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Meandering Marine Musical Memories...

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Old 01-11-2007, 02:17 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Rock Island, Illinois mile 480 UMR
Posts: 3,865
Default Meandering Marine Musical Memories...

When I rode the DQ, I always had a tape recorder handy to catch each calliope concert at a lock or departure, and I usually noted when and where it was. I also had the recorder in many of the Texas Lounge and Orleans Room sessions. I've of course recorded the calliope on the NATCHEZ many times and also from the other steamboats, but those DQ tapes recapture an entire cruise. Before this current car, which has an MP3 plug, outlet, or whatever it is, instead of a tape player, I used to stay awake on my 939 mile trek to NOLA largely on calliope music, blaring as loudly as needed. I've now found another use for these tapes, as I have a half an hour each morning to do nothing but lie still while strapped in an advanced traction-type machine, trying to get rid of some back problems. The second day I grabbed a tape from July 30, 1977 on the DQ and oh what memories! How many on here can remember the 5 PM daily singalongs in the Texas Lounge? This particular one was on the last night of the trip, which happened to be my 28th straight day aboard, and we were between Winona and Wabasha enroute to St. Paul. It was obvious that Vic was on vacation, as Dan Forman's voice emceed the proceedings. They usually played a patriotic medley to end the hour, and this particular day Dan showed off his new purchase - as soon as this medley started, he peeled off his longsleeved shirt to reveal a very gaudy flag shirt, which brought the house down. Also heard in that session was Fred Dodd on banjo, Pat Patterson on clarinet, and a wonderful baritone solo of Old Man River by a passenger... Today's tape featured Dave Tschiggfrie on calliope as we left L&D 10 at Guttenberg. The first selection was At Sundown, and my narrative later confirmed the time as 8:50 PM, with several hundred people there and I threw at least 50 souvenir doubloons to them. Dave ended with Peg of My Heart, a sure indication that Kathy Lake and her mother Peg had come down from their home at 617.2 to the lock... the next bit had Dave serenading his hometown of Dubuque in the rain, as Capt. Jim Blum's deep voice came over the speakers telling everyone about the city front, including the recently-acquired dredge Black and the beginning of the new museum in the Ice Harbor. Our shore stop had docked up near the bowling alley, not downtown as nowadays. This tape wasn't labeled, but it should be '78 or '79. Later Dave played as we left Muscatine, yes, LEFT Muscatine! We obviously had some time to kill and back then the Master was truly Master of the boat and could make the decision to add a stop. I noted that I put off a garbage bag of clothes to my parents, I guess to make my flight home from St. Louis simpler in a few days. My parents, and Dave's, could always be counted on at the locks and shore stops around our towns... Sorry to bore you non-DQers, but these tapes just brought back a flood of memories of great times back in 'my good old days' on the DQ, back when times were simpler and 'hokier', I guess...
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