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 Post subject: Re: Update from Denny
Unread postPosted: September 17, 2017, 1:21 pm 
Well friends to let you all know, it has officially started as of this week as we did two river trips this week. The first was in Tuesday and we did it again on Friday as well. So far only two ships ended up seeing the 25 year sign and giving me salutes the Sam Laud along with the Roger Blough. A bummer though as I just finished my 45 year sign for the Blough this week but it came a day or two after I saw her but hopefully next time I will see her again at some point. The Friday one at the river was not one of my better trips unfortunately this time for me. This was my first Friday trip in two years and I still have much to learn on the river and in a short time as by mid-November I will be all done for the year as I usually never go beyond that point as that time of year, the weather is starting to change and I do not do any type of winter driving and NO at this point I have nobody to take me out to the river at that point. So it is what it is for now and I will just go and enjoy it and do the best I can with it. Also Friday I was a bit on the grumpy and moody side and to make matters worse, just as I was trying to take photos of the Speer in St. Clair my camera would NOT allow me to take photos! You can only imagine then at that moment how I felt as it was mid-afternoon and would have had good photos of her then. Fortunately I shot her in Port Huron and Marysville it was just the idea of having that happened to me! Sure enough it was the batteries as my camera worked fine the rest of the day. Lucky for me that this wasn't the PRT and I had that issue because then I would have been so mad and ticked off that you would not wanted to be around me then. Not sure yet when I will be back at the river now as I got appointments this week but at least we finally got it started! Just to let you know No Salutes either from anyone on Friday but I hope this will improve over time. But for now we finally started up!


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 Post subject: Re: Update from Denny
Unread postPosted: September 10, 2017, 10:59 pm 
Thanks for that one Howard. I will at some point try to send the photos into boatnerd of the sign at least and see what they can do as far as trying to resize it for me and somehow having the pics of the sign posted. As for the sign itself, it is a white background with letters and numbers all painted in an metallic blue like color as it is sharp and all you boatnerds will love it when you see it! I basically copied the same type of design I did back in 2012 when at that time I was celebrating my 20th year on the river. I made a sign up back in 2009 to celebrate my 200th river trip but, duh at the time I did not know what I was doing or thinking! Back then I wanted a "Patriotic theme sign as my 200th trip was in July. So I went with a red, white and a silver type of thing instead of a red, white and a blue so they white would be replaced by the silver or gray and was poorly done as the silver was very bright as the sun hit it and the captain of the PRT at the time Tim Dayton and others must have thought "What in the heck is this?" Never again did I ever choose to do a sign like that one as now I go with either a blue or a black for my letters and numbers as hopefully that will be either for the sailors and captains to see and acknowledge me with. With the work done on my 25th anniversary sign, now the next big project has yet to get to started and that is "Making up a sign for the Roger Blough and their 45th season on the water!" That will be started up hopefully sometime this week if I can find the time and have it painted up and done hopefully by next weekend. Now I could just simply paint out the 0 and the year 2012 and replace those numbers with a 5 and the year 2017 and then my RB sign is all done but, I think that I would rather just make up a whole new sign for the Jolly Roger instead. Now as long as I can somehow get the sign done before I see the Jolly Roger on the river as I know he's down on Lake Erie now or soon will be. Anyway, still looking forward to getting this thing started as it's been way too long for me the past couple of years of not making too many river trips. Boatnerds out there, be ready and prepared because Big Denny is about to be headed to the St. Clair River and a viewing town and spot near you soon. So, are you ready boatnerds as this boatnerd has been born ready for this moment and journey to being now!


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 Post subject: Re: Update from Denny
Unread postPosted: September 10, 2017, 7:57 pm 
Any typical photo editor will allow you to resize the photo for us, Denny. Perhaps in the meantime you could describe it for us? I am sure the sailors reading this will want to know what to look for in order to salute you, especially if Captain Bob and the PRT should happen to come by!


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 Post subject: Re: Update from Denny
Unread postPosted: September 10, 2017, 10:45 am 
Thanks everyone for all of your thoughts and heartfelt along with encouraging words as they are most appreciated. Unfortunately for me, I'm not a very good learner on technology so I've never sent a photo at least here on the Discussion Board as I tried it today but could not understand how to do it as my photo size was too big so I just gave it up. At some point will try to send the sign photos into boatnerd and see what they can do. Sure over time and may not be until Winter when things shut down and I have more free time on my hands, will figure out a way to send in some photos for you all okay.


