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Laissez les bon temps rouler!

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    Laissez les bon temps rouler!

    As my Mardi Gras CD is blasting, to the chagrin of my cats, I'm gathering the goods to take for our celebration at the nursing home. I'll be making jambalaya shortly.
    I just checked the Parade Cams, and sadly after a week of beautiful warm weather in New Orleans, today is rainy/sleety and 34 degrees. Bourbon Street is packed nevertheless but the parade route looks sparse. Zulu should be wrapping up and Rex starting as I type this.
    Despite the lousy weather I wish a Happy and Safe Mardi Gras to my friends in NOLA, and especially to my 'grandson' Bubba!

    #2
    King Cake

    I need some King Cake! Happy Mardi Gras!

    Comment


      #3
      HAPPY MARDI GRAS Everybody! This greeting comes from my late cat, Casey, who passed on to Kitty Heaven on the first day of spring (March 20) in 2010 at the age of 14, after we battled his feline diabetes for eight years. In this image, taken in February, 1997, he was a year old -- wearing Mardi Gras beads that I acquired while a crew member on the DELTA QUEEN in 1978. Those of you who visited my home while Casey "ruled" will remember his unique purrsonality!
      Attached Files

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        #4
        *'Paul's Pastry' KING CAKE*
        Hi, Ted,
        In spite of the current frigid, nasty weather Mardi Gras in Cincinnati was a success in a number of restaurants, clubs, churches and schools here. Tuesday PM feet stomped on the front portico; then the beep of a big UPS truck ["let brown do it"]. "What the heck?" I thought. Lo' and behold, here a big 'Party Box' from PAUL'S Pastry Shop, Picayune MS 39466 from a well-known river personage and correspondent. The KING CAKE delicious along with parade beads, coins, drinking glasses, masks. The KING CAKE flvors available incredible beginning with Berry Deluxe and ending with Rum and Pizza--40 flavors in all. And so we cut the cake here for dessert and who do you think bit in with the traditional response, "i got the baby!" Thus, I hope, a year of good fortune.

        Frank Prudent another on this web a connoisseur of KING CAKE knowing how to throw a dandy Mardi Gras party. Cheers!

        R. Dale Flick
        Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by R. Dale Flick View Post

          Frank Prudent another on this web a connoisseur of KING CAKE knowing how to throw a dandy Mardi Gras party. Cheers!

          R. Dale Flick
          Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati
          Thanks, Dale, this year was very low key. We had some mean Sazeracs, a pot of Chuck's incredible gumbo, a nice pinot noir, and two friends to thank them for taking care of Calliope Ann, our very talkative cat, while we were on the CELEBRITY CONSTELLATION last week. I got the baby, so the next king cake party will be here!

          Comment


            #6
            Relaxing here in my office at the museum, I just enjoyed the last of the leftover Jambalaya for lunch on this beautiful and warm afternoon -- which certainly feels like a prelude to SPRING!

            "Mr. Mel", my faithful 88 year old Friday docent at the HSM, was back on deck today, after a jaunt to Gulf Shores and New Orleans last week with family members. Mel was absolutely glowing about the Str. NATCHEZ and the exemplary red carpet southern hospitality extended by Capt. Matt Dow and the boat's terrific crew. As we all know, people on the river are happy to give! Thanks Bubba and NATCHEZ crew! You made some Jeffersonville folks MIGHTY happy!

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              #7
              Keith's Mardi Gras Jambalaya*
              Ummmm, Keith's Jambalaya on this sunny, warmish afternoon here in 'Ragtown' sounds tasty to me. The KING CAKE here quickly growing smaller and smaller with no concerns over the calories it delivers. I learned to eat KING CAKE in thinner slices like the much poo phooed fruit cake...too much is...well...too much.

