengers-$14 for passenger for 3 or more
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

20 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

15 Miles

   

Pay for your taxi and you will be reimbursed at program.

 

Louis Armstrong Airport (Moisant Field-MSY)

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
New Orleans Airport Shuttle
phone: 866-596-2699 xTollFree

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$38 round trip per person $20 one way per person-(you only need one way)
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

20 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

15 miles

   

SHUTTLE WILL PROBABLY MAKE STOPS AT OTHER HOTELS BEFORE ARRIVING AT YOUR HOTEL-PLEASE BE AWARE OF THIS. Shuttle will be outside of the baggage pickup area.

 

Union Passenger Terminal New Orleans

 

From Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
multiple taxi companies

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$10(approximately)
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

5-10 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

1 mile

   

Pay for your taxi and you will be reimbursed at program.

 
Driving Directions
  Holiday Inn From East 1. Merge onto I-10 west. 2. Follow I-10 west and exit at Canal Street. 3. Turn right on Cleveland Street. 4. Go 7 blocks to the end of Cleveland Street. 5. Turn right on Elk Place. Holiday Inn is located 2 blocks on the left.
  Holiday Inn From West 1. Follow I-10 East 2. Merge onto U S90-W toward the Superdome(it will be on your left-looks like a space ship) 3. Take the Loyola Avenue exit-it will be on your right 4. Veer left as you exit-this will be Earhart Blvd. 5. From Earhart veer to the left onto Loyola Ave- go 3 blocks- you will be at Loyola and Poydras. 6. Cross Poydras and continue straight for 2 more blocks on Loyola-look for the giant clarinet on the side of the building-that will be the Holiday Inn. Turn right into the parking lot.
Elevation Note: Totally flat terrain

Equipment Requirements: No equipment required
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Orientation, dinner, lecture
(Wednesday, March 25)

Note: Walking in the hotel



   
 Afternoon: Registration and Orientation is 3:45 pm at the hotel. Start off your New Orleans experience with an informative overview of the week to come, and a chance to meet our staff and your fellow Participants.
 Dinner: Dinner at Hotel this evening so you can meet your fellow travelers.
 Evening: Private Dixieland jazz performance at hotel.
   
Accommodations: Holiday Inn
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Overview of city, Katrina Devastation, Lake Pontchartrain, City Park and cemetery
(Thursday, March 26)

Note: Bus excursion overview of the city, a short walk in the cemetery, Longue Vue House and gardens



   
 Breakfast: Huge breakfast Buffet at hotel
 Morning: Overview of City with instructor. View Lake Pontchartrain, walk in an above ground cemeteries with instructor, see and learn about Bayou St. John. Stop in City Park and drive through the 9th ward where some of the Katrina devastation is.
 Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Longue Vue House islLocated on the western edge of the city, just past the Cemeteries and hidden among the trees off Metairie Road. This magnificent city estate with a Classical Revival-style mansion is surrounded by eight acres of breathtakingly landscaped gardens designed by some of the finest outdoor architects of the early 20th century. The home was built by the late philanthropists Edgar Bloom Stern, a New Orleans businessman and cotton broker, and his wife Edith Rosenwald Stern, an heiress of the Sears department store family. It was designed by renowned architects William and Geoffrey Platt and Ellen Biddle Shipman, “Dean of American Women Landscape Architects.”
 Dinner: Dinner is on your own this evening so that you might enjoy a restaurant of your own choosing.
 Evening: Jazz performance at Fritzel's Jazz Club with a voucher provided so that you may attend on your own at your leisure.
   
Accommodations: Holiday Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3: St. Charles Ave and Garden District lecture:Mardi Gras Indians, Cooking School
(Friday, March 27)

Note: Ride down the famous St. Charles Avenue and walk in the Garden District .The walk will be approximately 8 blocks in the garden district (walking and standing) The bus will be available if you decided not to walk. The bus will take us to lunch and our class. After your class, you can walk to the museums approximately 6 blocks, in the heart of the French Quarter in Jackson Square, or take a cab. Cooking School for dinner in the French Quarter.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Ride down the famous St. Charles Avenue under the beautiful old oak trees. Then walk in the Garden District to learn about the many architectural styles, up close and personal. Enjoy getting right n the heart of the neighborhood, smell the fragrance of jasmine and gardenias, go back in time.
 Lunch: Lunch at the Golden Feather Restaurant and museum of Mardi Gras Indians.
 Afternoon: Lunch at the Golden Feather Restaurant and museum of Mardi Gras Indians.Have the unique experience of learning about the Mardi Gras Indians from an "Indian"(see his incredible costumes)--a cultural phenomenon in New Orleans. You will hear about the connections to the Black Culture in New Orleans and to the famous early faubourg of New Orleans called Treme. After class enjoy Cafe au Lait and Beignets. Use your vouchers to visit the Louisiana State Museum of your choice in the heart of the French Quarter You walk 6 blocks or take a cab to Jackson Square.Listen to the music there or enjoy some of our local art.
 Dinner: Dinner at the New Orleans School of Cooking. You will have a fun filled evening watching the chef demonstrate what you will have for dinner. Recipes are included of this delicious meal
 Evening: Lecture: Paddlewheelers, Packets and Floating Palaces Clarke “Doc” Hawley, retired riverboat captain will be giving the lecture at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Holiday Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Brunch at Court of two Sisters, WWII Museum Board American Queen
(Saturday, March 28)

