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Date: January 15, 2003 at 14:38:18
From: Judy Patsch, [cache-dq03.proxy.aol.com]
Subject: Re: 1979 Delta Queen Presidential trip Part II


The trip: I was up early the first day, to watch the
national news: there she was, first you could only hear
the calliope through the fog, and then she appeared. I
got goosebumps then,and even now thinking about it. The
Delta Queen was center stage in the national news for a
week. She came through the fog into Wabasha. Fred Dodd
was playing the calliope, as the Interlocutor(Head
Musician)Vic Tooker didn't want to be bothered with
that while getting his act together for the President's
shows. Well, Vic saw the national TV with calliope
tooting, and guess who played the calliope the rest of
the trip! It was reported that a passenger complained
about the President jogging on the decks, that's why he
went to the high school track in Prairie du Chien the
next day. Actually, it was Capt. Martin's wife. In
those days, the Captain's cabin was in the front corner
of the Sundeck starboard side. Mrs. Martin said she
woke up to this thumping and said,"Who's the idiot out
jogging so early?" She opened up the curtains and said,
"Oops, the idiot is the President". She didn't say
anything further, but apparently word got to the group
anyway. Mrs. Martin had been on the previous 2 weeks
with us and wasn't going to stay for the Carter cruise
due to work obligations. I convinced her to stay on to
the Quad-Cities, where she was able to catch a flight
back to Florida. That's how I got on board, to pick her
up. Capt. Martin came out and got me and brought me on
board. After checking my id and purse, I was allowed
on(proof that we had been checked out the previous
week). Lexie Palmore was a company pilot at the time
and off duty. She called and we arranged for me to pick
her up at the Burlington airport the next day and then
we'd follow the boat to St.L. Shortly after leaving
Burlington, the DQ hit a horrible thunderstorm,and I
presume Ted was among the bucket brigade in the Forward
Cabin Lounge,where she was leaking badly. I remember a
national picture of Chief Henry Mitchell with a bucket.
Lexie and I were trapped on the Illinois side of the
river as the DQ proceeded past Ft. Madison. The SS
closed the bridges a half hour before the boat passed
under. We tried to move a little closer for better pix
and were told in no uncertain terms to halt! We did.
(We ran into an SS guy in a greasy spoon in Burlington
and he was eying us even in there. You learn very
quickly not to mess with the SS!)That night we were in
the drenched crowd at the lock at Keokuk. Even though
it was pouring, Pres. Carter made an appearance on
deck. The next day in Hannibal, we boarded the boat
after the Carters left on their city tour. The talk had
been that if the Boeing 707 was AirForceOne, why wasn't
the DQ Steamboat One? So they found a piece of plywood,
and Lexie got to stay on board overnight to paint the
Steamboat One sign which was on the port wingbridge
when they arrived in St. Louis. The Carters stayed in
340, Amy next door in 338, which had been my room on
most of my trips. 339 was used as a lounge, 337 where
the guys with the briefcase and the "red button"
stayed, and the others were throughout the boat. I'm
sure Ted could tell you where. Contrary to some
stories, the Sundeck was NOT off limits to passengers.
They had regular access to all parts of the boat, and
the Carters dined with different people each night.
That's my shoreside version of THE trip, which gave the
DQ CO. a great boost,so much so that I never got 338
again... Ted, please tell us your inside story of that
week..


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