New Orleans or Sunk!

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Abbott Press, Nov 16, 2011 - Juvenile Nonfiction - 64 pages
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With forty fifty-five-gallon oil drums bracketed together, fifteen boys between the ages of twelve and fifteen, three college interns, and one fearless leader boarded the homemade raft dubbed the Unsinkable in the summer of 1961. Their goal was to traverse the 1,742 miles of the Mississippi River between Minneapolis, Minnesota, to New Orleans, Louisiana.

In New Orleans or Sunk! author Dean E. Felsing narrates this story of an incredible crew on an unbelievable expedition. At the time, Felsing was a fourteen-year-old boy and a member of the Weekend Program for troubled kids. The trip was part of the boys’ summer vacation, and it was an adventure for all. From start to finish, he provides details of the journey that included spending ten hours a day on the water, traversing the river’s many locks, fighting the weather’s capriciousness, dealing with equipment failures, and learning to live with the other boys on a raft.

Felsing describes how he and the others conquered the mighty Mississippi that summer by taking turns as lookouts, pilots, navigators, cooks, mechanics, housekeepers, inventors, and explorers. New Orleans or Sunk! shares how they learned to appreciate the kindness of strangers and to understand the power of the river.


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For the Staff and Crew of the Unsinkable
For Dennis Merle and Ron
For Harvey Schroeder
For Eddie Molly Mary E and Dennis Fallon
For Gail Nathan and Molly Felsing
For Dr Titus P Bellville
For Joseph P Spano Jr
For Emil Koivisto
Machinists Mate William Felsing USS Pennsylvania Pearl Harbor Survivor Dec 7 1941
For Henry Morton Stanley and Dr David Livingston who led Henry to the Lord
For the Governor of Louisiana Jimmy Davis also of You are My Sunshine fame
For Colonel Richard Meinertzagen CBE DSO
For Mr Karl Hoerschgen my 11th 12th grade English teacher
For Henry and Mildred Stivland
For the boys and girls of Mogilev

For Jimmy My Dad Jimmy

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About the author (2011)

Dean E. Felsing served in the US Navy and created Carealot Services, a nonprofit organization. He recently retired from a career as a comedian. He is also the author of Cobwebs. Felsing lives in South Minneapolis. Visit him online at

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