Note: Prepare luggage to be picked up for boat, Get ready for the Famous Jazz Brunch at the Court of 2 Sisters, a 3 block walk from the bus to the restaurant. After brunch we will walk back to the bus and continue to the WWII Museum for a self guided experience.



   
 Morning: Leisurely morning as you prepare for your departure from New Orleans.
 Brunch: Jazz Brunch at famous Court of Two Sisters in historic French Quarter. enjoy a wonderful buffet with everything from turtle soup to Bananas Foster and everything in between. While you relax and visit with your fellow participants, listen to the jazz that will be playing while we eat.
 Afternoon: Visit the WWII Museum, formerly known as the D Day Museum, focuses on the contribution made by the United States to victory by the Allies in World War II and the Battle of Normandy in particular. The museum maintains an affiliation with the Smithsonian Institution.
 Dinner: Your first dinner onboard the American Queen
 Evening: Musical performance as you float down the Mississippi.
   
Accommodations: American Queen
Meals Included: Brunch, Dinner

Day 5: Oak Alley and Laura Plantations
(Sunday, March 29)

Note: You will have to walk 6 blocks from the boat to the front of the Oak Alley Plantation (golf carts not allowed on the brick path) There are stairs to the second floor and a video of it if you are not able to climb stairs. We will take a bus to Laura Plantation from Oak Alley, The grounds are grass and gravel.There is a second floor, also.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard the American Queen. American Queen offers several opportunities for breakfast from full sit down served meal to beignets on the Front Porch.
 Morning: Located in the Saint James Parish, Oak Alley is a much-photographed plantation that combines architectural splendor and the natural wonder of its 300-year-old oak trees. Spend time strolling beneath the canopy of these trees, and learn about the rich history and culture of this southern estate. The plantation is 2 stories, but there is a video of the second floor if steps are a problem. Laura is a 2 story sugar plantation built in 1805. This is a story of the fascinating world of the Creoles who, lived here for over 200 years.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard the American Queen
 Afternoon: Lecture:"The Mississippi River and the Making of a Nation" Enjoy the river and relax, visit the Engine Room and see what makes this grand boat boat move.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard the American Queen
 Evening: Enjoy great performances every evening.
   
Accommodations: American Queen
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Tour Rosedown PLantation, Downtown St. Francisville.
(Monday, March 30)

Note: There are golf carts to take you to the bus up on the levee if needed. Rosedown Plantations is a 2 story building. The grounds have grass and paths where you are allowed to explore after your experience in the house, before we return to the boat. Also, you will have time to explore the quaint little town of St. Francisville if you care to.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onbard the American Queen
 Morning: This quaint town of St. Francisville located on the bluffs of the Mississippi River is your window to the past. With over 140 buildings on the National Register, beautiful plantation homes nestled in the rolling countryside, and bustling Main Street shops, you'll find plenty to keep you on the go in St. Francisville. Visit Rosedown Plantation and Gardens built in 1835. This was a cotton plantation and consisted of 3,500 acres and at its height, 450 slaves worked at this and three other plantations.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard the American Queen
 Afternoon: Lecture:"Four 20th Century Views of Slavery" Time to relax and enjoy the boat as you float down the Mississippi River.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the American Queen
 Evening: As always, more entertainment.
   
