If you grow up “down the bayou”, working on the water is a way of life. And it’s not a far jump from working on fishing vessels to working on other vessels, like tugboats. My older boys grew up fishing for our table, not commercially, but they both still ended up working on oil industry related tugboats. They are not captains yet, but they could be if they wanted to.
So, Danno, my 20 year old calls me from his cell informing me that he’s pumping petroleum product from tanks on West Lake Decade. He can see the radio tower near our home from the deck of his boat. We know Lake Decade like our own back yard, and it’s a cool feeling to know he is so nearby.
The next morning, he calls to tell me they’ve left the west side of the lake and are headed toward Falgout Canal and will be going through our “swing bridge” in a little while. The two younger boys and I hotfoot it up there just in time to see the barge coming toward us,
being pushed by the tugboat.
The bridge to our right is opening for passage of the tug and barge. Look at the four pelicans acting like the bridge is swinging wide open just for them!
There he is, in all his bushy-headed glory! My second-born son, and the biggest of the four boys, Danno. He won’t admit it, but he has a big, big heart!
and there goes the tugboat and my son, sniff sniff,
and one last wave to his brothers and me, sniff again.
Wait, is that a cell phone to his right ear? Oh, I think I hear my cell phone ringing in m pocket. Ok, gotta go and tell my all grown up son that it was so good to see him.
These are odd moments, when your child is a man, but he’s still your child, when he’s a man who’ll call his mom and isn’t ashamed to wave to her and his brothers as he passes on this very macho steel boat pushing a barge full of crude oil going to points beyond who knows where.
I love you son! Be safe, and come see me soon!