Monday, September 10, 2012

              File:Alabama Capitol Building.jpg

MONTGOMERY IN REVIEW is our collection of postings in sequential order about Montgomery. The series started when our   primary blog poster stopped in Montgomery waiting for Hurricane Isaac to pass New Orleans. On Sunday we provided a list of the blog postings and the dates they appeared. Our stats indicate Montgomery readers keep trickling in. Our primary blog writer has promised more postings on Montgomery and the challenges and opportunities related to keeping the Alabama River commercially navigable to Montgomery and beyond.

 To follow this string of postings is to tap into an ongoing thought process as a Master Pilot with both commercial commodity transport  and passenger transport experience comes to three realizations almost simultaneously. First Montgomery is a great town. Second, Montgomery was once a serious river port and could become one again. 

 Then that second thought becomes tempered by a third. The third thought is, Montgomery is lock and dam dependent as a commercial port and because of a converging "perfect storm" of temporary politics and economics the city could lose its' navigable potential for ever. At the moment "Og" the pen name of our blog posting provider is thinking about tried and true as well as completely off the wall ways of preserving Montgomery's navigability. But his thought process didn't start down on the river front, but on a trolley bus tour out of the old train depot with a driver named "Ray."  After seeing the present waterfront  and taking the tour ,Og realizes what a disembarking inland cruise passenger would experience and really starts to look at Montgomery through an inland navigators eyes , the only eyes that "Capt. Og" has.  By the way if you want to know how he came by the pen name "Og" look for postings within the last three weeks , on weekends titled "WHO THE HELL ARE YOU GUYS ANYWAY." Just scroll down to read through the whole series so far.

Storm Filing from Montgomery:


File:Flag of Montgomery, Alabama.svg

 A maritime career, any maritime career can bring some memorable moments, some have nothing to do  with the maritime world, or do they? There was sunshine this morning and "She Who Would Be Obeyed" (SWWBO) was restless and I just couldn't face a morning of trying to write with the motel room TV blasting in my ear with all the latest storm news. The storm news indicated that there would be no rapid return home, the slow moving storm would take two days to pass over the city and if we wanted to come home to air conditioning and lights we'd have to wait beyond that for power to be restored, assuming all of the optimistic predictions actually come true and we have a home to go to at all. So I decided to go have a look at the city's waterfront and get the SWWBO out for some air.

 The Alabama River looked quite capable of supporting barge traffic though I was told that most of it had disappeared and the city docks were now a park like "River Walk" with two regular vessel customers. There was the little paddle wheel excursion boat, maybe 400 passenger capacity, and the big surprise, a small fleet of Dragon Boats which race under paddle a few times a year. We were fortunate to get to watch a small practice by part of a single crew. 

 Then we signed up for one of those trolley tours of the historic downtown.The "Trolley " was one of those Trolley replica diesel buses that almost every historic town in America runs through whatever passes for a historic district. But this one proved to be a time machine and magic bus. We saw the beautiful state capitol, and the Alabama State Archives, "The Smithsonian of Alabama" We saw the Hank Williams Museum, The place where the telegram that launched the Confederacy was sent, the Rosa Parks Museum, all very interesting. Montgomery is both the birth place of the Confederate States of America, and the starting point of the American Civil Rights Movement. History comes full circle here. But what happened on this tour was mind blowing. Things were swimming along about as expected after we passed the church where Martin Luther King had preached, then we passed his house ,and then we experienced something you can only experience in Montgomery.

 A few doors down from the King home, the driver stopped at a nicely kept modest home where a little old lady was sitting in a rocker on the porch. The driver told us how one of the famed Tuskegee Airmen, some of the first military aviators of African American descent to be commissioned back in WWII, used to live there. The driver referred to him as "Mr. Harris". It seems "Mr. Harris" had been injured in the line of duty and was medically retired from either the Army Air Corps or its successor, the U.S. Air Force. He was probably "Capt. Harris" out at Maxwell Air Base which he had access to including officer club access , as a retired officer. The driver  had told us about the bomb that had exploded on Dr. King's front porch, and the stresses that the King family were under at the time. The driver told us how "Mr. Harris" would take Dr. King and no doubt occasionally his family out to the Air base, where once through the gates they were safe from those seeking to take their lives. Additionally they were exposed to a semblance of an integrated society. I have to believe that these respites from stress, and the vision of airmen living and working together with African Americans in all positions from the lowest ranks to the commissioned officer corps must have helped Dr. King envision  his "dream"., The integrated Air Force, even if imperfectly at the time had to be a powerful convincer that an integrated larger society could be achieved.  "Capt Harris" who made history himself nurtured the future and it became history. But one has to wonder how many people outside of Montgomery have ever heard this story.

