G.H. Coates, LLC
Ideas That Work
By September, I had decided to move the tug to a yard in Houma, LA for the bottom work. I had talked to Ronnie Chaisson of Eagle Dry-dock and Repair a few times on the phone and wanted to arrange a trip to meet him. With a little more planning through Dick G, I was able to get together with some fine people.
Tuesday, September 30, 2003
I flew into New Orleans and rented a car to drive to Houma. I was in Houma talking to Ronnie by noon. What a nice fellow. The only real concerns he voiced were about the possibility of lead paint on the bottom, but nothing is insurmountable. After meeting with Mr. Chaisson, I drove north to Schriever, LA and met up with Dick G. I had a great time admiring his collection of toys, and sharing tales of engine rescue. After a while, we drove north and met up with J.B. at his shop. It was like being home again. I could look around and see what my shop might look like in a few more years with a few more wonderful toys. Then we took off for a fellow named Jamie's house. More wonderful stories and a good look at some very interesting igniters. Over dinner, Dick, J.B. and I discussed the next day. We will meet up with some folks in Morgan City, and then Patterson, then head for Jennings and some show and tell at the Tug.
Wednesday, October 1, 2003
Up and out the door from Dick G's by 6:00am heading for Morgan City. We met up with J.B., Jamie, and Bernie at the Waffle House. From there, we went to Patterson, and a fellow named Bob L welcomed us. By now there are quite a few people gathering for the trip. Bob L asked if I'd like to see the Belle Isle run. Well of course!!!!
This is the bunch that met at Bob L's house. L to R - J.B., Bob L, Bernie C, Jamie, Ernest F, Bob S, Dick G, Bob F, and Butch F. Thanks Guys.
Most of us left for Jennings and around 10:00am we were on the Tug. We fired up the 2-71 and started the compressor. In an hour the Atlas was running at the dock.
That afternoon, I met with the shipyard president to ask him about some of the history of the John Arthur and thank him for his help.
I drove out to Houston and ate dinner with Frank and Marge. Frank showed me some of the projects he's working on, and we had a good time bar hopping.
Thursday, October 2, 2003
On Thursday, I met with one of the great people of this adventure, Terry Frickey. He was instrumental in saving the John Arthur from the scrap pile, and really set up a positive atmosphere. Mr. Frickey is now in Houston, working as General Manager for Bollinger Ship Repair.
After lunch, I drove back to New Orleans to meet with Robert M and his wife aboard a private railcar. It was a long drive but worth every mile to spend good time with Robert and his wife and see such magnificent railcars.
Friday, October 3, 2003
On plane for Baltimore.