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Deckhand : life on freighters of the Great…
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Deckhand : life on freighters of the Great Lakes (edition 2009)

by Nelson Haydamacker, Alan Millar

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1211,091,822 (2.67)None
Member:joeldinda
Title:Deckhand : life on freighters of the Great Lakes
Authors:Nelson Haydamacker
Other authors:Alan Millar
Info:Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, c2009.
Collections:Your library, Joel, Shipping
Rating:****
Tags:memoir, history, shipping, great lakes, freighters

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Deckhand: Life on Freighters of the Great Lakes by Nelson Haydamacker

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This is a short (100+ pages) "as-told-to", with Haydamacker the storyteller and Millar the transcriber/editor. Both did excellent jobs, and produced an interesting book about the day-to-day life of deckhands on Great Lakes freighters in the early 1960s.

Mickey Haydamacher was just out of high school and looking for a job. He grew up near (and on) the St. Clair River and had family members who crewed on lakers, so he applied for a job with the Interlake Steamship Company. This book is his retelling of his two years as a deckhand on Interlake ships.

The book's subtitle, "Life on Freighters of the Great Lakes," is a good description of its contents. This is a book about everyday life--fighting to open and close hatches, washing things down, surviving the weather, sharing a smoke, visiting waterfront bars. It's also about friendships, growing up a bit, and getting on with life.

The author served on (then-)new boats--the Eldon Hoyt 2nd and J.L. Mauthe--and a "bucket of bolts"--Col. James Pickands--so he can make some valuable best-and-worst comparisons. He visited most of the upper lakes ports, and tells tales about a few of those. But mostly it's a book about his ships, his shipmates, and the things he did every day on the ships.

It's a different perspective than offered by most who write about lakes shipping. It's well done, and worth your time. 



This review has also been published on a dabbler's journal.( )
  joeldinda | Jan 13, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0472033255, Paperback)

Long before popular television shows such as Dirty Jobs and The Deadliest Catch, everyday men and women---the unsung heroes of the job world---toiled in important but mostly anonymous jobs. One of those jobs was deckhand on the ore boats.

With numerous photographs and engaging stories, Deckhand offers an insider's view of both the mundane and the intriguing duties performed by deckhands on these gritty cargo vessels. Boisterous port saloons, monster ice jams, near drownings, and the daily drudgery of soogeying---cleaning dirt and grime off the ships---are just a few of the experiences Mickey Haydamacker had as a young deckhand working on freighters of the Great Lakes in the early 1960s. Haydamacker sailed five Interlake Steamship Company boats, from the modern Elton Hoyt 2nd to the ancient coal-powered Colonel James Pickands with its backbreaking tarp-covered hatches.

Deckhand will appeal to shipping buffs and to anyone interested in Great Lakes shipping and maritime history as it chronicles the adventures of living on the lakes from the seldom-seen view of a deckhand.

Mickey Haydamacker spent his youth as a deckhand sailing on the freighters of the Great Lakes. During the 1962 and '63 seasons Nelson sailed five different Interlake Steamship Company ore boats. He later went on to become an arson expert with the Michigan State Police, retiring with the rank of Detective Sergeant.

Alan D. Millar, to whom Haydamacker related his tale of deckhanding, spent his career as a gift store owner and often wrote copy for local newspaper, TV, and radio.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:43 -0400)

From the Publisher: Long before popular television shows such as Dirty Jobs and The Deadliest Catch, everyday men and women-the unsung heroes of the job world-toiled in important but mostly anonymous jobs. One of those jobs was deckhand on the ore boats. With numerous photographs and engaging stories, Deckhand offers an insider's view of both the mundane and the intriguing duties performed by deckhands on these gritty cargo vessels. Boisterous port saloons, monster ice jams, near drownings, and the daily drudgery of soogeying-cleaning dirt and grime off the ships-are just a few of the experiences Mickey Haydamacker had as a young deckhand working on freighters of the Great Lakes in the early 1960s. Haydamacker sailed five Interlake Steamship Company boats, from the modern Elton Hoyt 2nd to the ancient coal-powered Colonel James Pickands with its backbreaking tarp-covered hatches. Deckhand will appeal to shipping buffs and to anyone interested in Great Lakes shipping and maritime history as it chronicles the adventures of living on the lakes from the seldom-seen view of a deckhand. Mickey Haydamacker spent his youth as a deckhand sailing on the freighters of the Great Lakes. During the 1962 and '63 seasons Nelson sailed five different Interlake Steamship Company ore boats. He later went on to become an arson expert with the Michigan State Police, retiring with the rank of Detective Sergeant. Alan D. Millar, to whom Haydamacker related his tale of deckhanding, spent his career as a gift store owner and often wrote copy for local newspaper, TV, and radio.… (more)

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