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Old 04-03-2007, 10:02 PM
Lil Smith Lil Smith is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Lakewood, Colorado
Posts: 60

Thanks, Dale ... it's nice to know that there is still someone else out there who still calls them trips and not cruises. I cannot call a trip on the DQ a "cruise" to save my life. It is a trip, has always been a trip, all of my life, and always will be. That's just what everyone on the river called them back then. The word "cruise" just jars me and connotes a ship at sea to me. If my grandparents were here today and heard the word "cruise" associated with a trip on the DQ, they would probably keel right over. I guess it's because I am older than dirt, and it's just what I grew up with. I don't even know when the word "cruise" first became associated with a trip on the river. Anyone know? I don't think THAT one came off Capt. Betty's desk.

Another old steamboat term that often, these days, becomes interchangeable with a blue-water counterpart is pilothouse vs. wheelhouse. In my older-than-dirt steamboat world, a pilothouse is where the pilot is, where the pilotwheel used to be, now long since replaced by levers. The wheelhouse, on the other hand, was the term for the covered area containing the paddlewheels on a sidewheel steamboat and had absolutely nothing to do with the pilothouse containing the pilot or with steering the boat. I am aware that some -- maybe a lot of -- towboat people now refer to the pilothouse as the wheelhouse, much as they do on ships at sea. These folks obviously came along on the river a long time after the days of sidewheelers and didn't have grandparents like mine, the Greene family, and other assorted river luminaries to teach them by osmosis. So I guess I am a dinosaur, having trouble shifting gears. I'll try to do better.

I am happy that someone at Majestic America Line has the gumption to rip out those dreadful miniature mobile homes that were installed on the top deck of the MQ. Those things destroyed what few lines the boat had, were a hazard for the pilots, and prevented anyone from ever walking around the deck, one of the main reasons our family never goes on the MQ. The company has wonderful operations on the boats on the west coast, is doing some really good things, and I do want to try to cut them some slack while they break things in and we see how things shake out. But I am, as I said, older than dirt, set in my ways, and I really do want a table back on the deck outside my cabin on the DQ. It means my mother and I don't always have to walk so far. And I would hope that someone in the company would learn to stop bucking common practice on our rivers with our boats and would show a bit more respect for our rivers' traditions in their PR terminology. Perhaps they don't realize how much they are ridiculed and how much they irritate and antagonize the very people they should be courting. I will NEVER adjust to those folks calling our boats "ships"!

Last edited by Lil Smith; 04-03-2007 at 10:08 PM.
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