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American Queen restoration recalls Tom Sawyer

Pieces of red paddlewheel lie on the ground like a jigsaw puzzle. Blue paint, considered bad luck on a steamboat, is being stripped. Some 350 mahogany doors are being refinished.

These are some of the many projects under way at Bollinger Shipyards in Sulphur, La., as part of the American Queen’s restoration.

One massive job is repainting the white wedding cake upperworks.

Describing this task in a blog post, Greg Brown, evp of the Great American Steamboat Co., writes that the workers feel like Tom Sawyer, facing 30 yards of picket fence with a bucket of whitewash and a long-handled brush.

The blog, and pictures, are at www.greatamericansteamboatcompany.com/blog/2011/11/15/painting-fence.

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