  Since "Mr. Harris" was a World War II veteran and suffering from disabling physical injury no one would expect that he would still be alive. Then the driver confirmed that "Mr. Harris had died a couple of decades ago. "But the lady sitting out there on the porch is his widow who still lives there with two of her grand daughters". I was thunder struck once I realized that I was looking at a real living witness and participant to human history of cosmic consequenceI started waving to her through the bus window, after a few movements she looked towards me and waived back!  How many times do you come into even that much direct contact with living history? I've served on every coast of the United States, up and down the Mississippi, on parts of three oceans, and visited many of the garden spots and hell holes of the world. But until I had to move my maritime blog activities and other writing chores in the face of a storm engulfing a major port, Montgomery was just a wide spot in the road between New Orleans and Annapolis. From now on it is burned into my memory as the place where I exchanged greetings with a living historic figure. No Montgomery ain't Las Vegas, but at least one visit here ought to be on every American's bucket list. 


Editor's note: Og is white and the son of a WWII bomber crewman. The Tuskegee Airmen manned the fighter escorts known as the "Red Tails". Many WWII era bomber airmen credited the Red Tails with getting them home. Many of their children and grand children were raised on stories of aerial combat that included being  saved in the nick of time by the appearance of the aggressive and apparently fearless "Red Tails".  Many are aware that they would not have been born if their fathers had not come home from the war. These white "God Children of the Red Tails" don't look on the group as part of something for "Black History Week" but as part of American history, their history. With the recent movie, interest in this group will continue to grow. Montgomery has a lock on it as a bucket list destination for the diverse groups interested these famed airmen.

Now, in our next posting the Master Pilot's brain; a cross between Henry the Navigator, Capt. James Cook, and Sgt. Bilko starts to lock in on Montgomery's navigable potential. 

Merchant Marine Interest


USS Queen City.jpg

 Being a former pilot on the lower Mississippi and the author of a book on inland navigation rights, I pride my self on my ability to determine that a body of water is or was commercially navigable in a single glance. Of course SWWBO (She Who Would Be Obeyed)  thinks its just another indication I've "gone around the bend". SWWBO really doesn't appreciate me. But that's OK. Think about it. The readers of VOGUE voted Sean Connery( the actor famous for his portrayals of British Secret Agent 007) to be "The Sexiest Man in the World" the year he turned 70. Hell, I'm only 64, when I'm full grown I could be dangerous! We've been married 40 years, next year I'm sure she'll start to like me, if not then maybe when I'm full grown and all the other women in the world are crazy about me. Anyway SWWBO and I were eating and drinking, OK mostly drinking, down at the Maxwell Club on the Air Force Base. It got to be sort of a dare to prove my "one eyed assertion" that Montgomery had been a big cotton port. So we blew a big part of the afternoon off on a quest.

 We went to the Alabama State Archive. This place is the Library of Congress of the South with a bit of the Smithsonian thrown in for good measure. I knew if there were records, artifacts or photos that could prove my "one eyed assertion". They'd be there. What a difference between Washington DC and Montgomery, Alabama. At Washington official buildings you just about have to disrobe and endure a strip search to enter. At Montgomery I'd rate the Capitol Building and the Archive right up there with any of the great Washington edifices for both architecture and contents. But there are no crowds and you are met by a docent who just says "Hello, what are you looking for. So I told him, proof that Montgomery was once a big river port. In an instant he led me to a friendly lady who had me fill in some forms and then I was whisked into the heart of the collection, where in about five minutes flat I was looking at ancient glass negative photos of the old Montgomery waterfront lined with class A river steamers. BINGO! What a delightful place. I authored nine books that are in the card catalogue of the U.S. Supreme Court Law Library and I was refused admission to the library  because I was not admitted to the practice of law in the District of Columbia. In Montgomery I was made a card carrying researcher for free upon showing my out of state drivers license. No wonder Alabama succeeded from the union they are absolutely nothing like the people on the Potomac, really they should do it again, the cultural gulf is insurmountable.. 

