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Date: January 15, 2003 at 16:03:08
From: Ted Guillaum, [170.141.109.74]
Subject: Re: 1979 Delta Queen Presidential trip Part II


Judy is right about the Keokuk Lock. The President never missed a single one no matter what time of day or night or how bad the weather could be. It started out by accident, however. First night out leaving St. Paul we came to the first lock. The crowds were amazing all along the river bank that night. People were wanting to see the President and flashing lights could be see with people waving and shouting. A large crowd had gathered at the first lock. Someone must have informed Mr. Carter and suggested that he go wave at the crowd at the lock. Those familiar with the design of the locks know that you are very close to the fence, about the width of a normal sidewalk. This waving to the crowd was an unplanned activity and everything was going well until the President decided he wanted to get closer and shake some hands along the lock. He simply leapt over the rail from the Cabin Deck that was even with the top of the lock and began shaking hands. His body guards were HORRIFIED. They went scrambling over the rail after him trying to regain control. The Lock Master probably contacted the next Lock Master to be prepared for a similar occurrence and they were, all the way down the river. They constructed a simple ramp of two boards that he could walk across through the gate in the hand rail in a more dignified manner and every lock had a better and better ramp until there were hand rails, painted, and with red carpet. We carried a couple of those on board for a few years afterward, maybe some are still there.


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