Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Ribbon Has Been Cut

The grand opening was on Wednesday. A rough head count and some guessing makes me thing we had about 75 people on the boat. We only had life jackets for 51, so we had to be tied up at shore for everyone to be on board. Someone complimented me on my boat tying up skills. Heh. I was being extra careful cause there was a crowd.

Here's the crowd, from the back.
I know it doesn't look like a lot of people, but trust me, 75-ish people in a space meant for 6 cars feels like quite a bit. There were speeches by county commissioners, the public works director, and someone from ODOT (dept of transportation for the state). I couldn't hear any of them in the back. They wouldn't use the bull horn, but they also didn't talk loudly. They gave out a few plaques, one went to Tami, the woman in the planning department who wrote the grant that got the new ferry in the first place. She also advocated strongly to the powers that be to get me the ferry job. She deserved the plaque!

There were reporters from most of the newspapers, and a gallery of pictures ended up in the local paper. I can only find myself in the first picture (do you see me, in the safety vest?), but that's my dad in the straw hat in picture 13! He came up for the grand opening, it was really sweet of him. 

People started walking on board around 2:30 or so. There were two sweet ladies who brought camp chairs and a picnic basket full of iced tea, watermelon and scones, and had a picnic and watched the festivities. They were charming. While we were setting up, we were still carrying vehicles back and forth. It was a bit hectic, and I was very happy when it hit 3 pm and we stopped for the speeches and all. Afterward, we rode back and forth with just pedestrians. I stood at the gate each time, getting people to move away from the gate and the ramp as we landed, and making sure that we were totally clear before we took off again. One lady let her 3 year old climb onto the gate while we were coming in for a landing. I think 3 of us told her about 8 times to keep her kid off the gates! The gates go up and down when we land and take off, the kid could fall, get trapped, it could be bad. Working at the ferry reminds me, over and over, that people are amazingly  oblivious.

Anyway, I stayed until about 4:45, when we packed it all up and took it all back to the shops. It was pretty successful, and now the ferry is officially open!

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