Capt Ron Gray Jr of the American Queen meets the captain of the Shantyboat Dotty

Capt Ron Gray Jr of the American Queen meets the captain of the Shantyboat Dotty

Capt Ron Gray Jr of the American Queen meets the…

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Secret History shantyboat visits the American Queen at Port of Paducah

Secret History shantyboat visits the American Queen at Port of Paducah

Secret History shantyboat visits the American Queen at Port of…

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Artist Wes Modes aboard the shantyboat Dotty, floating down the Tennessee River this summer as part of Modes' oral history project "A Secret History of American River People." (Dennis Pillion | dpillion@al.com)

AL.com: On a shantyboat in Alabama, nights are hot, food is good and stories flow

Smack dab in the middle of the Tennessee River, between…

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Paducah WPSD: Secret History of River People coming to Paducah

The River Discovery Center in Paducah will host an exhibit…

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Secret History installation at the River Discovery Center in Paducah

Secret History installation at the River Discovery Center in Paducah

Secret History installation at the River Discovery Center in Paducah

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Shantyboat seen through the windows of the Founder's Room at the River Discovery Center in Paducah where the Secret History installation will be for the next two weeks

Shantyboat from Founder’s Room at the River Discovery Center

Shantyboat seen through the windows of the Founder's Room at…

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West Kentucky Star: Artist Concludes Daring River Voyage in Paducah

A rustic recreated 1940s shanty boat, a daring river voyage,…

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Age reels in a whopper

Age reels in a whopper

Age reels in a whopper

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My favorite Secret History paparazzi photo. Back from the Benzy as ships mate days

My favorite Secret History paparazzi photo

My favorite Secret History paparazzi photo. Back from the Benzy…

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Adrian playing dress up. He already had the radio on so we could listen to radio chatter as they blew up a major highway span we were crossing under. Thanks to friends in Guntersville for the sweet patches

Adrian playing dress up

Adrian playing dress up. He already had the radio on…

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Captain and two ships mates, Age and Penske, arrive after trials and tribulations at Kenlake Marina

Captain and two ships mates, Age and Penske, arrive after trials and tribulations at Kenlake Marina

Captain and two ships mates, Age and Penske, arrive after…

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Oh no! We lost the rest of Freddie's transmission in the middle of Lake Kentucky

Oh no! Freddie’s transmission died in the middle of Lake Kentucky

Oh no! We lost the rest of Freddie's transmission in…

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Old Danville Grain Elevator submerged by the inundated Tennessee River in the flooded town of Danville

Old Danville Grain Elevator submerged by the inundated Tennessee River

Old Danville Grain Elevator submerged by the inundated Tennessee River…

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Our first volunteer fish dinner! When we to hop in the johnboat to pick up new ships mate Penske, we found he had jumped in during our rough traversal of Kentucky Lake

Our first volunteer fish dinner

Our first volunteer fish dinner! When we to hop in…

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Join us in Paducah Kentucky for a two week long series of Secret History events. Aug 27 Open House at the Farmer's Market, Aug 30 6pm Artist Talk at the McCracken County Public Library, Sep 3 Open House at the Farmer's Market and 3pm gallery talk at the River Discovery Center. Other events and exhibits TBA

Two Weeks in Paducah, Kentucky

Join us in Paducah Kentucky for a two week long…

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Storm looming above the shantyboat. Photo by Adrian Nankivell

Storm looming above the shantyboat

Storm looming above the shantyboat. Photo by Adrian Nankivell

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Not everyone knows it's good luck to pass under a train bridge and extra if it has a train and even more if it's moving. So it was a lucky day

Not everyone knows it’s good luck to pass under a train bridge

Not everyone knows it's good luck to pass under a…

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Pete and Wes look at Freddie to see why we no longer have a reverse gear

Pete and Wes look at Freddie to see why we no longer have a reverse gear

Pete and Wes look at Freddie to see why we…

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Davis "Scoop" Anderson who worked on riverboats and rowboats for years, finally settling out as a newspaper editor (earning his nickname

David “Scoop” Anderson who worked on riverboats and towboats for years

Davis "Scoop" Anderson who worked on riverboats and rowboats for…

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Shantyboat in the secret abandoned marina of the planet of the apes

Shantyboat in the secret abandoned MARINA OF THE DAMNED

Shantyboat in the secret abandoned marina of the planet of…

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shantyboat stormy skies edit

Dramatic skies over the shantyboat on the Tennessee River [VIDEO & PANORAMA]

Dramatic skies over the shantyboat on the Tennessee River near…

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Typically amazing cuisine aboard the shantyboat. The full time caterers turned out to be a great investment

Typically amazing cuisine aboard the shantyboat. The full time caterers turned out to be a great investment

Typically amazing cuisine aboard the shantyboat. The full time caterers…

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Fishing for breakfast at the confluence of the Duck River with the Tennessee

Fishing for breakfast at the confluence of the Duck River with the Tennessee

Fishing for breakfast at the confluence of the Duck River…

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We learn to read the river: this beautiful herringbone pattern precedes larger wind waves. A steady breeze over a reach creates tiny ripples that reinforce each other, becoming swells that can become challenging for the shantyboat

We learn to read the river: this beautiful herringbone pattern precedes larger wind waves

We learn to read the river: this beautiful herringbone pattern…

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Pete Selmeci who's job is to fix big boats and move them around. He was limping this disabled Love Boat with his business partner Mark downriver. He helped us look at our own limping Freddie Mercury who lost reverse gear and supplied is with rum and coke

Pete Selmeci who’s job is to fix big boats and move them around

Pete Selmeci who's job is to fix big boats and…

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Lost at the rainy end of the world! Next episode of the SHANTYBOAT GUYS

Lost at the rainy end of the world! Next episode of the SHANTYBOAT GUYS [VIDEO]

Lost at the rainy end of the world! Next episode…

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Life without the internets! Next on the SHANTYBOAT GUYS

Life without the internets! Next on the SHANTYBOAT GUYS [VIDEO]

Life without the internets! Next on the SHANTYBOAT GUYS

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Barges in the mist. People ask us constantly if the tows give us any trouble. After over 1000 miles on inland waters we can definitively say, No, towboat crews are professional, more courteous, more responsible, and create less wake than big yachts

Barges in the mist

Barges in the mist. People ask us constantly if the…

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Secret History is largely a donation supported project and your…

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Emergency! Out of vodka and down to a finger or two of gin

Emergency! Out of vodka and down to a finger or two of gin

Emergency! Out of vodka and down to a finger or…

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Gene Davidson

Gene Davidson owner of the Clifton Marina

We talked to Gene Davidson who owns the Clifton Marina.…

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