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Steaming Ahead

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Old 03-17-2007, 02:02 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: near Bangor, Maine USA
Posts: 306
Default Steaming Ahead

Here’s hoping the new company, passengers new and repeat, crew members old and new enjoy a great season on the river. Though I have decided not to return as Cruise Director on the Delta Queen so I can stay home with my wife, I will be out there in spirit with you, perhaps returning again someday.

Despite the negative forces that have affected our beloved boats in recent times, there abides that lively spirit of endurance among river enthusiasts that is sure to keep things steaming ahead. Problems do exist, and as they are dealt with in whatever way the current ownership chooses to handle them (despite some who claim to know better), it is so important to maintain a positive outlook in the face of what often seems hopeless, lost, or maybe just a little different from the way we are accustomed to having it. This positive attitude is not to be mistaken for sugarcoating and pretending that all is well, because of course it never is. (As Gilda Radner used to say, “It’s always something!”) We just like to make it seem that it is, and that, in itself, is another dimension of reality.

The crew wants to make sure that our passengers’ escape from reality is complete and that their envelopment in their steamboat journey is so total that they can’t wait until the next one. On this board I read so much dedication to the boats, so much enthusiasm and excitement about the next river trip – how many days it is until it happens, and the thrill of anticipation is so palpable. Believe me, the crew looks so forward to your return as much as you look forward to coming back. Yes, it is like coming home again.

Take a look at those beautiful brochures depicting perfect scenes, picturing beautiful people who look as though they haven’t a care in the world. How real is that? In our dreams it is real. And isn’t that what we do when we go steamboating? We’re living a dream, embarking on a vacation of a lifetime, the perfect escape. Brings to mind one of my favorite songs to perform in the Texas, and that is Elton John’s “Dixie Lily” where the lyrics say, “Well, I never get lonesome livin’ on the river, just watchin’ ol’ ‘Lily’ leave the world behind.”

Yes, it’s expensive, more expensive than ever before. Just like every commodity nowadays. So, maybe we just have to save a little longer and not go as often, which just makes the trips all the more meaningful when they do happen. All the while we hope for a special deal to be offered, or yet another change in company policy that will allow us more opportunities to travel the rivers on the boats we love.

So, here’s wishing you all a heartfelt Happy River Tripping (or whatever you want to call it today). These days I continue to “steam,” but in the Maine tradition of that activity – lobster steaming! If anyone is planning to come to Maine, please let me know, and I’ll look forward to steaming you a scrumptious repast. Please keep in touch with me through my new website or at

Best wishes,
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