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 Post subject: Re: Update from Denny
Unread postPosted: September 9, 2017, 11:11 pm 
Denny,
I am truly sorry about the loss of your Mom. I know how hard it had to be for you seeing her go downhill so fast and ultimately passing on. Haveing met both her and your father a couple of times when i was a teenager i know they both were very wonderful people and very warm and nice people to talk with. You as well as your parents were truly wonderful friends with my Aunt and Uncle and two Cousins Mark and Richard. My Uncle told me a few good stories about times they spent with you and your parents. I know how you feel inside haveing lost my mom when i was 16. It's going to be a hard road ahead but always remember that you're Mom is in a wonderful place now and is healthy and painfree and she has been reunited with you're father as well as my Aunt and Uncle and Cousin. Her and your father will always be in your heart and a bright shinning star in the clear night sky shinning bright over you. Oneday when the time comes you also will be reunited with them. I think they would both want you to get to the River and do what you love most and chase the boats.
Not a day goes by that i don't think about my mom and she passed away going on now 18 years. Trust me things do get better but you will never forget her and as i said she will always be in your heart. Everything happens for a reason and God doesn't put us threw anything he knows we can't handle.
I think you're sign for your 25th Anniversary on the St. Clair River as well as dedicating all salutes to your parents is very sweet and a wonderful idea as a tribute to them. Im very glad you made it out to the river again.
You and you're brothers will continue to be in mine and my wife Amy's thought's and prayers. Hang in there my friend it will get easier as time goes by just do the things you enjoy doing and keep your head held high and make your parents proud by continuing to stay strong and making the most out of everyday. I'm always here for you if you ever need anything dont ever hesitate to ask. Avanmtr@sbcglobal.net is mine and my wife's joint e-mail address. Drop me a email when you have time and i will send you my cell phone number.
Take care my friend and may God Bless you and your family.
Dan McNeil


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 Post subject: Re: Update from Denny
Unread postPosted: September 9, 2017, 9:07 am 
Go for it, Denny! While you're watching and photographing the passing ships, your mother's spirit will be with you, sharing the experience! What a way to celebrate the end of two years of all those emotional, physical, and mental challenges you faced. Life is too short and a gift we are meant to enjoy. This is truly a new beginning for you and a milestone on your life's journey. Take your sign, your camera, and your expectations of having a truly great adventure -- including a salute from PRT! We'll be looking for the photos right here! Blessings, my friend!


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 Post subject: Re: Update from Denny
Unread postPosted: September 8, 2017, 6:52 pm 
Well my boatnerd friends, it is done and finished as today we finally finished up our Silver Anniversary and 25 year sign and celebration on the St. Clair River. I plan to use the sign as much and as often as I can just so long as the weather is good and not too windy as I will not use the sign on very windy days so as not to lose it in the wind or worse have it torn to shreds as I've had that happen before on a few of my signs. The sign itself looks awesome and after spending more than two days painting both the front and back, it was a lot of long hard struggling work but soon the work will pay off with plenty of awards at the river I hope. Now all I can say and ask very soon at the river is "Where is the Big Paul?" I still cannot believe that I have not seen the Big Queen since 2015 believe it or not, but so much too has happened in my life in the last two years as to why I have not seen her either. If you excuse once in 2015 to where I saw her downbound at Marine City on a split coal load, the last time that I really saw her downbound fully loaded in St. Clair was in 2013! This is how I am hoping to see them again sometime this fall. Just hope that I can get some salutes from Captain Bob as I don't think he's seen me enough or knows me as well as Captain Mitch Hallin and Tim Dayton did when both were in command of her. Even when Captain Bob was on the James R. Barker before the PRT, we didn't see or know each other very much. So I'm hoping to establish a freindship with Captain Bob whenever I see him and the PRT again someday. 3 Long 2 Short to all my boatnerd friends as very soon the journey will begin for me!


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 Post subject: Re: Update from Denny
Unread postPosted: September 7, 2017, 11:50 pm 
For anyone reading this post I've also yet to inform and tell all of you that I've even come up with an awesome term and saying as well for the fall or autumn season for my 25th anniversary season on the St. Clair River. We've all heard the term "Fall Grain Rush and the USCG often uses Operation Taconite and Coal Shuttle and a few other names as well right?" Well, this boatnerd has his own term for the fall season of 2017 on the St. Clair River but we have all heard the term "The Hunt for Red October and the movie as well right?" Well boatnerds you have yet to hear of the following term and saying "Operation Autumn Thunder but give it some time yet and you soon will know and hear exactly what Autumn Thunder is all about!" Unfortunately I don't have any hats or T-shirts made up with that saying as I just came up with recently but, maybe for my Christmas gift this year my family could possibly have it made up on a hat or shirt as you never know? Just remember the saying and the phrase folks as there will be "Autumn Thunder during the fall of 2017 on the St. Clair River as I personally guarantee it!"