Accommodations: American Queen
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Longwood and Stanton Hall Plantations, Natchez Gospel Choir
(Tuesday, March 31)

Note: There are golf carts to take you to the bus if needed. We have a native from Natchez as our instructor. Longwood and Stanton Hall plantations are short walks from the bus. There is standing in the plantations. We are dropped off right in front of the church and listen to the choir in the afternoon.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard the American Queen.
 Morning: Step into the plantation lifestyle of the antebellum south in Natchez, site of numerous restored mansions. Longwood Plantation began construction in 1860 and is very unique looking. Octagonal, multistory, Oriental Revival style.As the house was near completion, the Civil War broke out and construction was halted. The house has 32 rooms and only 9 were finished. Stanton Hall, 1858, located on an entire city block. Carrera Marble, mahogany doors 2 1/2 inches thick, huge Corinthian columns, and granite steps adorn the facade.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard the American Queen
 Afternoon: Natchez Gospel Choir performs just for you. We will drive to a small church in Natchez and listen to a local choir sing some of their favorite songs for us. Get ready to join them in their love of music.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the American Queen
 Evening: Entertainment in Grand Saloon
   
Accommodations: American Queen
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Vicksburg Battlefield and Military Park,
(Wednesday, April 1)

Note: We will drive to the park and make 3 stops during our drive with instructor in the park. Very little walking



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard the American Queen.
 Morning: Discover a unique blend of old and new in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Lecture: "Flowing Unvexed to the Sea" preceding the visit to the Vicksburg National Military Park and Battlefield. We will make 3 stops, the visitors center, one of the larger monuments and the U.S.S. Cairo ironclad gunboat and museum.
 Lunch: Lunch onbard the American Queen
 Afternoon: Lecture:"American Civil War Casuality" Enjoy activities on the boat or just watch the river go by.
 Dinner: Dinner in the J.M. White dining room
 Evening: Entertainment nightly
   
Accommodations: American Queen
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Steamboating all day
(Thursday, April 2)

Note: Cruising on American Queen



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard the ship.
 Morning: Lecture:"Atlantic Slave Trade" Relax and maybe take time and go to the Engine Room and visit with the people that keep the boat rolling.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard
 Afternoon: Lecture:" Four 20th Century Views of Slavery" The riverlorian is always available for some unanswered questions you may have about the river.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard
 Evening: Nightly entertainment
   
Accommodations: American Queen
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Steamboating on the River.
(Friday, April 3)

Note: Relax and watch the Mighty Mississippi go by.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on the AmericanQueen
 Morning: Enjoy the day on board the American Queen. Grab a book and watch the river go by, enjoy the scenery. There are always on board activities for everyone.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard American Queen
 Afternoon: Lecture:"Free People of Color" The last day to enjoy the beautiful American Queen.
 Dinner: Final dinner onboard American Queen.
 Evening: Farewell performance
   
Accommodations: American Queen
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Heading home from Memphis
(Saturday, April 4)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard the American Queen
 Morning: Depart boat at approximately 9am. Transportation provided to Memphis airport by 10:30 am
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


A Streetcar Named Desire


Author: Tennessee Williams


Description: Widely considered a landmark play, A Streetcar Named Desire deals with a culture clash between two characters, Blanche DuBois, a relic of the Old South, and Stanley Kowalski, a rising member of the industrial, urban working class. American playwright Tennessee Williams received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1948.



All the Kings Men


Author: Robert Penn Warren


Description: All the King's Men traces the rise and fall of demagogue Willie Stark, a fictional character loosely based on Governor Huey ""Kingfish"" Long of Louisiana. Stark begins his political career as an idealistic man of the people but soon becomes corrupted by success and caught between dreams of service and an insatiable lust for power.



Beyond the Bridges - Rediscovering America´s Waterways


Author: Jerry M. Hay


Description: Are you planning to go on your first river cruise on a steamboat? This is the book you have to read! You´re an experienced river cruiser? Read it! Author Jerry M. Hay has spent more than 40 years on the rivers. He travelled the whole Mississippi river in a canoe. He explored the Wabash and White rivers for publishing river guide books. Jerry tried out nearly every kind of watercraft. And he spent a couple of years as a river historian abord the paddlewheel steamboats Delta Queen, Mississippi Queen and American Queen. In this book Jerry does not only share his funny river stories we have listened to on the steamboats over and over always longing for more. Learn more about Gilligan Goose who became famous in a children´s book. Did you ever see a Boeing 727 in a river? What kind of important delivery did the John Deere tractor make during high water? The book also provides loads of valuable information about the history of travelling on the rivers from flatboats to modern towboats, about reading the rivers, about river navigation, about the anatomy of a river or about the language of the rivers. Jerry M. Hay´s favorite quote is, "I don´t make the same mistake twice. I´m too busy making new ones." This book is definitely not one of his mistakes but a wonderful resource of information combined with some of the most funniest river stories.



