Letter to the editor
To the editor:
Imagine floating on the Willamette River aboard a real sternwheeler and being serenaded to by the northwest's top barbershop chorus. Imagine dining on salmon, while enjoying history presentations from youth storytellers and professional reenactors. Imagine roaming the ship's upper deck and watching the sun set over the Willamette on a beautiful Oregon summer night. This is what happened last summer, and I was a part of it.
When I hear the word "sternwheeler," I usually picture a vessel like the one featured in Jules Verne's "Around the World in 80 Days." I found these Oregon cruises to be just as enjoyable. The Oregon SenateAires Chorus, local reenactors, and youth from Canby successfully conducted four dinner river cruises in the Mid-Willamette Valley from July to September titled "Harmony on the Water."
The cruises were remarkably well-received, with out-of-state visitors from Arizona and Florida attending. The Willamette River and its steamboating era was showcased through singing and historic presentations. Salmon was filleted over open fire on the sandy shores of the Willamette and brought aboard for dinner.
The best part about the cruises was the involvement from Canby youth. Josh Beckham, 21, of Canby stunned the mayor of Salem with facts about the river and had him raving. Adam Doty, 25, of Canby, offered help in choreography. Matthew Riegg, 22, of Canby, was program administrator. Jerry J. Miller, 50, of Canby, was chef and dock-hand. Canby had a large part to play in these cruises.
I want to see "Harmony on the Water" come to Canby. I want to see the Willamette Queen grace our shores. It can happen in 2018 or 2019 if enough history enthusiasts come together to request this tourism asset for our area.
Rivers of Life Center