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    Excursion Boaters

    Excavations in photo files keep turning up vintage views. The first is of Capts. Roddy Hammett and Doc Hawley aboard the brand new Str. NATCHEZ in June, 1975. Hard to believe that boat is now 33 years old! The second is of yours truly tooting the BELLE OF LOUISVILLE calliope in July, 1980. View number 3 is a "mystery calliopist" aboard the BELLE in September, 1990. He's a frequent poster on this board. Can you guess his identity???
    Attached Files

    #2
    Keith, I'm not real smart but I can read a little. The photo caption says Travis, September 1990.

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      #3
      Oh, Bill, you PEEKED! Indeed, that is Travis Vasconcelos, the wizard of the whistles!

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        #4
        Dark amber black rimmed sunglasses, a black necktie, black slacks, a crisp white dress shirt and the coup de grace, a dangerously trimmed black beard. The date is wrong on the picture for the song, but can you imagine this guy playing anything but Phantom of the Opera? ;-)

        Thanks Keith...

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          #5
          Hey Keith thanks for the pic of Doc and Roddy. Having grown up in the french quarter I'd known Doc and Roddy since the Natchez started . an old friend of mine, George Schwab, worked for the New Orleans Steamboat Company back then so I got to ride the Natchez free alot. Then I got to know them better when I got on the MQ and DQ. My mother knew them too as she was big in Mardis Gras circles and did some work for Blaine Kern.

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            #6
            Bill: this is a bit off the subject of Keith's interesting posting but do you remember an excursion/charter outfit in the Greater Cincinnati area called Barleycorns? They ran boats out of Ludlow or Bromley methinks...Cap'n Walnut

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              #7
              Tom: Ken Heil owned Barleycorns. He had restaurants in Cincy and Northern Ky. One still exists in Cold Springs. Barleycorns operated the CAPTAIN ( ex. Tom Nugent,JR) and the WINIFRED, both sternwheelers pushing excursion barges. One of these barges was built in the 70's by Tucker Marine. The river landing was in Ludlow, Ky. and the landing barge was the old steam dredge THEBES.

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                #8
                Keith,

                Lord I was thinner in those days...but what was I thinkin with that look? Actually, 1990 was before the whole Phantom being played on the calliope phenomenon happened. My signature piece back then was the perennial Capt. Tom R. Greene favourite, "When the Saints Go Marchin' In".

                There is a story behind the "Phantom" thing...you see, since I play by ear, alot of times if I pick up the tune I can somewhat replicate it. The whole "Phantom" thing was a bet. A bet I couldn't do it after someone else had. I took the bet and one upped it by adding several tunes to the medly and the entire crew of the BELLE OF LOUISVILLE from the Photographer to the Captain loved the result. Then the river fans picked up on it...later on, it became somewhat of a signature piece. This happened in 1993. By 1995 EVERYONE on the BELLE was sick of it. But the requests still came, so as any honest Perfessor would do, I honored them. One Captain who shall remain nameless (but lurks on this board feverishly) later told me after my tenure aboard said vessel ended he could "live the rest of his life with out hearing it again".

                When I came to the DELTA QUEEN in season of 2004 from the MISSISSIPPI QUEEN, the requests came back and I added a little bit to it and brought it up to the almost theatrical performance it became the last few years. At one time I had cooked up an idea that I would get an outfit and dress as the actual Phantom for the Captians Dinner Coloured Concert....alas, that was never to happen...as the plan was the first week of June this year would be the premiere performance....sadly, others had their way and I was gone before that could happen.

                So what have we learned here?

                SAVE THE DELTA QUEEN...cause we have many new traditions to start and others to lament!

                Where else am I gonna use this silly half mask anyway!

                ~Travis~

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                  #9
                  And before Barleycorn's the WINIFRED was owned by John Hrebenyar and pushed an excursion barge named the JUBILEE. I don't know if that was the barge built by Tucker, or if it went with the WINIFRED when sold to Barleycorn's.

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