Hurricane Katrina slammed into Louisiana on August 29th, 2005 - a date that will never be forgotten by many on the Gulf coast. At the docks in Venice were the twin boats the Apache Trails and the Apache Drums. In 1980 they had been built one after the other by Landry Boat Works in Bayou La Batre, Alabama. At 85’ feet each they were proudly owned and well maintained by shrimper Bruce Drury, Sr. The Apache Drums had just been outfitted with a new Caterpillar engine and the Apache Trails had a full hold of shrimp. The loss of these assets paled in comparison, though, with the total and complete loss of both boats and the family’s home.
If anything good comes from disasters such as these, it is that those with a generous spirit can find an opportunity to help their fellow man – or in this case their fellow fisherman. Bruce Drury had met previously with Randy Skinner over a possible boat purchase. When Randy, in Fairhope, Alabama, learned of the Drurys’ plight he set about raising money and making a plan to help. Over the course of several months Randy and his volunteer team helped the Drurys rebuild.
Randy found the Drurys to be equally as giving despite their losses. So since he also happened to own a model boat building business, Skinner Models, he later set about making a replica of the Apache Drums as a special gift.
Between Randy, who had been building models since 1977, and some talented craftsmen back at the shop we think you’ll agree that this tribute to the Apache Drums is remarkable. And likewise, the spirit of brotherhood and recovery is just as remarkable! The Drurys have returned to continuing the family business of shrimping and Randy continues to captain his model building business.
After the construction of the model it was mounted on wood that was salvaged from the boat itself.
As you can see from the detail a lot of dedication went into making this very special memorial to the Apache Drums. Surely it will be treasured by the Drury family for as many generations as they have been shrimping!
Several years back we started buying vintage postcards of shrimp boats. Not only are they visually appealing but they help tell a little bit about the history of shrimping based on the age of the card. Some of the ones that we have are bordered in white which dates them from 1915 to 1930. And some are “linen” meaning that the paper has a high rag content. The peak use of this material was 1930 until 1945.
Postcards are relatively inexpensive to purchase and easy to store or display. We keep ours in a little flip style album with clear sleeves so that you can see both sides.
The back of the card is often as interesting as the image with personal messages, old stamps or the printer’s comment about the image.
The one above gives an indication of how busy Tampa was at one time.
Details such as boat names, (“Benito Mussolini” above) give us insight to the various shrimping communities and the heritage of American shrimping. St. Augustine had many shrimpers of Italian and Greek descent.
Start your own collection by browsing at garage sales, flea markets or antiques stores. ebay always has a selection and if you buy more than one from the same dealer ask if they will adjust shipping charges.
To learn more about dating postcards by the card material used, design or postage requirements click here.
To view our favorites from our collection click here and scroll down.