The water had not risen high enough.
The river lapped at the shore, tantalizingly close to the hull of the Memphis Queen III. Those last few feet might as well be a million miles. If they cut her loose now, she’d rip her hull apart sliding into the river and never make it out of the harbor.
“I’m blaming the King for this, too,” my father growled as he watched the three tugboats attaching mooring lines to the hundred foot riverboat he’d built from nothing in our backyard.
Elvis had died the night before, and my father was taking his untimely passing as cause for all of today’s problems.
Out in the bay, the tug boats turned on their high-pressure water hoses. They were going to try to turn the space between the boat and the river into mud, and slide the riverboat down.
After a few minutes of deluge, My father raised the signal flag, waited for the crews to acknowledge then dropped his arm.
The tugs gunned their engines, the lines went taut, and nothing happened.
Then, like lovers separating post coitus, the riverboat slipped down the soaked ground and out in to the river, finally home.
The Memphis Queen III is a paddleboat, modeled to look like the boats of the 1800s, hand built by Captain Tom Meanly in his backyard in south Memphis. It is a sister ship to the Memphis Queen II, a slightly smaller, but still notable boat, as it was the first all-steel vessel on the Mississippi. The Memphis Queen III is available for rental, and runs daily sight-seeing tours along the river.