View Single Post
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2010, 02:00 PM
Judy Patsch Judy Patsch is offline
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Rock Island, Illinois mile 480 UMR
Posts: 3,869
Default Prospective passengers

As I'm sure you know Tom, back in the 1970s and 80s when I was a DQ passenger, the shore stops were times when the locals were allowed to tour the boat, usually for a quarter or dollar contribution to the "Captain's Fund". We'd have them lined up the length of the boat in places like Prairie du Chien, Dubuque, Davenport. I would go into town and get back in time for the 'open house' so I could talk to the people and show them my room. I can't tell you how many trips I might have personally inspired, but I know that many were booked after people got onboard to tour.( My first time aboard was at a Muscatine shore stop in 1968 and my first trip was in 1973.) Then sometime after my day it was determined by 'the company' that having these townfolk aboard infringed upon the privacy of the passengers and so they stopped the practice, and made it even more restrictive as the years went on, finally using Homeland Security as their cover for allowing next to no one on board. Unfortunately now those passengers whose privacy was so well protected now have no steamboat on which to ensconce themselves in that privacy!
Another great opportunity for a selling job was the locks - we often put over brochures to the lockmen to hand out. I tossed souvenir doubloons to the people, other passengers tossed candy, matchbooks, soap, whatever was throwable (crew used to do that also, until banned for fear of injuring someone with a tossed item). And of course, the calliope was played for the people, and it was also often played as we passed small towns. The whistle salutes were plentiful too. Unfortunately these things were lessened, once again due to inconveniencing the passengers or assaulting their precious eardrums too now unless you're in New Orleans or Louisville, you don't have to be assaulted by the obnoxious sounds of a calliope or steamboat whistle...
As to Pete's comments, I've said many times in the past that less is better for me on a steamboat, but that doesn't go in today's world I guess...
Reply With Quote