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  1. #1
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    Rock Island, Illinois mile 480 UMR
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    Default Laissez les bon temps rouler! also Greene Line wharfboat

    As my Mardi Gras CD is blasting, to the chagrin of my cats, I'm gathering the goods to take for our celebration at the nursing home. I'll be making jambalaya shortly.
    I just checked the Parade Cams, and sadly after a week of beautiful warm weather in New Orleans, today is rainy/sleety and 34 degrees. Bourbon Street is packed nevertheless but the parade route looks sparse. Zulu should be wrapping up and Rex starting as I type this.
    Despite the lousy weather I wish a Happy and Safe Mardi Gras to my friends in NOLA, and especially to my 'grandson' Bubba!

  2. #2
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    Apr 2006
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    Nashville, TN
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    Default King Cake

    I need some King Cake! Happy Mardi Gras!

  3. #3
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    On the "Beautiful Ohio" at New Albany, Indiana, opposite Louisville, Kentucky
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    HAPPY MARDI GRAS Everybody! This greeting comes from my late cat, Casey, who passed on to Kitty Heaven on the first day of spring (March 20) in 2010 at the age of 14, after we battled his feline diabetes for eight years. In this image, taken in February, 1997, he was a year old -- wearing Mardi Gras beads that I acquired while a crew member on the DELTA QUEEN in 1978. Those of you who visited my home while Casey "ruled" will remember his unique purrsonality!
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  4. #4
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    *'Paul's Pastry' KING CAKE*
    Hi, Ted,
    In spite of the current frigid, nasty weather Mardi Gras in Cincinnati was a success in a number of restaurants, clubs, churches and schools here. Tuesday PM feet stomped on the front portico; then the beep of a big UPS truck ["let brown do it"]. "What the heck?" I thought. Lo' and behold, here a big 'Party Box' from PAUL'S Pastry Shop, Picayune MS 39466 from a well-known river personage and correspondent. The KING CAKE delicious along with parade beads, coins, drinking glasses, masks. The KING CAKE flvors available incredible beginning with Berry Deluxe and ending with Rum and Pizza--40 flavors in all. And so we cut the cake here for dessert and who do you think bit in with the traditional response, "i got the baby!" Thus, I hope, a year of good fortune.

    Frank Prudent another on this web a connoisseur of KING CAKE knowing how to throw a dandy Mardi Gras party. Cheers!

    R. Dale Flick
    Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by R. Dale Flick View Post

    Frank Prudent another on this web a connoisseur of KING CAKE knowing how to throw a dandy Mardi Gras party. Cheers!

    R. Dale Flick
    Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati
    Thanks, Dale, this year was very low key. We had some mean Sazeracs, a pot of Chuck's incredible gumbo, a nice pinot noir, and two friends to thank them for taking care of Calliope Ann, our very talkative cat, while we were on the CELEBRITY CONSTELLATION last week. I got the baby, so the next king cake party will be here!

  6. #6
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    Relaxing here in my office at the museum, I just enjoyed the last of the leftover Jambalaya for lunch on this beautiful and warm afternoon -- which certainly feels like a prelude to SPRING!

    "Mr. Mel", my faithful 88 year old Friday docent at the HSM, was back on deck today, after a jaunt to Gulf Shores and New Orleans last week with family members. Mel was absolutely glowing about the Str. NATCHEZ and the exemplary red carpet southern hospitality extended by Capt. Matt Dow and the boat's terrific crew. As we all know, people on the river are happy to give! Thanks Bubba and NATCHEZ crew! You made some Jeffersonville folks MIGHTY happy!

  7. #7
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    Keith's Mardi Gras Jambalaya*
    Ummmm, Keith's Jambalaya on this sunny, warmish afternoon here in 'Ragtown' sounds tasty to me. The KING CAKE here quickly growing smaller and smaller with no concerns over the calories it delivers. I learned to eat KING CAKE in thinner slices like the much poo phooed fruit cake...too much is...well...too much.

