Two men and a dog set out across the American Heartland in a boat, truly a Memorial Day story. Memorial Day 2001, they buy the boat. Memorial Day 2003, they complete repairs. Memorial Day 2008, they launch into the Arkansas River. Memorial Day 2009, they are poised to run the Tennessee, the Cumberland, and the Ohio Rivers. Memorial Day is the start of something new.
Memorial Weekend 2018—the resulting narrative, River Queens: An American Journey, is available at riverqueens.us.
It is a story that transcends stereotypes and social convention. These men are city dwellers, are landlubbers, and are gay. Their boat is an antique1955 Chris Craft motor yacht—forty-five feet of polished mahogany and rare. Their route is remote and rural; its inhabitants, conservative. They are the proverbial “fish out of water”. The potential for clash is real.
But this is not the America of scandal, controversy, and extreme. This is the boots-on-the-ground, neighbor-helping-neighbor, get-’er-done America. And therein lies the tale. A story of unique opportunity, diligence, and unintended consequences. A story that plies the nation’s rivers from Dallas, Texas to Cincinnati, Ohio and back. A story that is quite simply one of the best travel journals around.
River Queens: An American Journey by Alexander Watson. Approximately 230, 5” x 8” pages. Hard bound. Orange Frazer Press: Wilmington, OH. Publication date: October 2018. Now available at riverqueens.us.