In the 70’s learning to be a professional seaman, down on Bayou Black, crewmember Bubba Broussard nicked-named this Yankee boy… “Professor“.
A tight group, laying 14,000 lb anchors in rolling seas, our lives depended on execution. Behind the wheel, the winding Mississippi river gets in your blood down bound to the oil rigs, after a few hundred times when you begin to feel the rhythm. Music was important in the wheelhouse
while running the Louisiana bayous. I asked Bubba what he thought of Classical music that I sometimes played. Give Bubba a book and a pencil, his hand would shake, but with a wrench in hand by God, he was blessed. “Professor if it ain‘t Country it ain‘t S**T“. Bubba saved my life from a parting weld on heavy deck gear, on the job, in rough seas that would have cut me in two.
When I left a year later,and time I felt to move on in my career as I saw it, Bubba smiled and called me brother with his massive arms on my shoulders. That meant a lot to me. The crew on deck : (Bubba, Heavy Hall, Cowboy, Kenny Caldwell and the Professor). I don’t have their pictures, but I do have vivid memories as reminders. Most who knew our work on the Riptide, called us the best workboat on the Gulf. Kenny’s cousin was Toy Caldwell, an American Hero, US Marine, wounded Viet Nam Vet and one of America’s legendary guitar players of the time. I don’t necessarily buy Bubba’s point, about Classical music, but he did have something to say, that crazy Ragin’ Cajun… I get tears in my eyes when thinking of those days, sailing the “Ole Miss“, listening to good old Southern Rock… The M/V Riptide was unstoppable… Just watch and listen to Kenny’s cousin play… To quote LINCOLN… a main character in my screenplay SOAKED… “Sailing IS Rock N Roll Brother”…