Living on 'river time'

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PEORIA

"This is in case we go down," he said, and launched into a jaunty church hymn called "When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder."

It got a raucous applause.

"I would have turned to Jesus sooner if I knew it would get such a big hand," Lemen said.

Everyone laughed.

"Do you know 'Stringing Wires Above the Mississippi?'" a woman called out to more laughs.

We were learning to embrace river time.

"Hum a few bars and I'll see," Lemen hollered back.

Instead, he launched into "Goodnight, Irene," which morphed into a massive singalong that went over quite well for a full-voiced audience recalling its youth atop the glassy Mississippi.

jbnoel@tribune.com

If you go

The Spirit of Peoria runs about 15 overnight trips per year from Peoria to destinations that include St. Louis; Hannibal, Mo.; Starved Rock State Park; and Alton, Ill. Prices for one- to four-night trips range from $360 to $960 per person, which includes tax, gratuity, snacks, meals and quality lodging. There is a cash bar on the boat. More information: 800-676-8988, spiritofpeoria.com.




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