Fink: le dernier batelier
a poem by Joe Napora


Fink: le dernier batelier
(the last boatman) is available from your local bookstore, from on-line vendors such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble, or from the publisher.

Fink: le dernier batelier 
ISBN 978-1-936138-08-1




Joe Napora presents us with a lyric picture of the legendary Mike Fink and the Mississippi River panorama as he explores the conscience of a nation, and the myth of manifest destiny.

Mike Fink, King of the Keelboaters, was larger than life in both fact and legend.  Brawler, drinker, practical joker, and crack shot, Fink the boatman, at nearly six feet and with muscles hardened by pushing the massive keelboat, was a formidable figure to both friend and foe.

"I am a salt river roarer; I love the women and Iím chock-full of fight," Fink was fond of announcing. Failure to find his jokes amusing would generally result in a drubbing, both orally and physically. He bragged that he could out-cuss, out-fight, out-shoot, and out-drink any man on the river.

Born in Pittsburgh, it was Fink's ambition to work on the river from the time he was a youth.  Though he is known to have traveled the rivers from Pittsburgh to New Orleans, as the owner of two keelboats, he plied his trade mostly on the Greater Miami and Ohio rivers around Cincinnati.

By the mid 1800s, the advent of the steamboat brought to a close the era of the keelboat on America's great rivers.  Fink is believed to have wandered westward up the Missouri River where he became a hunter and trapper, finally meeting his end in an argument over a chere amie.

The book's jacket depicts the view from inside Cave in Rock, a sanctuary for river pirates on the Illinois side of the Ohio River.