Friday began about the normal time for Morgan Bross and Adam Ledbetter, but instead of getting around for school, they prepared to meet the Queen of the Mississippi riverboat as Becky and Tom on the Hannibal riverfront.
Rather than wait on shore to greet the passengers, the two young ambassadors of America’s Hometown were asked to come aboard.
“The captain invited them aboard. The cruise director was awesome,” said Kate Sublette, identifying herself as Becky’s seamstress.
“It was an honor they were allowed on the boat,” Susan Ledbetter, “Tom’s” mother.
According to Sublette, Tom and Becky have typically not been allowed to come aboard visiting riverboats because of post-911 regulations.
After boarding the boat on Friday, Tom and Becky entered the eating area and greeted passengers as they ate their breakfast.
“Some of them knew who we were,” said Morgan.
“They loved it,” added Adam. “They were not expecting a small town to have a Tom and Becky.”
“People were getting up and going back to their room to get their camera,” said Sublette.
One woman took note of Morgan’s Becky outfit, saying it brought back memories of what she had worn as a child.
Both Morgan and Adam were impressed by the new riverboat.
“It’s pretty neat,” said Adam. “There’s a resemblance to the riverboat’s of Mark Twain’s day.”
“The chandeliers and carpeting reminded me of Titanic. I just watched that movie a couple of days ago,” said Morgan.
The size of the Queen of the Mississippi impressed Morgan.
“It makes our (Mark Twain Riverboat) look really small. I had thought it was big,” she said.
An even bigger riverboat is due to arrive in Hannibal this weekend. The American Queen, which has a passenger capacity of 436, is scheduled to arrive on Sunday, Sept. 16. It will be in Hannibal from 8 a.m. until noon.
The Queen of the Mississippi’s next scheduled visit to Hannibal will be Monday, Sept. 17.