Fire away | Arkansas Blog

Fire away

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orleck.JPG

There may be news later today. There may not. So here's a line for your Saturday graffiti.

That photo above?

Glad you asked.

I just happened to run across it on the Facebook page of a childhood friend in Lake Charles, La., Rick Richard. It shows a welcome from fire boats for the destroyer Orleck as it was towed across Lake Charles to a new berth on the Calcasieu River as a tourist attraction. Naval fans will remember that North Little Rock Mayor Pat Hays talked briefly about getting the Orleck for his Arkansas River maritime museum. It was berthed in Orange, Texas, about 30 miles from Lake Charles, but maintenance had become too expensive for Orange. Given how difficult it's been raising the cash to bring the Hoga tug to join Commodore Hays' fleet, it's probably just as well Lake Charles nabbed the Orleck.

(Further small world department: photographer Richard is more formally known as Oliver G. Richard III. He was a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in the early 1980s when it saddled Arkansas with costs of Entergy's Grand Gulf nuclear plant. Too bad he didn't stick with newspaper photography, a passion of his as an LSU student.)

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