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Chambermaids on a DPC Steamboat 1944

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Old 03-05-2009, 07:36 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Greene County Pennsylvania
Posts: 10
Blog Entries: 2
Default Chambermaids on a DPC Steamboat 1944

I don't know if folks here are aware of this quite fascinating story of two young women who in 1944 took jobs as chambermaids on the steam DPC Corregidor. It is a both a charming and realistic account of their life on this then American Barge Line boat as they travel from Louisville to New Orleans. There are many original photos that the young ladies took including several unusual views of the DPC, a few of the Str. Sprague and others. One must scroll down to the portions that touch on their river experiences but really the whole story is very interesting.

There are always little feelings or sensations associated with events that help one to remember experiences more vividly. Perhaps I shall always remember the vibrations of the engines and the sound like a train riding the tracks, the smell of certain closed rooms above the hot brig, the shrill voice of Mrs. Lynch above the engine noise, and Tommyís listless face at breakfast after only five hours sleep.
And Iíll remember the luxury of taking a handful of cookies, dipping up a tall glass of milk and eating a whole cantaloupe. Iíll remember trying to understand the southern accent, chopping ice in the chill box, scrubbing black marks from the red linoleum, counting soiled linen in the lounge, and seeing the rigging bared against a sky full of stars!
Iíll remember how our bikes looked on the boiler deck; how the deck hands were always painting; the stuffed feeling around the belt after Wednesdayís and Sundayís dinner of southern fried chicken, followed by two soup bowls of ice cream; our rush to the guard in our excitement to see anything new that happened, followed by a severe lecture from Mrs. Lynch; and the bliss of having electric fans in the summer heat.
And, too, I have seen the factions and bargaining developed by the union aboard ship, heard the many tales told by Captain Stroube in the pilot house, and listened to his words of wisdom founded upon years of river boating. The ripple of a full moonís reflection upon the Mississippi, the churn of the water by the propellers, the heat of the engine room and the sweat pouring off the menís backs, and perhaps most of all, the sound of the throttle bells as the speed of the boat changed. Iíll remember making up sooty beds and folding black towels, putting dishes away in the wrong place, and finding a pail that doesnít leak. Iíll remember the desolate shores and the sandbars, the tow caught there, the shanty boats and the willows. Iíll remember taking the second bell for meals and catching the beds in between. Yes, there are many things to remember. It will be impossible to forget such a wonderful trip.
Find the whole fascinating story here The Lure of the Open Road, Wartime wandering through the Eastern states by bicycle, truck, and riverboat, 1944, by Thelma Popp Jones. 2007.
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