    Also this past week, I pulled down from the kitchen recipe books shelf 'The DELTA QUEEN Cookbook: The History And Recipes Of The Legendary Steamboat' by Cynthia Lejeune Nobles, Louisiana State University Library, 2012, finding on Pg. 180 a recipe for 'Roast Pork Loin with 3-Chile Jus.' Takes time to prep but well worth the effort. A number of groups/clubs around here tout 'DELTA QUEEN luncheon parties' using the cookbook with rave reviews. A number here used to throw DELTA QUEEN dinners with me wondering how many others out there have or still do this tradition? I know Judy throws some dandy steamboat parties as does Ruth Guenther. We used to do this ages ago when the DQ was based here in Cincinnati on/around the weekend she steamed out 'trippin' for New Orleans and Mardi Gras. Her first trip then usually always received press coverage in either the old TIMES-STAR, CINCINNATI POST or now CINCINNATI ENQUIRER with photos in B/W of Mrs. Letha C. Greene, Paul or Harris Underwood--among other masters in time--pictured along with uniformed waiters posing with smiles of pride behind what would be set for dinner the first night. Sailing [i.e. 'trippin out'] hour was at 3:00 PM sharp. Purser Bob McCann and the office staff would check their watches looking up the hill in case some late taxi cab or family car was trapped behind a long feight train at the top of the hill. Even a few local steamboat veteran passengers would ride the trolley or bus down to meet the boat toting their own luggage. Cold with steam condensing, the DQ would round out, blow long whistles echoing off the the buildings of Cincinnati and under the Suspension Bridge with cars, buses slowing a bit to honk horns. Later the then newly installed calliope [Who here remembers that?] added even more color in sound. And with that the steamboat season had opened for another year. That was, indeed, a LONG time ago.

    R. Dale Flick
    Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati

  8. #8

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    It is wonderful that Dale can write such detailed history of the DQ and those glory days so that us much younger guys can hear how it was. By the way those big slider doors facing the river could make it very cold. Doc always I heard was on the stern to let that line go first.

  9. #9
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    *Those DQ/GREENE LINE memories*
    Hk, Bill,
    Lest we forget, you were also part of that small group back then long before any DELTA QUEEN Fan Club was launched now a good 50 plus years ago. As I remember you were aboard on many trips from Louisville etc. on up in the pilot house. Seems you also chummed up there with Marion Frommel in the pilot house. And then there was Frank Katz also aboard. The one to watch each time the DELTA QUEEN steamed out was Purser Bob McCann when, by tradition and superstition, he always turned his back away from the boat a moment or two as she pulled away from the wharfboat to ward off bad luck. And he usually had his gold pocket watch in hand with the gold chain to his vest pocket. I thought that quite quaint and odd until years later when I observed sailors in Italy, Greece, Spain, France, Greece do the very same thing when a passenger ship pulled from the pier. In their cases they usually crossed themselves.

    You bet those big silder doors on the wharfboat let the cold winds in. They were gigantic on big steel roller wheels. I vividly recall from the days of packet service seeing paintied in black letters above on the inside: CINCINNATI, LOUISVILLE, CHARLESTON, PORTSMOUTH where arriving and departing freight would be dropped for the roustabouts [later politely termed "freight handlers"]. There were a number of massive flat-bed weight scales to afix weight and charges for billing. At the west end of the big wharfboat was the old GL paint shop hammered together with tongue-and-groove lumber with one or more small windows. This to store paint and related equipment and needs safely. No all paint was carried aboard the CHRIS, TOM GREENE or later the DQ. You could park a surprising number of autos there for people on DQ trips at a now 'steal' price. There were other wonderful steamboat treasures stacked, piled on the wharfboat or stowed down in her hull. Letha Greene's office on the upper end had windows 'jutting' out a bit so you could look out over on the boat and down her starboard side. The Greenes were way ahead of the times with their 'hands on' approach and managemement by MBWA--'Management by walking around.' Expenses were kept under close control with the company check book being kept even closer. In later years, unfortunately, when the management regime changed a funny way of thinking came about over 'pennies' while ignoring the spending of 'dollars.'

    From the time I was a young kid my dad would point things out to me and say, "Observe all of this very carefully and remember it because before long all of this will be long gone." This, besides steamboats, included tent circuses, steam trains, vintage air planes, buildings etc.

    R. Dale Flick
    Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati

  10. #10
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    *A senior moment correction*
    Hi, Bill,
    One of those now increasing 'senior moments.' The dinner bell was being sounded upstairs with me posting, running up. Letha Greene's office did jut out from the wharfboat for clear visibility. What you really saw was the DQ's port side from bow back. And then there were the big air scoops ocean ship style on port and starboard toward the bow on her cabin deck. Those long gone now and employed in constructing, I 'think,' the river memorial to Capt. Ernie Wagner in New Richmond, Ohio. When you looked down in the gaping maw of the air scoops on the boat, there was a steel grating with a circular hinged wood 'plug' to be opened or closed for forced air in good weather. I recall looking down inside seeing lights, hearing voices in/near the boilers in the lower hold.

    The old GL wharfboat also had it's own supply of new and used lumber ricked up at the stern end opposite the old paint house. There were various sizes/shapes of old and new lumber along with planks, beams, spars, jackstaffs etc. following the adage, "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without." Well, again, what do I know?

    R. Dale Flick
    Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati

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