 So I won my bet and SWBWO had to be the designated driver as we motored off to attend happy hour at the Maxwell Club. I was in there hoisting rum and cokes like it was 1967 again when SWBWO had her revenge. Shoving her wrist watch under my nose she reminded me that  I" hadn't done jack for work all day" and didn't I know that "work is the curse of the drinking class". I was then led by the ear out of the Officer's Club. That's how I came to be here in the motel lobby at 9  PM trying to write a blog . Meanwhile SWWBO is back in the room with total control of a bottle of white wine and giggling like a school girl. I can't wait to be full grown.

Editor's note: After a decent night's sleep Capt. "Og" pens a letter on Montgomery and navigability.

 Photo Courtesy Birmingham Public Library : Steamer at Montgomery


 Dear People of Montgomery:
  Thank you for being a place of shelter for my wife and I when we visited your city in order to avoid riding out Hurricane Isaac in a place below sea level. I thought of Montgomery because its' distance from the Gulf of Mexico's beach line was far enough inland that most tropical storms are seriously diminished in intensity before reaching your fair city. Your town is far from the reach of tidal surge and your elevation is such that drenching tropical rains generally don't cause wide spread flooding. This time, your town was also well east of the predicted points of initial land fall. So, logically Montgomery looked like a good place to weather a storm. 

  I also knew exactly how easy of a drive from New Orleans it was since I frequently paused over night there on frequent drives between New Orleans and Annapolis. But I have to admit that until this recent storm shelter generated trip I had thought of Montgomery as a sort of wide spot in the road on the way to Annapolis. Today I think of it as a destination.

File:Flag of Montgomery, Alabama.svg

 I certainly enjoyed the downtown bus tour out of the old train depot and I wrote about that experience in an earlier blog. I'm a military retiree from a combination of naval services and was able to visit Maxwell Air Force base, enjoyed the Maxwell club and was able to use my commissary and exchange privileges while in your fair city. I can certainly see why more than a few military retirees have chosen to spend their retirement in Montgomery. I can see why automobile manufacturers have chosen to locate there. But now I want to tell you about a heritage that you seem to have neglected a bit and show you how you may be in danger of losing an economic advantage that you once enjoyed and could well enjoy again. Unfortunately if you don't act as a city now, you may lose this latent asset forever.

 Montgomery has many advantages such as being a state capitol, certainly giving the city a stable employment base. The city's favorable business climate has attracted automotive manufacturing, and with more than one college located there, the city rests on a solid economic foundation from which it supports many culturally unique features giving the place an attractive quality of life. But not so long ago the city had another economic engine that has fallen into disuse. Montgomery was once a river port city. Classic steamboats called in numbers and frequently at the city front dock. The Alabama River which runs through the heart of the city connects the city to both a commercially viable cargo generating hinterland up river, and to the sea at Mobile about 100 river miles away. The commerce carried on the Alabama into and out of Montgomery was so important even well into the twentieth century that the U.S Army Corps of Engineers has constructed 3 sets of navigation locks and dams to assure favorable navigation conditions for towboats and barges to Montgomery and beyond. 

 Unfortunately in more recent years most of the cargo in the region suitable for towboat and barge carriage has moved to rail or truck. Rail and truck may be faster but they are not the most economic means of moving non- time sensitive cargoes. Along the Mississippi and Ohio grain moves south by barge more so than any other mode of transport. Heating oil and gasoline from New Orleans and Baton Rouge area refineries move north by tank barge to more than 18 interior states. The towns that serve as the river ports along these routes prosper. They are not in danger of losing their status as a port  by the coming federal budget cuts. What keeps them safe is that for so many especially on the Mississippi below St. Louis there are no expensive locks and dams for the Federal Government to maintain.

  It takes three locks and dams between Montgomery and Mobile to keep the Alabama navigable by modern tow boat and barge. These will be evaluated as potential targets for budget cuts in the near future. With so little commercial vessel traffic at present, their future does not look bright.
Navigability , even when mostly latent is a sad thing for a community to lose. There could be opportunities in the future coming again to Montgomery because of it's status as a potential river port that simply haven't been imagined in recent years. 

