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Bob Reynolds 08-21-2013 06:12 PM

September REFLECTOR has arrived!
Today's mail brought the September 2013 REFLECTOR, and what an issue it is! Hugh L. Cooper's Keokuk Dam under construction is featured, as well as a trip log on the m/v J.S. LEWIS, a big spread of rarely seen ISLAND QUEEN photos, and a bunch of other great stuff. I can't wait to dig in. Editor Dave Tschiggfrie has outdone himself!

Frank X. Prudent 08-21-2013 08:03 PM

Mine arrived yesterday, and I'm still in awe. Kudos to Dave for another stellar production. The photos of the ISLAND QUEEN are fantastic. I just wish my father was around to ID the IQ's Captain. Many times I heard Dad tell stories about events at the creamy whip stand and that's the first picture that I've ever seen of it.

John Fryant 08-21-2013 11:22 PM

One of those IQ photos shows a younger Homer Denny at the calliope. Has anyone identified that person as Homer for certain? I remember meeting him as an older man who didn't look much like the man in the photo.

Keith Norrington 08-22-2013 10:12 AM

1 Attachment(s)
The September REFLECTOR landed in the HSM mailbox this morning! Indeed, those ISLAND QUEEN photos are, as Ruth Ferris would say, "like catnip" to river people!

Thanks, Dave, for yet another stellar issue! I've been enjoying it -- with a cup of coffee and a blueberry muffin -- but I must literally FORCE myself to put it down in a minute and get on with the business of the day!

In response to John's inquiry about Homer Denney, attached herewith is an image of one of his business cards as a young man. When I met Mr. Denney aboard the BELLE of LOUISVILLE many decades later, he was elderly and VERY hearing impaired -- but he could still make that steam calliope SING! He passed away on September 20, 1975 at age 90.

George Burch 08-22-2013 11:46 AM

M/V JS Lewis
We got to see the Lewis while in Louisville and what a beautiful boat she is, and very well kept. They also sounded the whistle while passing the mermaids this Spring.

David Tschiggfrie 08-22-2013 08:31 PM

3 Attachment(s)
John, you asked, "One of those IQ photos shows a younger Homer Denny at the calliope. Has anyone identified that person as Homer for certain?" The answer is that the editor did indeed check with a source whom he trusts in such matters before ID-ing the calliopist in print, but other than this person, no other confirmation was sought. Attached is the Reflector photo with two others of Mr. Denney. One is from Young & Klein's Ohio River Handbook, and the other is from Murphy Library. Based on these comparisons, I have to agree with you John, that this appears to be a calliopist other than Homer.

Keith, do you think this might be Harry Stocksdale? Any suggestions from loyal readers would be most welcome for a response in the "Reflections from Our Readers" column in the December issue! Thanks to all for your keen eyesight, and also your most kind comments regarding the September Reflector.

Keith Norrington 08-22-2013 10:07 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Here are several images of Harry Stocksdale, who alternated with Homer Denney on the ISLAND QUEEN. The man in the REFLECTOR photo appears to be shorter than the photos of Homer Denney. Dunno! These faded pictures came from one of several old scrapbooks that Harry Stocksdale's daughter gave me some years ago.

John Fryant 08-22-2013 10:22 PM

After seeing all the photos I have to agree that the calliopist in the IQ photos is not Homer. It might have been Stocksdale, but its hard to tell from the poor quality of the photos that Keith submitted. Perhaps someone will come forth with a positive I.D.

Frank X. Prudent 08-23-2013 01:07 AM

[QUOTE=David Tschiggfrie;32165] Any suggestions from loyal readers would be most welcome for a response in the "Reflections from Our Readers" column in the December issue! Thanks to all for your keen eyesight, and also your most kind comments regarding the September Reflector.[/QUOTE]

It looks to me as if the hat band of the gent in the first photo indicates that he is the boat's Steward. Perhaps the photographer wanted one of the boat's officers to pose behind the steam organ and borrowed him for a short while.

R. Dale Flick 08-23-2013 06:33 AM

*Pixs 2&3 are Homer Denney*
Hi, David & Steamboating colleagues:
Just catching up with up here in northern Michigan following a horrendous storm that knocked all at. I'm recovering E=Mails and postings now. I can't wait to read my September REFLECTOR "kivver to kivver" as Capt. Fred Way so often said when I return home early next week. I agree that photos 2 and 3 are Homer Denney. He was, as I recall, always a slight-built man with prominent ears.

Homer's nephew, wife and family were next door neighbors of ours at old Coal Haven Landing, East End in Cincinnati. On some Sundays Homer would come for dinner followed by fine family musical afternoons with piano, violin and other instruments. All the Denny family I knew were very musically inclined. Dexter, Homer's grand-nephew my age, went on to study serious violin at Cincinnati's College Conservatory of Music. I never recall meeting/seeing Homer's wife. To my knowledge he either never drove or owned a car usually arriving by Cincinnati electric trolley from his home in Norwood. And what fine musical afternoons those were back then with my mother, a trained vocalist, joining in for singing. People passing on the street would stop, listen down the drive to the music.

Capt. Doc Hawley and others here remember him very well coming down even to play the then new calliope on the DELTA QUEEN. Doc can tell the story better, but he did mention the one sensation on the DQ when Homer arrived for a visit. I believe also Keith met Denney but not certain at this point. For some years Homer played an air-compressed calliope here and there for events in Cincinnati. In time I lost contact with the Denneys I knew but 'think' Homer lived on well into his 90s. Who out there knows for sure.

On the last ISLAND QUEEN he would play certain favorites with the boat swinging down around St. Rose church on Eastern Ave. near Dayton Bar like a great white swan: 'Pig in the parlor,' 'I'll be seeing you in apple blossom time,' 'The Holy City' among others. Even in northern Norwood, Mrs. Denney could clearly hear a certain little run or trill Homer did on the calliope keys as a signal he'd be coming home soon. Other than that, that's all I remember. Well, what do I know?

R. Dale Flick
Summer: Northern shores of Lake Michigan.

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