History Items of the Canal Zone

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Thatcher Ferry Ramble

On the interior side of Thatcher ferry there was a place just before you got to the ferry on the left hand side that made rattan baskets and furniture... I used to go down there and watch them until my dad honked the horn calling me to go across on the ferry.

The Panamanian paperboys would wait to sell the papers to the people waiting for the ferry. They would all lean their sweaty backs on the last car in line. I used to keep my dads car spotless and would go home with white salt splotches from these kids. I decided to end this habit. I went to automobile row to Slims junkyard and got an old Model T coil and hooked it up to the electrical system in my dad's car with a switch. Next time I had a crowd of paperboys resting I flipped the switch and the reflex "blew" them clean off the road into the saw grass. All my friends alternated putting the rig in their car until there was not one paperboy who trusted the cars not to shock the caca outa them... Problem solved! :-))

Living in Rodman we would bet on Thatcher or Miraflores... Miraflores was quicker if the ship didn't have the bridge open. The ferry didn't run after 10 pm at night so Miraflores it was... The steel grates and railroad irons made the bridge a real hazard for us scooter and bike riders in rainy season.

On the La Boca side there was a guy who sold live shrimp, 12 for one dollar. If he didn't have them the closest place was Old Panama. I used to order 5 dozen and take the out to the mine dock for the crowd to buy.

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Author Dale C. Clarke.
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