Aside from his wife, my sweet, yet spirited grandmother, Dorothy "Dot"
And that's where we shall start...
My grandfather, whom his six granddaughters called Big Daddy, owned the last steamboat on the
Piggy bought the boat, named Leota, from the federal government in the 1930’s. He remodeled her and moved the pilothouse from middle to the front and shortened her stacks, so she could fit under the 2nd and
Piggy gave sightseeing tours or excursions, as he called them, down the river from
Mayo’s Lock and Dam below
"The river was still navigable from
Now Piggy was about 5' 9" and round in the middle. He had long, strong forearms and short legs. He had a great laugh and always had a small cigar stuck out of the corner of his mouth. His wife, Dot, or Mama Dot, as we called her, was tall and thin, a beauty, who fretted and worried about the wild man she married.
Kind of like Popeye and Olive Oil, which is quite ironic, considering the Annie M., or Leota, as she was called at the time, was once owned by a Captain Sims. It seems his son, Tom, used to work aboard the vessel as a boy.
So what you say?
Well, Tom later became the creator of the comic strip, "Popeye the Sailor." Tom was quoted by several sources as saying, "Fantastic as Popeye is, the whole story is based on fact. I was born on the
On the 4th of July and New Year, couples would dance to the music of an "orchestra," (or band) on a barge decorated by lanterns, recalled Dot. The Annie M. would travel down river under the bridges and back. The Annie M. was eventually sold after a female passenger fell overboard during an excursion and drowned. Her husband said it was an accident but a cloud of suspicion surrounded him, with some saying the couple had argued that night.
The boat was purchased by
Piggy kept Annie M. docked outside of his business, the Rome Welding Shop, which was located on the banks of the