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"River Boats, River Voices" Premieres Christmas Day

CityChannel Dubuque
from "River Boats, River Voices"
Credit CityChannel Dubuque
one of the "voices" in "River Boats, River Voices"

Dubuque will once again use Christmas Day and New Year's Eve to premier new videos about the city. The city's relationship with the Mississippi River is the subject of "River Boats, River Voices," volumes 1 and 2, that'll be shown on CityChannel Dubuque. 

Cable TV Coordinator, Craig Nowack, says he used new and old video of the river, then added interviews with 11 people who worked on the river and talked about their jobs.

"The Voices, as I call them, just did a great job talking about what it's like to be on these boats. A lot of them work 30 days on and 30 days off - a tough work schedule for family life but they talk very honestly about that, what it's like to bring a towboat into a lock and how that all works."

One of his favorite segments uses a recording he made from a marine radio. 

"Last summer I would record communications between the deckhands on the boat and the captain or the lock personnel. There's a fascinating sequence of a boat coming down the river, coming into Dubuque's lock. And I recorded the whole conversation between the deckhand who's guiding the towboat captain into the lock."

Nowack began working on the new videos last summer.

"People who live along the river are very familiar with the boats but they don't realize all that goes into life on those boats, and how it's kind of a little closed society. And they're not part of any other society, other than the nine people working on the that boat at the time."

For previous Christmases, Nowack and CityChannel Dubuque have featured a compilation of local marching bands, and a video road trip along city streets. One year, the video showed birds at local feeders in the tri-state area - and at least two people bought copies because they said their cats enjoyed watching it.

The two new Dubuque videos about the Mississippi River will be shown on Christmas Day and New Year's Eve, and will also be available on the city's website. 

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.