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Jim Reising 06-17-2013 09:14 AM

What's Your Favorite DQ Memory?
I have three favorite DQ memories which every time I think of them gives me that "warm and fuzzy" feeling.
1.Tthe 1958 DQ's first Pittsburg cruise. Everything about that cruise was magical from the passengers which were literally a Who's Who of river people to feeling like celebraties at dinner docked along the river wall in Pittsburgh as hundreds of curious onlookers peered through the dinning room windows. Touring Zubik's fleet of old steamboats parked across the river, going up the Kanahwa to Buffalo, WVa. exploring the steam towboats J.M. VERITY and CHARLES R. HOOK which were tied off at Huntington for their empty barges to be loaded with coal.
2. On the first Reelfoot Lake trip passing Cairo (my first time) and seeing the line in the water where the waters of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers met. It was announced that if you threw a coin and it landed on the line in the water you would have good luck. Quarters started flying off the starboard side of the DQ. I remember Richard Simonton's mother was on that trip. She drew back like a big league pitcher and let her quarter fly. Her quarter flew past the line but her gold bracelet hit dead center...she commented "I wonder if a $300 bracelet counts".
3. When we dead headed from Cincinnati to Dravo at the end of the 1967 season. Fred Way was pilot and Jesse P. Hughes was along as an invited guest. I will never forget being in the pilothouse with those two men as they remembered and told stories about each landmark we passed.
What are your favorite DQ memories? And let's hope that the DQ is not finished making memories which a young boy will remember for the rest of his life.

Marcus J. Lynn 06-17-2013 09:34 AM

Steamboat Races
My favorite memories of the Delta Queen was on the Ohio River in Louisville. I still can see her passing the great water tower in Louisville with her beautiful whistle salute. I went to her last race in 2008, it was the first time I saw her. She took my breath away. She won the race, and the memories still come. Her big paddle wheel gleaming, the water drops of Ohio being thrown into the air. Her smokestack huffing and puffing as little children lined up on the shore with me gasping in awe at the amazing boat that races the Belle each year up until 2009. I've been to many of the other races, but they weren't the same without the DQ. I love the American Queen, but as huge and grand as it is, it just doesn't reflect the same memories. I dearly hope the Delta Queen will be back on the rivers there, because each of my visits to the Louisville Waterfront aren't the same without her and her calliope. I still remember the Belle doing "Old Kentucky Home." Then the Queen doing it's songs. Those were the good days, now I have to go to Chattanooga to see her. I stayed on her as a hotel, and she still amazes me. Godspeed, Delta Queen! Oh, the memories you've made!

inactive user 01 06-17-2013 10:37 AM

This ought to be a lengthy thread Jim,

I have a few to share. First one was not about the boat herself but about one of her Captains, who graciously sat with me (at 14 years old) outside of the Texas lounge and looked through my photo album of boat pictures on one of my first passenger trips. I wonder if Gabe remembers that? Another of my favorites was when I met Fred Way, CW Stoll and others one year at CW's house and was asked to ride the DQ during the race with the Belle. Another one was blowing the DQ a salute from the whistles on the BONNIE BELLE while she operated out of Cincinnati and having the big boat answer back. Another memory was Captain John offering to take me to the pilothouse while the boat was underway. That was the one time I steered her if only for a few moments, southbound just above old Coney. Other memories are making my first landing as an employee at St. Francesville just me the lead deckhand and another guy and the Captain later said he could have kissed all three of us for making it look so easy. The pilothouse watch when the M/V MISSISSIPPI slipped up behind us and passed us in the late evening. And of course my Honeymoon on the DQ when all the wait staff joked with the Wife and I because we were either missing or late to meals, honestly we were on deck watching the scenary! Another found memory was on one of her last runs to Cincinnati we followed her for a short while with the BARBARA H. Even now she makes memories for me, taking my daughter for an overnight stay and explaining to her all about the boat and it's history. I hope my daughter gets a chance to ride her one day so she can add her own memories of that wonderful old boat.

Lexie Palmore 06-17-2013 10:49 AM

A lengthy thread? You're right about that, AJ. For some of us, many of us, it would be a book. Look forward to seeing more postings, never-the-less.

Dan Owen 06-17-2013 02:14 PM

I had finished taking my Mate license at the CG office in Pittsburgh. The examiner asked me what was the largest towboat I had worked on. I said the MARINER (UBL). He said there weren't too many towboats bigger than that, so he gave me an ALL GROSS TONS limitation. He asked me if I had any steamboat experience. I told him I walked on the DELTA QUEEN a couple of times. This guy was a newby to the inland rivers and did not have the understanding of certain twang of rivermen, with hillbilly, redneck, cajun, etc., dialects all grouped into one. He apparently misunderstood and thought I had said worked instead of walked and he gave me an endorsement of MATE, UPON RIVERS, ALL GROSS TONS, STEAM AND MOTOR. And that's the truth. Doubters can register a complaint and I will gladly scan my license and provide proof.

Wesley Paulson 06-17-2013 04:11 PM

DQ Memories
I cruised on the DQ in 1996 - the result of a dream kindled by my Aunt Katie's trip in about 1966. My grandfather set up a matching fund for my wife and I - if we saved for one ticket he'd pay for the other. I remember choking up as we pulled away from Robin Street as the calliope played "I'm Talking Dixie". Then we raced the American Queen past St. Francisville and the AQ played the "Old Gray Mare" as she paddled by on the outside of the bend in the river. Finally, Marcy's story about playing "Claire de Lune" on MQ as told by her in a Riverlorian talk still brings chills when I hear the song.


Ron Anderson 06-17-2013 05:36 PM

I only have one boring one but for a 7 year old bent on steamboats (and I don't know why) it was very exciting.

My parents took me down to Lambert Landing which was only 3 miles from home to see the DQ which was docked.

I had never seen a steamboat besides the Johnathan Paddleford which even this 7 year old could see was a bit of a poser boat.

Anyway I never saw it run as I was always in school but my recollections of just gaping at it's size are fond.

I was always disappointed that it did not have the two tall ornate stacks the pictures in the library steamboat books had and her pilot house looked to modern and her bow a bit on the pointy side but knowing I was in Minnesota and not down south I accepted her as she was.

Bob Reynolds 06-17-2013 08:16 PM

You're right about it being a book, Lex. In the five short years I worked on the boat and the 4 cruises I took as a paying passenger, I did, as Mel Hartsough says, more livin' than I 've probably done at any other time.

Keith Norrington 06-17-2013 09:14 PM

Indeed, there are MANY of us who could literally write a book about our love affair with the DELTA QUEEN, both as passengers and as crew members. At the suggestion of Miss Ruth Ferris, my steamboating mentor and patron saint, I kept a log book of my time as a crew member in the 1970's, jotting down daily what seemed, at the time, rather inane. When I look over that old log now it brings those long ago happenings on the boat back to life as if they occurred yesterday! I close my eyes and hear the DQ's hauntingly beautiful whistle reverberating over the river, see the majesty of sunrise on the Mississippi, feel the gentle tremor of the deck above the churning paddlewheel and revel in the voices of dear friends, many of whom have made their final crossings. It was a time in my life I wouldn't have missed for anything in the world! Long live the DELTA QUEEN!

David Dewey 06-18-2013 01:09 AM

Well Ron,
Those of us from Californy think them twin stacks look odd! :)
(Not really, but it's one of the interesting differences between west coast boats and inland river boats.)

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