About the Author
Hay has been exploring rivers for many years. He grew up along the
Wabash River in Indiana where his fascination and love of rivers
began. He has traveled the entire length of the Wabash and White
Rivers by canoe and power boat. During those journeys he kept
journals and drew river maps. This information, along with scouting
the rivers by land and air, have provided a wealth of information
that can be found in his guide books. Hay is available as a guest
speaker about rivers, river history and river life in general. His
talks are very popular with organizations, trade shows, conventions,
schools and libraries. His topics are not only about navigation, but
also history, geography, and river lore.
Now retired, Jerry served as a Riverlorian on the American Queen Steamboat. He gave daily talks, served as a river guide, and made announcements about interesting sites along the rivers. The passengers are usually on week-long trips on navigable rivers throughout the eastern United States. His expertise about rivers is well known and led to him being called as an expert witness in a case that led to designating a river as non-navigable. He has traveled nearly every major river in the U.S., including the entire lengths of the Mississippi River and Ohio Rivers.
One of Jerry's unusual writing projects is a published children's book. The booked titled "A Goose Named Gilligan" was written by Hay about the true adventures of a goose that he rescued and was adopted by him. Another book project by Hay is titled "Beyond The Bridges" and is one of the most complete books about life on the rivers ever written. "Rivers Revealed" was released in June of 2007 by Indiana University Press This edition is available world-wide in soft cover. Hay completed the "Ohio River Guide Book", and was published in the Spring of 2008. This book is a complete guide of the entire 981 miles of the river and is a must-have for boaters, floaters and river road travelers. In 2010 Hay authored the Illinois Waterway Guidebook, that takes boaters from the Mississippi River to Lake Michigan. Two more guidebooks were published in 2011. They are the Tennessee River Guidebook and the Cumberland River Guidebook. The Mississippi River Historic Sites and Interesting Places book is his latest book, published in 2013.
Quote from Cruise Travel Magazine:
Jerry Hay demonstrates an unabashed passion for his subject that goes well beyond any prepared script. His love of rivers and riverboating runs deep, having explored America's rivers by raft, canoe, and powerboat. Now on the Delta Queen he shares his love of the river on voyages of American rediscovery.
AAA Magazine EnCompass
"Best, though, is Jerry Hay, Riverlorian (a.k.a. Captain William Clark), whose role is to spin yarns and share river lore and history, which he does with a sense of humor as rich as the Delta's deeply polished wood. Fidgeting with his three-corner hat, Captain William Clark describes the perils of his 4,000-mile journey westward with Meriwether Lewis, his words connecting century to century like the river beneath us connects town to town."
Henry Nowicki, Travel writer
"Our lecturer, Jerry Hay, who is also known as a "riverlorian" has a daily talk about steamboating and the sights along the river. These get-togethers are not to be missed as they provide interesting aspects of the river cruise."
"Jerry Hay, our Riverlorian on this cruise, is a real story teller and you will learn lots about steamboating and the rivers."
Quote from Amazon Books review:
"I had the pleasure of riding on the Delta Queen Steamboat last year where the author, Mr. Hay is a Riverlorian. He told the story about Gilligan Goose. I have not read the book yet but the heartwarming story was wonderful. Jerry Hay is a great storyteller so I'm sure the book will be great, as well. The incredible thing about the story is that Gilligan is a real goose and the story he told is true. I am ordering copies for myself and each of my grandchildren."
"Your talks each morning added so much enjoyment to our trip. You have a real gift for story telling and I found myself wishing that when I was growing up I had history teachers who were half as interesting as you." ---- Joan
"Jerry M. Hay, the steamboat company's "Riverlorian," and a river pilot in his own right, is into steamboatin' all the way, and has converted an old houseboat into the Wabash Queen -- his own steamboat. Each morning, Hay holds informal talks about steamboat history, shares river lore with passengers, and cites the source of many common expressions we use today, which had their origin in steamboatin'.Hay is an author as well, having written a delightful children's book titled "A Goose Named Gilligan" -- a story about the goose he managed to free from the mud, with great difficulty, in his native Indiana. The goose returns for visits with him every year. Soon to be released in his newest book, "Beyond The Bridges," which chronicles his travels on the rivers. It takes the reader through all aspects of river life."
The Telegraph newspaper London, England
Hay is always eager to answer questions or chat informally about any aspect of life on the river. His on-stage delivery is spontaneous, entertaining and humorous. Perhaps fired by his infectious brand of enthusiasm, people always want to know more. His body of work, along with his travels, detailed research and years spent working on the river, provide Hay with ample material for his talks and commentaries