Monday, June 16, 2008

Quackers - Riding the DUKW in Philly

Ben & Leah Going QuackersSandy, Mom and I headed up to Philly yesterday to visit our babies, Leah and Ben (now 26 and 22.) The kids wanted to go on a "Ride the Ducks" tour of Philadelphia for their recent birthdays, so that's what we did.

The "Ducks" are really WWII DUKW amphibious trucks - you can read all about them here. Several cities, including Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston, and Bramson have commerical operations that take people on street-and-water tours. The Philly tour is excellent at 70 minutes long, with 20 minutes in the Delaware river.

DUKW Under Ben Franklin BridgeHere, another DUKW off our starboard bow passes under the Ben Franklin Bridge as we head back to shore. Now, if you imagine the bridge not being there, the DUKW painted in olive drab, the sunshade gone, the DUKW being full of troops instead of tourists, hundreds more DUKWs instead of just the one, the weather being much, much worse, the water much choppier, shells exploding all around, and machine gun fire raking the water, why it would be just like D-Day.

Larry Fine Mural - PhillyAs a child of the late '50s and '60s, I'm a big Three Stooges fan. So you can bet I was impressed when our DUKW tour guide pointed out the birthplace of Louis Feinberg, aka Larry Fine.

Being, to borrow a phrase from John McCain, "old as dirt," I actually saw the stooges, including Larry, live in 1962 at Gwynn Oak Amusement Park in Baltimore. The Stooges by then were already in their 60's but put on a fully animated show for us kids that, to our delight, showed no respect for their age.


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