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Date: October 02, 2003 at 18:28:27
From: Bob Reynolds, [gbrdialin]
Subject: Re: 1979 Delta Queen Presidential trip


Sorry to be getting in on this thread so late. As a professional
riverman, I don't often come home from work to look at boat stuff
on the internet! Also, until recently our computer was a dinosaur,
and this kind of stuff just took too long to load up. Anyway,
reading thru the thread about President Carter's trip in 1979, I
was First Mate, Chris (Chug) Osborn was Second Mate. Dave
Rainbolt came aboard right before the trip as Chief Mate...He was
Chief Mate on the MQ, but came aboard for that one trip. I must
say I was rather miffed at that; the position did not really exist on
the DQ. I don't know if The Big Indian asked to be put on the trip
or if Capt. Martin requested him--I suspect the former, as Capt,
Martin pulled me aside a couple of days before we arrived in St.
Paul to tell me Dave was coming on, and that it was not a
reflection on me or my work. I continued to stand the after watch,
and we had a tense time or two. One was coming down in Pool #8
(a real nightmare from a navigation standpoint) and fog shut us
out about 3 miles above the lock, nowhere to go but on down to
the lock. One of the Secret Service men asked Rip Ware, "Captain,
what do you do in a situation like this?" Capt. Ware said, "Well, we
just pucker up and go on!" I thought that was classic. In those
days, the Captain didn't get up for every lock or landing; what fell
after midnight was handled by the Mate and Pilot. We finally were
able to see tha lock a pretty good distance out (3/4 mile?) and
after locking down, stayed tied up on the wall until it cleared in
the morning. Mel Hartsough stole the 1979 log book from the
boat when he left the company in the early '80's, and gave it to
me as gift several years ago, one of my treasured mementos. The
Storm on Lake Cooper was another story I saw covered here...it
blew cast iron furniture off the Texas Deck bow and tore the
presidential flag to shreds. I've been on the river for 28 years
now, and only one other time have I seen a storm that bad. From
my standpoint, I was glad when that trip was over...the novelty
began to wear off about Davenport! It was one of the greta
experiences of Sharon's and my life, thoug, something we will
always remember. In fact, as I write this our pictures with Jimmy
Carter are hanging on the wall over my right shoulder.


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