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Old 12-29-2007, 02:25 PM
Bear Bear is offline
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 27

The wandering trip is over and the Redhead and I have arrived home safely.
I am rarely at a loss for words but the reunion cruise on the AQ almost defies description. It just kept getting better and better as the week progressed. I just made an unsuccessful attempt to determine when my first trip on the DQ was but it has been awhile. What I remember most is the entertainment provided by Bud Black, Jazzou Jones, Bob Schadd (Yes Jazzou and Bob were young once), Phyllis Dale (She never ages) and a good house band. This trip came as close as possiible to recreating that era.

The scheduled entertainment was good but the real action came in the lounges and Phyllis' Night Owl Club was revived. There were various combinations of Jazzou, Bob, Phyllis, Paul Penta, Phil Westbrook, Gabe and Cindy Chengary and as a special treat: Mom Prater on the piano. Outstanding! It was an incredible treat. I had tried to describe these sessions to the Redhead without success for years but now she knows.
Mark Twain was a special treat and as always held the audience in the palm of his hand.

I usually try to maintain a pretty low profile but at the show on the first evening, Phil Westbrook had the houselights turned up and identified "the Bear and the Redhead" to the group at the request of a certain person. (Bruno, I don't get mad, I get even.) The end result was that over the week, I met a lot of folks and had a great time with them. In Vicksburg, we found a small locals coffee shop and were way in the back at the table with a group of locals when someone walked up and asked: "Are you the Bear?" There was no escaping notoriety. I was especially honored to meet Jazzou's wife Diane and be able to chat with her. She is a remarkable woman and appears to be in much better health. If anyone doesn't know Pat Carr, she is a wonderful lady and kept me laughing the whole trip. Yes, that is my elbow that repeatedly got into the DVD.

Capt Buddy and Miss Alice are the epitomy of Southern Grace and Class.
His stories of people and events on and off the river were wonderful.

I found the crew friendly and really trying hard to make the cruise a good one. They even had a sense of humor. The first time we left the boat, we found that my pass had the Redhead's photo and her pass didn't have a photo. We went to the purser and they fixed it by putting my picture on her pass. Gotta love it. The food ranged from good to excellent and service was pretty good.

The one major disappointment was when Phyllis announced the dates of next year's reunion cruise. It appears that there is no way we can make it due to other commitments. But, we should be retired by Jan 2009 and then bring the reunions on.

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