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 Post subject: Re: Update from Denny
Unread postPosted: September 7, 2017, 6:30 pm 
Well boatnerd and friends, today we took a huge and giant step up and forged ahead as we prepare for our opening day officially on the St. Clair River and also commentating our 25th anniversary season! For anyone that wants to be critical just one thing you have No clue then what I've gone through this year much less in the past two or so months with my Mom and now with her passing! Today I worked on my 25 years at the river sign all day long as far as painting it up and man does it look sharp! The front side is done and ready but now I have to paint up the back side which will be another long day ahead! I also plan to eventually work on a 45th birthday sign as well for the Roger Blough but, first things first as I have to get the 25 years one done first as that is the most important sign for now. Granted I do know that I'm late with boatnerd king and boatwatching this year but better late than never. Really looking forward to starting up soon as we celebrate our 25th season on the St. Clair River and also move ahead and forward as well toward our 500th River Trip down the road someday as well. Lots of history yet to be written on the river folks!


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 Post subject: Re: Update from Denny
Unread postPosted: September 7, 2017, 9:43 am 
Thanks as always for your comments and encouraging words and also thoughtfulness Howard as they are most appreciated. As far as a few things you mentioned in your post about scanning photos and having them put here on boatnerd. While I agree that this would indeed be a great and wonderful thing to do someday, right now the timing of that idea right now is not the greatest. Unfortunately with my Mom's passing, there is just so much to do and very little spare time to do a lot of stuff in. By next summer, I will be living somewhere else and U have to try and get as much things done as possible before then and what makes it more difficult is I just started to learn the scanning of photos just recently and right now I haven't learned yet how to scan large items mainly 8x10 stuff as it wants to cut it off badly which will drive me bananas especially my patience level. Just wish it didn't cost so much to get the old photos put on digital but, with so many that I've taken through the years unfortunately the cost is just too great and much for me to do that so it is what it is. Second, you talked about my stories and again YES at some point in time I will try to start them up as well but again go back to what I just said about the photo scanning stuff as I've gotten so many things to do for this winter and beyond that the stories may have to stay on the shelf for a while yet. I figure it may take the rest of this year and most all of next year to get over my Mom's passing and even more, getting used to living in a different home and environment as well for a while too. It's going to take some time for me to get my life back on track and right now I'm just taking it one day and step at a time and trying not to rush into things too quickly as I don't need other issues right now as I have enough to deal with presently. You are right though about my Mom's passing though as far as the hurt and pain will slowly go away in time as both my parents were what I'd say my two best friends and now with both gone it will be difficult for a while but as many have said "Good and better days and times are still ahead for me and that the memories of my folks will never fade away as those will always be with me no matter where life's journey takes me and whatever roads I may find and travel upon!" I will always though and forever be a boatnerd and boatwatcher as nothing will ever change on that note as someday and hopefully a long someday to come, I will die a boatnerd and boatwatcher and nobody can take that one away from me no matter what! Thanks again Howard.


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 Post subject: Re: Update from Denny
Unread postPosted: September 6, 2017, 8:26 pm 
Denny it is so good to hear that you are starting to think about making more runs to the river! I am glad to hear that you are going to celebrate your 25th Anniversary season and try to make more runs out to the river this season. I wish you the best of success in that and hope that you get to see every laker and saltie that you want to see "in perfect lighting conditions!"

I saw your post on Bookworm's thread about scanning photos. I do hope that perhaps you will consider doing like garbear has been doing and sharing some of the photos here with us! It would be a great treat to see your collection. I also hope that you will soon be sharing your stories with us again.

Keep your head up, my friend, as the hurt of your mother's loss will fade and leave you with nothing but the good memories of the good times shared together!


