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DELTA QUEEN entertainment 50 yrs. ago

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Old 01-15-2009, 12:10 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 841

As a part time musician for most of my life, I have a special sympathy for entertainers on the Delta Queen and elsewhere. Even so, one way to save money would be to eliminate the elaborate shows. One talented man or woman of Jazzou's caliber would serve about as well as five, especially leading the passengers in entertaining themselves. The cost of carrying musicians, dancers, actors, and yes "guest Lecturers" is large. I made three trips, one on each of the boats as an "unpaid" guest lecturer. The rooms I occupied could have earned close to $10,000.00 at published rates. I ate the boat's food. I slept on the boat's linen. A maid swept up the sand and grit I walked into the stateroom and she made my bed. The boat paid my air-fare. Even being overloaded with pride I can categorically state that my lectures were not worth $3,000.00 each. Even at cut-rate deals for repeat passengers, groups, etc., I was grossly overpaid while riding free.
This could also be applied to food service people. I am not saying they did a bad job. I am saying a cafeteria line, while not as elegant, would save thousands of dollars per trip on bedding, food and other living expenses.
On the Gordon C. Greene they had horse-race games, music and paty games led by the members of the crew. A pilot, Captain Bill Dugan, sang almost professionally. Tom Greene played the piano. Hiring Captain Bill Ray would make a pilot-entertainer with no need to train him in either profession.
Cheap? Yes, but doing such things could widen the difference between profit and loss and keep the boat running.
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