Annie Amantea Blum has lived close to the river in St. Louis, Missouri, all of her life. She is a retired teacher and school counselor and author. She worked for 16 summers on the steamer Admiral, the most wonderful excursion boat on the Mississippi River. The pictures in her book come from St. Louis Mercantile Library on the campus of the University of Missouri–St. Louis, which houses the Streckfus Papers, and from the personal collection of her husband, Capt. Jim Blum.