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Shipyard Sam 10-11-2009 12:06 AM

Captain Wagner Remembered
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[B]Captain Ernest E. Wagner [/B]died thirty years ago, today. It seems only a moment ago. Wagner's been gone ten years longer than I knew him. Cap became my teacher and mentor on the AVALON, in 1959, when I asked him for a transfer from the snack bar to the deck. Only once or twice in a hundred years does someone come along like him. Captain Wagner was one in a million.

Bob Reynolds 10-11-2009 08:49 AM

Thirty time flies. You are absolutely 100% correct, Sam, when you say very rarely does someone like that come along. To me this is proof that there is a God, because that man, in that place at that time was exactly what was needed for him and for the rest of us and for the "Delty Queen", as Cappy Louden would say.

For those who did not have the privelege of knowing this great man, you simply cannot imagine the true measure of the man. For Sam, Doc, Gabe, Jim Blum and many others, he taught us things we still use today.

When faced with a difficult management decision, I usually ask myself, "How would Capt. Wagner have handled this?" When I do that and apply what I think he would have done, things turn out right.

Shipyard Sam 10-11-2009 09:28 AM

Right you are, Bob. I can't remember how many times I asked myself the same question. Funny thing.... last night I dreamed you and I were on an excursion boat and Cap was the Skipper, though he didn't appear personally, but it seems we were both laid off from another steamboat, and I said to you something like, [I]"Captain Wagner always takes us in if we need a job."[/I]

Shipyard Sam 10-11-2012 08:42 PM

Make that thirty-three years....

Keith Norrington 10-12-2012 10:02 AM

I was always in total AWE of Capt. Wagner from the time I first met him in 1966 when I was 12 years old! All of us who were privileged to know him are the richer for the experience.

R. Dale Flick 10-12-2012 01:43 PM

*Remembering Capt. Wagner*
I agree with Keith mentioning "being in AWE of Capt. Wagner." Many of us met him being older--but the same feeling. Wagner would also have made one great ranking U.S. Navy admiral or even an Army general. Yet, when he knew you were seriously interested in the DQ and the river, he was kind opening up doors. Mrs. Letha Greene once said, "On the river you never know who or what you are getting in a captain. Capt. Wagner was true blue and a fine man." Times even when Wagner had to sort of reign in Betty Blake when she got too far out on some of her PR bright ideas. I know Wagner had off the cuff nick names for many on the boat, but who can recall the nick name applied to him? Thanks for the memories and Shipyard's fine photo. CHEERS!

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

Mariam Edgar 10-12-2012 04:33 PM

Ernie, JR.
Ernie, Jr. used to ride with us often along with Billy Muster. Cap'n Wagner always told me how concerned he was about who would take care of Ernie, Jr. after he was gone. Anyone know?

R. Dale Flick 10-12-2012 04:48 PM

*RE: Ernie Lee*
Hi, Mariam:
Just clicked and read your question. Right now I can't mentally nail down the date, but Ernie Lee passed away not too long ago. Another 'senior' moment. Shipyard and others on this web may remember with more certainty. I received word much later following his death. Capt. Wagner certainly took good care of Ernie Lee bringing him on the boat many times. He was a pleasant kid, teen and older grown man. I've some Black/White photos here buried away showing Ernie Lee on the old GREENE LINE wharfboat bidding his day goodby.

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

Denny Hamilton 10-18-2012 11:59 AM

Ernie Lee Memories
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It was good to see the mentions about Ernie Lee Wagner. Ernie Lee often rode on the shorter-length cruises of the DQ out of Cincinnati. He was a fun kid who was always looking for something funny to laugh about. I imagine there would be cruise lines who would frown upon having someone like Ernie Lee on so many cruises, due to his limitations. But to me, that was part of the charm of the Greene Line. It was like "family".

Attached are some memories of him.

Denny Hamilton

Mariam Edgar 10-18-2012 01:08 PM

Thanks to you both for remembering Ernie, Jr. I am glad to hear that he did OK after Cap'n Wagner was gone. That was a big worry for him. And yes, he was part of our very close family back then.

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