File:USACE Claiborne Lock and Dam.jpg

 First, the Alabama river system runs through the best agricultural area in the state. Many agricultural commodities including soybeans are most economically transported by water, not all such commodities are slated for export. But it makes sense that those products of the region slated for export should go to Mobile for transfer to ship.. The cheapest way to get there is by towboat and barge. The rising cost of fuel is driving more and more non-time sensitive cargoes to the river. What is lacking on the upper reaches of the Alabama River is the infrastructure. There are too few docks and river side grain elevators. Its a bit of a chicken and egg issue. You need not only a navigable river but also some infrastructure to generate river cargoes.
The increase in fuel costs will start some Alabama River valley bulk commodity producers to look towards the river but their first glance will not be promising because the of the lack of infrastructure.

 Besides future possibilities for bulk commodity movements Montgomery could miss out on future manufacturing opportunities, especially in the field of out size items. Have you ever noticed that you have never been stuck in traffic behind a Saturn Rocket, or seen one go past you at a rail crossing? This is because the fabrication facilities for such out sized items, and there are many more not connected with the space program, are located on navigable waterways and the items are shipped by deck barge and tow boat. Many such items simply can not fit on a highway or rail line. Auto manufacturers have found Montgomery attractive, manufacturers of out sized industrial items could find the city attractive for all of the same reasons as the car makers if the Alabama River that runs through the city remains navigable. The city is blessed with some undeveloped river front land. In the case of the manufacturers of the out sized items the lack of pre-existing on and off load infrastructure may not be an issue since many such items require special built from scratch facilities. What they have to have is a waterside location, on a reliably navigable waterway.

File:Saturn rocket component loading on Palaemon.jpg
 Saturn Moon Rocket Booster Being Loaded on a NASA Barge
 This will sound crazy if you don't know the market but Montgomery could be a "cruise ship destination". No, Carnival Lines Fun Ships won't be locking through to you but American Cruise Lines has small passenger ships already visiting similar places. Some of their ships definitely can make it to Montgomery and the river front dock park could probably accommodate these little ships with very little modification. Take a look at the line's web site:

Boat - Miami Harbor 2

American Cruise Lines is already operating nearby in Florida. A Montgomery, Mobile, New Orleans itinerary is possible using the Gulf Intracoastal waterway and the Alabama River with no outside ocean passage. These small ships love to be able to advertise smooth water routes. They need some additional itineraries in order to continue to attract repeat patronage. Montgomery with its potential cruise ship landing right down town, and the down town being lively and historic is just the sort of place these small cruise lines thrive on. But if the locks are closed for too little activity any such future business must go elsewhere. Cruise lines are not in business to lobby for locks. Municipalities and states must do that job. Now a mini cruise ship dropping 40 passengers at the city front may not seem to have much more impact on down town than a tour bus load of passengers daily. But cruise ship passengers are different from the tour bus crowd. They arrived with their hotel. They disembark in the morning maybe catch breakfast , take the delightful trolley tour ( by the way Ray, the regular driver is a city asset and ambassador and you probably couldn't have a better one at the city front), then go back to the boat to freshen up and head back out for the Hank Williams museum. Many boat passengers will take lunch down town, and then reemerge to sample the night life. Small cruise boat passengers tend to have about three times the economic impact that tour bus passengers do.

Believe me I have so far only touched  on a few of the potential economic possibilities of Montgomery's  latent navigability. But today latent navigability is endangered navigability. Corps of Engineers budgets are going under the microscope and then the chopping block soon. Lose the locks, you lose your navigability.

When the budget axe falls those locks below Montgomery will be an attractive target. But there are some things the city and its citizens can do to protect Montgomery's navigation potential.

 First, you have a beautiful little river front park with a nice little paddle wheel excursion boat. That boat is a pint sized U.S. Coast Guard inspected "merchant marine vessel", piloted by a USCG licensed "Merchant Marine Officer". Give the little "ship" a Mayoral commission as "Montgomery's flag ship". Feature it more often in advertising the city .Use some city funds to promote the boat in Mobile and Birmingham. Most importantly turn the direction of its excursions around. Most of the published excursions go north. Attention needs to be focused on the south, specifically the locks. The Chamber of Commerce and others should help organize several trips per year to and through the locks. Yes that's "too far for a day boat with no overnight facilities". But other day boats such as the JULIA BELLE SWAIN have done this sort of thing.

 When these other "day boats" make such trips here is how they do it." The boat makes an 8 to 12 hour run then the passengers get off and spend the night at a bed and breakfast. These trips don't sell for $15 a ticket, they are usually a few hundred dollars but the folks who take the well planned over night excursions repeat the trips year after year. Surely Montgomery has  enough well heeled civic boosters to invest in a fun week end on the river. I'll bet dozens of Montgomery natives have paid thousands for other cruises including the lock transit through the Panama canal, "The path between the Seas Tour" as it is often advertised. Why not a weekend voyage to transit Montgomery's own Path between the River and the Sea, one or all of the lower locks. 

