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Queen of The Mississippi disabled in St. Paul, MN

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  • Ted Guillaum
    replied
    Bumped Passengers

    Originally, The White House wanted to bump all passengers off the boat to make room for staff and reporters but that did not happen. Reduced rate passengers got bumped but full fare passengers did not. Lexi is right about the one crew member that did not pass the security test. Does anyone remember if that person came back after the trip?

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  • Lexie Palmore
    replied
    More on that

    I boarded the boat halfway through the trip to paint a sign. My clearance was spur of the moment. I don't know how they did it.

    There was one crew member, as I recall, that was bumped off the Carter trip as he had some sort of questionable record. I was kind of surprised that half the crew didn't get bumped.

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  • Denny Hamilton
    replied
    Judy and all,

    You're right about the world changing since those days of the Carter Cruise. In 1978, I was working as an Amtrak Sales Rep in the Twin Cities. During a Delta Queen visit that year, I asked my old pal Jim Blum if I could work during my two-week vacation and hire-out again on the DQ. I was willing to wash dishes if I had to. He said that he'd find something for me to do on the boat. We had settled on a trip from St.Paul to St. Louis, and then on to Cincinnati.

    About a week before the boat arrived in St. Paul I heard of President Carter's plans and thought that I'd never get hired for my working vacation on the same day that the President boarded. So in desperation, I called the local office of the Secret Service. Back in those days, the Secret Service was a run by the Treasury Department.

    The Secret Service Agent asked me just two questions: My Social Security Number, and my place of birth. A couple of days later the agent called me back and confirmed that I was all-clear for my trip! Try doing THAT nowadays! Since Jim Blum wasn't on the southbound trip with Carter, I'm glad that the Secret Service advised the DQ that I was coming looking for a job. I was hired as a deckhand, and was later a watchman for most of the trip. Those were different(and fun) days!

    -Denny Hamilton-

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  • CJ Meyers
    replied
    Or worse........like watching someone sitting next to someone and having a conversation via text!

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  • CJ Meyers
    replied
    Judy it is amazing how far things have come in a relatively short period of time! I can only imagine what would be required for for the same trip today.

    I wonder where they would place a make shift "situation room" on the American Queen?

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  • Judy Patsch
    replied
    A world without cellphones?

    It was wonderful, Ted! People actually spoke face to face and talked to the person they were with, instead of chatting on the phone while ignoring their companion!

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  • Ted Guillaum
    replied
    A world without cell phones??

    Judy, your recall of the details and facts from way back then is amazing and quite correct. I had forgotten the name George Bufundo. You have even recalled some facts that I did not even know back then. You are certainly right about how our life styles have changed since those days. A world without cell phones! How could that be????

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  • Judy Patsch
    replied
    I wasn't...

    very young then! But a lot younger than now! Since you've given away your age group, you would laugh at the communications systems they had to deal with back then in 1979, pre-cellular days. I was a passenger the two weeks prior to the Carter trip. His trip was announced about 10 days before it, and that last week coming upriver from St. Louis was just one series of repair/repaint jobs you've ever seen. Robert Moser was the DQ President. I made some smart remark about one of the volunteer paint crews or something, and his reply was: Yes, we're merely doing a year's worth of repairs in a week.
    Back to the communications deal: we had Air Force Major George Bafundo, Head of White House Communications, on board most of the week. They had to set up telephone connections in the towns, usually in the post offices or in a building along the riverfront. They had two rooms on the DQ full of communications equipment: the normal stuff was in room 315 at the head of the stairs on the port sundeck. They let us look in there as they set it up. The top secret stuff was in the Engine Room - I think they commandeered Bill Kelly's room for that. George would sit in the Texas Lounge in the evening and have a Michelob with us. I asked him if this was his most difficult assignment and he said no, Carter's rafting trip through the Snake River Canyon was worse - the cliffs cut off all communication signals. The day we were in Wabasha they installed an antenna on the roof above 315. As we were leaving, I casually asked if that antenna would bend much. They said No, so I replied: Then it will be breaking soon as we go under that bridge ahead. I gave the clearance, and one of the guys pulled himself up onto the roof and was detaching it when George came up the steps and asked what he was doing. The guy replied, pointing to me: SHE said this wasn't going to clear the bridge. So George told him to get it down quickly. Afterwards we went into the Texas and talked about other bridge clearances, something they hadn't thought of. They then had a detailed sitdown with the pilothouse people about all the overhead obstacles enroute.
    Hard to believe how primitive we were back then, eh CJ????

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  • Lexie Palmore
    replied
    Z-drives do tend to dangle below the hull. OK in New Orleans, but problematic upstream.
    When the President ventured up to St. Louis with z-drives, we were acutely aware of that fact, but on the downbound trip, sure enough, one of the z's got clobbered. They were, by the way, located where the paddlewheels used to be. Hm. A paddlewheel that is shallower than the hull. What a concept.

    Leave a comment:


  • CJ Meyers
    replied
    Sorry Judy!

    Thanks for correcting me. I thought that the DQ came in the night prior to her departure but I'll stand by your accounts as you were there. I was very young so it is a little foggy I guess.

    Thanks for the correction.

    Leave a comment:


  • Judy Patsch
    replied
    DQ in ST. Paul for Carter trip

    No, the DQ was in St. Paul for just her normal turnover day when Carter rode. She arrived the morning of Aug. 17 and left that evening on schedule. Security was being taken care of as we were enroute to St. Paul, and the divers checked the hull that day. Bob Reynolds, who frequents this board, was Mate for that trip and the preceding ones on which I was a passenger. Carter rode from Aug. 17-24, 1979.

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  • CJ Meyers
    replied
    7 p.m. UPDATE

    As of 7 p.m. today the Queen of The Mississippi is now back online and trackable on Live Ships Map - AIS - Vessel Traffic and Positions so I'm optimistic that she is closer to her departure. She had vanished from this site for the majority of the day so it's the first sign that she may be closer to getting underway.

    Crews are still working on the defective drive and the ship is still docked at the repair docks in St. Paul. The new drive remains unused and lying next to the ship so apparently they are going trying to salvage the existing unit. After reading Judy's earlier post and after seeing first hand how large this type of drive is I tend to agree that it probably came in contact with something and suffered damage. Just one more example of how poorly designed the Queen of The Mississippi is. So we are at 48 hours and counting that she has been here in St. Paul which I'm guessing is a new record for the larger excursion boats. The only other time I believe that we had a visit that approached this timeline was in August of 1979 when President Carter started his journey south on the Delta Queen. That time the Delta Queen was here for an extra day for security screenings.

    I wonder if any of the folks on board will be offered partial or complete refunds? It would be so dissapointing to have this happen I can only imagine the frustration.

    Leave a comment:


  • Judy Patsch
    replied
    An encore performance

    Thanks for your sleuthing. Remember that on the first downbound, she spent her enlongated shore stop here in Davenport replacing the port prop unit. They said she had hit something. I don't know the depth of these props, but I'm guessing what they are hitting is the bottom in these shallow waters. This can't be helping their bottom line. Maybe they would save by spending more for more experienced pilots?

    Leave a comment:


  • Ron Anderson
    replied
    Hmm. Maybe they should try the paddle wheel.

    'Tis all downstream from there anyway, just sayin'

    Leave a comment:


  • CJ Meyers
    replied
    A few more pictures from 10/28/12

    Just a couple of additional pictures.
    Attached Files

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