Confederacy of Dunces


Author: John Kennedy Toole


Description: A Confederacy of Dunces is a picaresque novel written by American novelist John Kennedy Toole, published by Louisiana State University Press in 1980, eleven years after the author's suicide. The book, published through the efforts of writer Walker Percy (who also contributed a revealing foreword) and Toole's mother Thelma Toole, quickly became a cult classic, and later a mainstream success. Toole posthumously won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1981. It is now considered a canonical work of modern Southern literature, in the USA. The title derives from the epigraph by Jonathan Swift: "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him." The story is set in New Orleans in the early 1960s. The central character is Ignatius J. Reilly, an educated but slothful 30-year-old man still living with his mother in the city's Uptown neighborhood, who, due to an incident early in the book, must set out to get a job. In his quest for employment he has various adventures with colorful French Quarter characters.



Creole New Orleans Race and Americanization


Author: Arthur Hirsch and John Logsdon


Description: This collection of six original essays explores the peculiar ethnic composition and history of New Orleans, which the authors persuasively argue is unique among American cities. The focus of Creole New Orleans is on the development of a colonial Franco-African culture in the city, the ways that culture was influenced by the arrival of later immigrants, and the processes that led to the eventual dominance of the Anglo-American community.



Life On The Mississippi


Author: Mark Twain


Description: An invaluable companion to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Life on the Mississippi is Mark Twain's inimitable portrait of 'the great Father of Waters'. Part memoir, part travelogue, it expresses the full range of Twain's literary personality, and remains the most vivid, boisterous and provocative account of the cultural and societal history of the Mississippi Valley, from 'the golden age' of steamboating to the violence wrought by the Civil War.



Rising Tide


Author: John Barry


Description: An American epic of science, politics, race, honor, high society, and the Mississippi River, Rising Tide tells the riveting and nearly forgotten story of the greatest natural disaster this country has ever known -- the Mississippi flood of 1927. The river inundated the homes of nearly one million people, helped elect Huey Long governor and made Herbert Hoover president, drove hundreds of thousands of blacks north, and transformed American society and politics forever.



Steamboating on the Upper Mississippi


Author: William J. Petersen


Description: William J. Petersons book is almost as comprehensive as the one above, but concentrating on the upper Mississippi. It is a doctoral dissertation about steamboats. The authors father was associated with the Diamond Jo Line Steamers in Dubuque, Iowa, so Peterson is familiar with steamboats business from boyhood days. Book was first published in 1937.



Tales of the Mississippi


Author: Ray Samuel, Leonard V. Huber, Warren C. Ogden


Description: This book contains a collection of tales of the Mississippi in 19 chapters and more than 300 illustrations and photographs. The authors tried to write something new about the Great River instead of a conventional history book. So you will find deeper information about the discoverer Hernando DeSoto and the legendary Mike Fink, what made the Rob´t E. Lee and the Natchez race, the river gambler George Devol known as the hardest head on the Mississippi or the answer to the question what made the Mississippi River once flew upstream and a lot more.



The Mississippi Steamboat Era in Historic Photographs


Author: Joan W. and Thomas H. Gandy


Description: Great if you are looking for old pictures - not only of steamboats but also from the steamboat era at all. I like this book very much because it gives you a great overview over this time history.



Upper Mississippi River History: Fact - Fiction -Legend


Author: Captain Ron A. Larson


Description: Captain Ron A.Larson´s book starts with the early French explorers. He covers the history of paddlewheel steamboats from the first one until the last remaining steamboats of today on the Mississippi River. The book provides a lot of information about the upper Mississippi River such as paddlewheel steamboats, railroad bridges, log rafts, wing dams, locks and dams of today, river navigation aids and river towns. Added are river pilot stories about names or landmarks along the upper Mississippi River. You will find more than 200 pictures and illustrations. Captain Ron A. Larson, U.S.M.M. Ret., was working on the upper Mississippi River on towboats between St. Louis and St. Paul with an occasional trip on most of the other navigable rivers. Now during retirement he still does part-time piloting on river excursion boats as the Mississippi Queen, the Delta Queen, the Valley Queen, the Mississippi Bell, the Jubilee and the Mark Twain.



Why New Orleans Matters


Author: Tom Piazza


Description: In the aftermath of Katrina and the disaster that followed, promises were made, forgotten, and renewed. Now what will become of New Orleans in the years ahead? What do this proud, battered city and its people mean to America and the world? Award-winning author and longtime New Orleans resident Tom Piazza illuminates the storied culture and uncertain future of this great and neglected American metropolis by evoking the sensuous rapture of the city that gave us jazz music and Creole cooking; examining its deep undercurrents of corruption, racism, and injustice; and explaining how its people endure and transcend those conditions. And, perhaps most important, he asks us all to consider the spirit of this place and all the things it has shared with the world: its grace and beauty, resilience and soul.





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