 Locks keep statistics. Cargo movements count, commercial vessel movements count, and passengers not only count but enjoy a priority passage. So each visit through a lock by your city's"flag ship" builds the record of the lock as an engine of commerce. The boat may need the installation of a swinging stage on the bow to facilitate passenger egress at relatively unimproved river landings where buses pick up passengers for transport to the prearranged bed and breakfast accommodations or small hotels. If need be the city may want to make the investment in the swinging stage to get the ball rolling. 

 Some locks that started as portals of commerce have survived after commerce faded because of heavy recreational boat usage. Encourage recreational boating on the river near the city and especially recreational boat passage through the locks start a cruising club to encourage through lock trips. Do whatever you have to, to get a marina and yacht club on the river above the dam and below the present river front park.

 Use the wonderful facilities and and personnel of the Alabama State Archives to build a photo exhibit of the waterfront's past history as an "intermodal" port featuring the rail road activity that still parallels the river and once interacted with commercial river transport. Put that exhibit up at the old train depot by the waterfront. In this way for a very modest investment you educate visitor and native alike to the navigational past of the city. Include in the exhibit some of the potential navigational future.
Adopt the attitude that inland navigation economic activity some times fluctuates but if your city had a navigational past, it is entitled to a navigational future, that the city is determined not to give up.

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Play the national security card. Montgomery is home to two major Air Force Installations with at least one flight line.  The major air bases in the Florida Pan Handle both Air Force and Navy get most of their aviation fuel from Houston refineries by tank barges traveling along the Gulf Intracoastal waterway. Find out if the local Air bases are similarly served. If not find out why not, enlist the help of local commanding officers in lobbying for delivery of aviation fuel by barge.
Thousands of barrels of it are passing west to east just one hundred miles south of town. A right turn at the Alabama river could bring the fuel efficiency and security of water borne transport to Maxwell, if they don't already have it. If they do its a major argument for keeping the locks operating. Such a secure and efficient fuel line could be an argument for the expansion of military air power in the area in the future. 

File:Maxwell Air Force Base.jpg

 Nominate a "Commodore" to be the public face of the navigability preservation effort. Adopt a flag for the "Navigation District" maybe the flag of the city in the upper corner on a aquamarine field emblazoned with the words: 


 Navigation is part of being a cross roads town. It can be part of becoming an even more major distribution center. Montgomery had it, don't lose it! Montgomery's navigability is a sleeping giant of an economic engine. It can awaken in the future only if Montgomery can successfully preserve it. I hate to tell you this but you have at best only until January 2, 2013 to get a head start on the defense of navigability. It will not be
long before the next round of federal budget chopping begins. Do not let go of your municipal navigability status lightly, fight for it. All of Montgomery's future is worth fighting for!

Editors Note: Capt. "Og" was left "flabergasted" by the fact that after his "Open Letter" was  published that the city fathers of Montgomery were not marching on Washinhgton to preserve Montgomery's "sacred navigational rights". Capt. "Og believes that it is the sacred duty of every true Christian to defend to the death the right to navigate. As he so often states: "if God did not want people to navigate, why did he make our bodies neutrally buoyant?" The editorial staff did not have the courage to inform Og that we had never had readers from "land locked " Montgomery before and at best three people read his open letter when it was first published, we probably picked up two more with its' second publication. But now Og is off on one of his crusades and we won't get any useful work out of him unless we give him space let his thoughts on Montgomery and the "countless blessings of navigability" run their course. Montgomery, we hate to admit it but basically Og is right, you really do need to study the issue and get started on navigability preservation and inland navigation economic development, if not for your own economic good, to save yourselves from a second visit by Og. And so now Og starts telling the city "movers and shakers" how to educate themselves to the issue.


THE WATERWAYS JOURNAL: The River Towing Industry's Weekly   .

Once called the "River man's Bible" the Waterways Journal is a black and white weekly available for a very moderate subscription price with a daily on line free service. The Journal is the best available coverage of issues and events affecting the river and canal towing services in the United States and also has some wonderful occasional historic features and news of the inland excursion and ferry services. More over this is the best coverage of our inland navigational infrastructure such as locks and dams, aids to navigation, and channel maintenance.

