Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Back at the Fort Gates Ferry docks, we looked waaay over and saw this beauty in waiting! I can find no information on this vintage beauty of the river, so if you know anything about the manufacture or history, please comment!
Envision the decks as they must have once been, stacked with cargo or perhaps a few passengers traveling to winter at Silver Springs.
Long skirts with bustles and bonnets. Not just simple bonnets, but ones adorned with many ribbons and feathers. Delicate complexions shaded from the intense Florida sunshine by a wide brim or perhaps a parasol. Cheeks flushed from the sultry, southern heat.
Silk and satin sleeves of such length that I cannot imagine wearing them in the thick, milky heat and the intensely cloying humidity must have made the fabric feel like the clammiest of serpents tongues!
Perhaps a lady perched upon a deck chair? Lightly mind... The bustle would not allow a full width of a bottom to have purchase. The roll of the ship would have made sitting so a feat of balance and firmly planted feet. To sit and watch the river float past. To gaze at the strange wildlife that called this tropical land home. So different from a northern city!
Steadying herself with feet encased in tough, unyielding leather boots with a dozen tiny buttons to their tops. Tiny feet trapped in the hot recesses. Ankles chaffed from the stiff, sandpaper edges where boot met pale skin.
Weeping feet tap tapping their way along the whitewashed decks, one before the other, pacing the planks in any attempt to dissuade the oppressive heat in this God Forsaken swamp!
Layers upon layers of under drawers and petticoats and crinolines... How to survive in this oppressive heat?
Snowy white handkerchief held firmly to a small, aristocratic nose. A vain attempt at keeping the green, moldy smell from flaring nostrils.
The ship sailed on. Never noticing her discomfort and dispair.
Husband.... Ancient man that she had been promised to....
Husband... Standing at the bow with others like him. Cigars to lips, hands gesturing in talk... Men's talk that she was certainly not allowed to even hear.. They spoke of such dull and droll things. Cattle. Banking. Why would they even think she would care? She ached for female companionship. Tomorrow, the boat was due at Fort Gates where there were bound to be women!
God! Please let there be a woman to talk to!
Finally, a breeze! She fled to her cabin and same breeze caressed her face through her solitary window still.
Miserable dress to the floor! Unyielding boots to the floor! Despicable, tiresome hat to the chair's seat and sinking, falling, stretching onto sheets of thick creamy cotton.
Sleep. the sound of the engines thrumming and ... Sleep!
The river passes by.
All of these photos were again shot and loaded directly from my Nikon P90 and then posted without alteration of any kind.