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 Post subject: Re: Update from Denny
Unread postPosted: September 6, 2017, 2:57 pm 
Hey everyone just to let you know as it has been a while again and as you might expect I've been a busy beaver of late. However I can now say that I'm happy to report to all of you that within the next week or two I plan on starting up the river full time action for my 25th and Silver Anniversary season on the river. While it is unfortunate that it came so late in the season, right now I don't care about that part of the equation as I just want to start going out there and enjoying the shipping traffic and what time I have left out there this season. I even started to work today on a great sign for the occasion which I plan to use on every trip in hopes of getting a few salutes from a few passing ships for my 25th year on the river. One of which I wish would blow is the Herbert C. Jackson as I don't ever seem to get anything out of her anymore like I used to do. Wish there were a way to ask the captain of the Jackson for a salute sometime if he's not busy and has a moment. That sure would be awesome and neat to get the Herbie to blow me one at some point! Can't wait to get it started up at some point as I am really looking forward to it. I've also had a special tribute in mind for my Mom and Dad as well and it will only happen when and if I can somehow get the PRT coming downbound and during the day at some point. Now, as long as Captain Bob can also help me out on the Big Queen and give me a really nice salute when that day comes as I could sure use one from him! When my Dad passed away in 2005, I had a special tribute for him along the river and it just so happened ironically that the PRT with Captain Tim Dayton at the time was coming downbound. It was really hard for me and I just needed Captain Timmy to do something really nice and special for me that day. Fortunately he saw me and gave me a very nice salute from the PRT and I am hoping that someday Captain Bob will do the same for me. Wish there was a way of letting him know this stuff and maybe he can blow me a nice salute if he has the time and not busy someday when we see and meet each other. Looking forward to seeing the Big Paul and the Queen someday again as I've not seen her since 2015 which is the longest I've ever gone without seeing my all time favorite and taking nothing away from any others but, you never forget the first ship you see and sure enough 25 years ago in 1992 she was the first one that I saw!


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 Post subject: Re: Update from Denny
Unread postPosted: August 29, 2017, 1:58 pm 
Hello Howard and thanks for your encouraging thoughts and words as well as I appreciate them very much. The days are still kind of rough and hard at times for me as you might expect as it's still only been a short amount of time since my Mom's passing. When my Dad passed away in 2005, at least I still had my Mom then and I lived with her at home. Now with my Mom gone, at least I still have my two brothers but one lives out of state in Colorado so I don't get to see or talk to him very much. My oldest brother has been a huge help for me but he too is busy with work but still takes time to check in with me to see how I'm doing and if I need anything. As far as making it out to the river, that's still gonna be a tough one as it will take some time but I know that I'll eventually make it back there at some point and hopefully this year yet! Last Friday I was so very close to making a trip and ironically the Big Paul was there and going up and not seeing her since 2015, I wanted very badly to see her. Well I woke up that morning and could not locate my PRT hat since I last used it in 2015. With everything going on with my Mom in the last two months, just could not find time for other things. Fortunately I found the hat but then I backed out and cancelled the trip as it was just too busy and crazy with Ship traffic on Friday morning! It would not have been fun for me as I would've been missing and chasing ships up and down the river all day long and my family and I definitely don't need anything like that especially now with my Mom's passing and not being out there as much. So bottom line is last Friday I just didn't feel like I was ready yet and that I needed more time. Friends and family all agreed and told me, "Don't feel ashamed or that you disappointed yourself or others by not going to the river!" Just be patient and to wait and eventually your time will soon come again at the river soon. So I'm hoping to start up for real about mid-September and go to about mid-November as I don't go beyond that point as by then, the weather is starting to change and the days are much shorter also. Basically all I can do now is just do the best that I can with it and to take it one step and Day at a time. Thanks again for thinking of me.


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 Post subject: Re: Update from Denny
Unread postPosted: August 29, 2017, 12:16 am 
Hello Denny my friend,

I just wanted to tell you that you're still in my thoughts and I hope you are doing well and the days are getting easier for you. I hope that you will soon be getting back out to the river. Take care my friend!


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 Post subject: Re: Update from Denny
Unread postPosted: August 22, 2017, 4:19 pm 
Thanks to both Andy and Linda in Wisconsin as I will keep your Mom in my thoughts and prayers. So sorry to hear the news about your Mom being in hospice care. May your Mom be at peace from all of her suffering and may you and Linda both find comfort knowing that she will be going to a better place, a place to where there is no pain and suffering ever again! To Andy and Linda as it was with me, always know that you did your best for your Mom and she will always and forever be proud of you both no matter what and where your life's journey may take you. Our Heavenly Father and his beloved Son our Lord and Savior has a plan for your Mom. Praying for your Mom and for you and your family that you may find peace and comfort and know that you have friends here on this board. God Bless you both!


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