Scroll down for additional reading suggestions for those who wish to understand Montgomery's  navigability , its challenges and potential. Navigability, it's a terrible thing to waste. 


Editor's note: Don't think Og is through with his educational hints, oh nooooo!


 Welcome Montgomery readers! 

 We know you're not a city full of maritime professionals yet, but as you awaken to the possibilities of a renewal of your vibrant navigational past, we're glad that you're checking in here to start reading up on the subject. We've seen your beautiful town and felt its dynamism. If any town in America can take "latent navigability" and turn it into an active "marine economic engine" we'd bet on Montgomery. Look at the illustration above, you've actually been off and running for some time now. 

 You need some shakers and movers to begin the process of educating themselves to the possibilities of inland navigation and inland navigation supported industries. Our mission has always been to provide a place to jump start research into any maritime subject. We are going to focus on your needs as new readers for a few days to make the task of the movers and shakers easier.

 We also are going to focus on Montgomery and water sports. Montgomery is a short drive from both Lake Martin and the Gulf Beaches. Every fisherman and boater in Montgomery with just a little focus on how to get more of their sport on the Alabama River can help channel demand for the continuance of navigability. So in this posting we hope to help you find our previous postings that specifically dealt with Montgomery and inland navigation.

 Below is a picture of one of the locks and dams below the city that keep the Alabama River Navigable.  In case you are not familiar with the concept of a lock and dam, the dam part is obviously the part that runs across the river. The lock is the box like structure on right side of the picture as you face it.

                                 File:USACE Claiborne Lock and Dam.jpg

The lock chamber comes with gates that allow a vessel to pass through the dam despite differing water levels on either side. One gate is opened and the chamber empties or fills to the same level as the water on the side of the dam where the chamber gate opened. After the vessel enters the lock chamber and is secured the gate closes behind the vessel. Now both gates are closed and the vessel sits in the calm, pooled waters of the lock chamber. The level in the chamber is then gently increased or decreased by sluicing or pumping until the water level in the chamber is equal to the level on the river on the side of the dam opposite where the vessel entered. The gates are then opened and the vessel can freely navigate the next  leg of her river voyage. Your existing locks can accommodate commercial towboats and barges, small  to medium inland designed over night and day excursion or "cruise" vessels and most any size yacht or large flotillas of recreational boats.

 Notice now  that at the lock pictured, no vessel traffic is waiting to use the lock chamber. Locks are usually built and maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In tight budget times which we are already in, locks with out traffic often find themselves without funding. The Navigability of Montgomery which has such an illustrious past and the possibility of a grand future is absolutely dependent on keeping these locks open. In terms of maintaining Montgomery's potential as an inland port the immediate task of the city fathers with the help of healthy citizen participation is the preservation of those locks. Real marine economic development can follow, but if the locks are abandoned, commercial navigability is history. So today we are going to suggest a reading list to help everyone prepare for the campaign.

 First Lets look at whats right here in the blog, what have we written that deals with the subject at hand:
 1. "AN OPEN LETTER TO MONTGOMERY "was published twice, most recently Thursday September 6, 2012          
 2.  Our Book Review of American Admiralty's       COMMON HIGHWAY a book about    navigation rights, very information dense but  just 40 pages.  A must read for local officials who may have to brief Congress and  recreational fishermen who would like to avoid some of the problems Louisiana has  experienced with "commons rustling"by those who would privatise America's navigable waters.  Posted as a blog  on September 6th.

3. Today's post (You're reading it now)

4. And we recommend to anyone who may take on a serious role as an advocate for navigability 
the Book "THE WAY OF THE SHIP", the best primer on the history of domestic American waterborne transportation ever written.


 Don't forget our first suggestion, THE WATERWAYS JOURNAL using our link anyone may read the daily on line version but we suggest that the members of the vanguard of the movement get a weekly subscription of the paper version.

We'll have more for you Montgomery over the next week. We'll try to point you in the right direction as some of you emerge as advocates for continued and expanded navigability. Good luck if you have questions send us a comment. There is space for that right at the end of this post.

Editor's note: Og will be making a few more posts on Montgomery and navigability this week. God help us, we are going to let him. Someone in Montgomery please send us a comment indicating message received. We have to get more routine work out of Og.  We promise you that you don't want him back. To Og navigability is a terrible thing to waste and people who waste it need a piece of his dark and terrible mind.

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