Good morning,
I just sent a letter to all my Yahoo groups; I'll post the text of it later.
Some folks we need to get on board--if you know any way to reach then, please share it so we can all write them.
Jay Leno--big steam enthusiast, and knowledgeable too!
Paul Harvey
President Carter
Garrison Keiler (sp?)
Rush Limbaugh (I don't care about the politics, we need visibility!!)
Anyone else you can think of?

OHH!! How about a major PBS sponsor?? Can we get a "Save the Delta Queen " concert somewhere???

Congress just went into summer recess, so we have a month to get our eggs lined up!

As to finding a major PR firm--I don't think we need one, what we have going for us is the "Grass Roots" of this cause. It is truly a "Voice of the People" thing.

The Coast Guard really doesn't want the boat running--or for that matter, ANY steam powered, paddlewheel powered vessel. The current crop of inspectors no longer understands either technology. The folks running the vessels probably know more about them, and what is safely working and what isn't quite right, than the inspectors do. This will also affect the MQ in 2010 when new SOLAS regulations take effect. The AQ might get by because the steam and wheel are auxiliary power; today’s inspectors understand Z drives. While we are concentrating on the DQ this time, we really may be fighting the battle for ALL Overnight Steamboating!

I've also noted comments that the older boat takes more maintenance then the younger ones. I'm not certain that is a true statement. Look at all the maintenance the MQ needs. Those old fashioned canvas covered wood decks of the DQ are still strong, while the much younger steel decks of the MQ are failing already. Wood rots, so does steel (it's called "rust") and both require similar preventative maintenance--paint, paint, paint!! The steam plant requires maintenance, new or old. Think about it, how many diesel plants have lasted as long as the engines on the DQ, or for that matter, any of the other boats--Belle of Louisville, Natchez, et al?? I manage a theater that has a steam heating plant that has suffered "benign neglect" for some 30 years, and is still running, albeit a bit on it's last legs because of the neglect, but it still does its job! (I don't think the city appreciates that I know anything about steam and have kept it going so far.)

The very thing that makes the DQ expensive to operate is the very thing that makes her so popular--she's SMALL and carries only a few passengers. AND because she's small, she goes where no other passenger vessel does! Some of us think the company would have been better off with two small boats rather than the giant steamboats they built. But I am getting far off the message, so I'll close this note.
David Dewey