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Old 04-07-2014, 03:34 PM
R. Dale Flick R. Dale Flick is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.
Posts: 1,570

*BELLE Memories/Pat's funny story*
Steamboating colleagues:
Just now catching up on all the postings here. Pat Carr's self-confession RE: the AVALON/BELLE well done. Beginning in 1948, when the DELTA QUEEN entered service, there were then and even up until the last years, Cincinnatians with no idea about either the DQ or the AVALON. People continued to ask, "Is that big white steamboat at the landing still running excursions to CONEY ISLAND?" [Meaning the DQ]. This long after CONEY ISLAND closed for a time; then reopened doing fine along with huge SUNLITE SWIMMING POOL now. The CONEY motto said, "You don't stop playing because you grow old, you grow old because you stop playing." How many remember that? Who remembers the faux sand beach next to the swimming pool with the high powered water sprayers to wash the sand off before you went back in the pool? How many remember the landing at CONEY for the last ISLAND QUEEN leading up to the park and through the old stone gate with the little light house on top?

Betty Blake was one sly gal when she left WLW-TV to join the AVALON as the head 'promo' or 'dummer' selling the AVALON in the Duttenhoffer Bldg. here in Cincinnati. Betty negoatiated a contract in which she would be put on commission basis for groups, tours booked here and all up and down the Inland Rivers where the AVALON appeared. And she was always well ahead of the boat even in the winter driving her car to make sales calls. In time head honcho Ernest Myers saw her pay checks on commission that were now dangerously close his own 'cut' of the operation. He made noises to "reduce" Betty's salary. She stood her ground and won. "It's a contract and it must be honored or..." There were no questions after that.

The AVALON, though based here with a local operating season, spent more time on the rivers away from Cincinnati than here. Tom, that oil you saw intended for the AVALON was really nasty, thick stuff if you never saw it up close--almost between a thick goo and tar needing to be preheated before injection in her boilers. The 'goo' was realtively safe and wouldn't have burned even if you put a match to it. It was the 'fumes' off that oil that could be a real danger. Well, what do I know?

R. Dale Flick
Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati
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