With this issue, longtime Waterways Journal Old Boat columnist Keith Norrington says farewell—or, as he puts it much more aptly, “Finished With Engine.” Norrington has been informing and entertaining WJ readers for 10 years. He capably filled the shoes of Alan Bates, who wrote the column for nine years, and Jim Swift, a longtime Norrington friend and colleague who had the column for 40 years.
Norrington’s place will be taken by Capt. David Smith, who is far from a stranger to Waterways Journal readers. Smith has appeared in these pages before in letters to the editor and guest columns. He was a towboat captain and industry leader, and from 2010 through 2021 operated River Marine Enterprises out of Paducah, Ky. Longtime Waterways Journal readers will remember him as the author of the former Upper Ohio News column. Many of his articles, letters and guest editorials have focused on the early days of diesel-powered towboats.
One of Ruth Ferris’ large river “family,” Norrington counts his association with The Waterways Journal as beginning 50 years ago when he got his first subscription. In 2020, he retired as curator of the Howard Steamboat Museum, founded by Loretta Howard of the famed Howard boat-building family, founders of the Howard shipyard that became Jeffboat.
We join all of our readers in thanking Keith for the depth of his knowledge of river history, his joy and enthusiasm for it that never flagged, all of which shine forth in his last column.We also thank him for his friendship, and we wish him all the best in his retirement. He has left a lasting legacy.