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Another Good One Gone-on....

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    Another Good One Gone-on....

    Brother Benedict Simmonds was known on the DELTA QUEEN as Harvey Simmonds, formerly a noted book publisher, editor, and author from New York City, a botanist at the Royal Botanical Gardens in London, and the Curator of the Rare Book Room at the NYC Public Library (Google Him).

    Due to personal circumstances, Harvey ended up in New Orleans, in 1970, looking for a job aboard a ship going to sea, but when his efforts failed, he signed on the DELTA QUEEN where the only opening was in the Dish Room washing the pots, pans, plates, saucers, and flatware. Harvey was a godsend, for the man who held the position before the wanderer from New York City was amiss in rinsing the cooking and eating ware... consequently, everyone aboard the steamboat suffered from the "DQ Two-Step", and once Harvey got to washing...and rinsing... the kitchen and dining ware, gastrointestinal systems aboard the most famous steamboat in the world regained normalcy. For that, Harvey Simmonds was kept in the Dish Room way longer than a person of his caliber and ability would have, for fear of the "return on the trots".

    Eventually, Harvey left his first duty station and became a Bar Back and then a Bartender who held court in the Texas Lounge where passengers from all over the world gathered who knew of Harvey Simmonds' reputation from his former lives as mentioned earlier. He established the first lending library aboard the DELTA QUEEN where the plates identifying the books as property of the QUEEN were handmade from wood cuts designed, carved, and printed by Harlan Hubbard.

    Harvey brought class and compassion to a sometimes rough crew, and he became a moderator between management, the crew, and the union when organized labor aboard the steamboat was in its fledgling state.

    After leaving the DELTA QUEEN, Harvey became a Benedictine monk and took the name Benedict Simmonds where he became legendary in his efforts to help save and preserve his monastery, the Holy Cross Abbey at Berryville, Virginia, through his publishing efforts and connections.

    Harvey Benedict Simmonds, one of the most interesting and beloved DELTA QUEEN crewmen of the early 1970's, died peacefully at 8:00 PM, this past Thursday, 17 January 2013, at the Holy Cross Abbey.
    Attached Files

    Harvey Simmonds was bartender in the Texas Lounge when I took my first cruise on the DQ in 1972. He gave me a "New Yorker" magazine that contained a story about "Life on the River" wherein a reporter had ridden a towboat from up on the Missouri River down to Memphis. I ate that article up, and I still have that magazine that Harvey gave this 14 year old kid who was "eat up" with the river bug. A long and two shorts DELTA QUEEN salute to him. We never know the effect we may have on those who cross our paths in life, even for a brief period.


      Thank you Don for keeping up with Harvey. Just last week I sent a bunch of Steamboatin' Times to Travis and he was in the program for the day at his library on the boat. I had forgotten about him but now remember what a kind person he was. We were almost exactly the same age but I would not have recognized him from the picture that was posted. I remember him as a round faced kid. We are becoming fewer and fewer. Take care of yourself, Don!