              Also this past week, I pulled down from the kitchen recipe books shelf 'The DELTA QUEEN Cookbook: The History And Recipes Of The Legendary Steamboat' by Cynthia Lejeune Nobles, Louisiana State University Library, 2012, finding on Pg. 180 a recipe for 'Roast Pork Loin with 3-Chile Jus.' Takes time to prep but well worth the effort. A number of groups/clubs around here tout 'DELTA QUEEN luncheon parties' using the cookbook with rave reviews. A number here used to throw DELTA QUEEN dinners with me wondering how many others out there have or still do this tradition? I know Judy throws some dandy steamboat parties as does Ruth Guenther. We used to do this ages ago when the DQ was based here in Cincinnati on/around the weekend she steamed out 'trippin' for New Orleans and Mardi Gras. Her first trip then usually always received press coverage in either the old TIMES-STAR, CINCINNATI POST or now CINCINNATI ENQUIRER with photos in B/W of Mrs. Letha C. Greene, Paul or Harris Underwood--among other masters in time--pictured along with uniformed waiters posing with smiles of pride behind what would be set for dinner the first night. Sailing [i.e. 'trippin out'] hour was at 3:00 PM sharp. Purser Bob McCann and the office staff would check their watches looking up the hill in case some late taxi cab or family car was trapped behind a long feight train at the top of the hill. Even a few local steamboat veteran passengers would ride the trolley or bus down to meet the boat toting their own luggage. Cold with steam condensing, the DQ would round out, blow long whistles echoing off the the buildings of Cincinnati and under the Suspension Bridge with cars, buses slowing a bit to honk horns. Later the then newly installed calliope [Who here remembers that?] added even more color in sound. And with that the steamboat season had opened for another year. That was, indeed, a LONG time ago.

              R. Dale Flick
              Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati

              Comment


                #8
                It is wonderful that Dale can write such detailed history of the DQ and those glory days so that us much younger guys can hear how it was. By the way those big slider doors facing the river could make it very cold. Doc always I heard was on the stern to let that line go first.

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                  #9
                  *Those DQ/GREENE LINE memories*
                  Hk, Bill,
                  Lest we forget, you were also part of that small group back then long before any DELTA QUEEN Fan Club was launched now a good 50 plus years ago. As I remember you were aboard on many trips from Louisville etc. on up in the pilot house. Seems you also chummed up there with Marion Frommel in the pilot house. And then there was Frank Katz also aboard. The one to watch each time the DELTA QUEEN steamed out was Purser Bob McCann when, by tradition and superstition, he always turned his back away from the boat a moment or two as she pulled away from the wharfboat to ward off bad luck. And he usually had his gold pocket watch in hand with the gold chain to his vest pocket. I thought that quite quaint and odd until years later when I observed sailors in Italy, Greece, Spain, France, Greece do the very same thing when a passenger ship pulled from the pier. In their cases they usually crossed themselves.

                  You bet those big silder doors on the wharfboat let the cold winds in. They were gigantic on big steel roller wheels. I vividly recall from the days of packet service seeing paintied in black letters above on the inside: CINCINNATI, LOUISVILLE, CHARLESTON, PORTSMOUTH where arriving and departing freight would be dropped for the roustabouts [later politely termed "freight handlers"]. There were a number of massive flat-bed weight scales to afix weight and charges for billing. At the west end of the big wharfboat was the old GL paint shop hammered together with tongue-and-groove lumber with one or more small windows. This to store paint and related equipment and needs safely. No all paint was carried aboard the CHRIS, TOM GREENE or later the DQ. You could park a surprising number of autos there for people on DQ trips at a now 'steal' price. There were other wonderful steamboat treasures stacked, piled on the wharfboat or stowed down in her hull. Letha Greene's office on the upper end had windows 'jutting' out a bit so you could look out over on the boat and down her starboard side. The Greenes were way ahead of the times with their 'hands on' approach and managemement by MBWA--'Management by walking around.' Expenses were kept under close control with the company check book being kept even closer. In later years, unfortunately, when the management regime changed a funny way of thinking came about over 'pennies' while ignoring the spending of 'dollars.'

                  From the time I was a young kid my dad would point things out to me and say, "Observe all of this very carefully and remember it because before long all of this will be long gone." This, besides steamboats, included tent circuses, steam trains, vintage air planes, buildings etc.

                  R. Dale Flick
                  Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati

                  Comment


                    #10
                    *A senior moment correction*
                    Hi, Bill,
                    One of those now increasing 'senior moments.' The dinner bell was being sounded upstairs with me posting, running up. Letha Greene's office did jut out from the wharfboat for clear visibility. What you really saw was the DQ's port side from bow back. And then there were the big air scoops ocean ship style on port and starboard toward the bow on her cabin deck. Those long gone now and employed in constructing, I 'think,' the river memorial to Capt. Ernie Wagner in New Richmond, Ohio. When you looked down in the gaping maw of the air scoops on the boat, there was a steel grating with a circular hinged wood 'plug' to be opened or closed for forced air in good weather. I recall looking down inside seeing lights, hearing voices in/near the boilers in the lower hold.

                    The old GL wharfboat also had it's own supply of new and used lumber ricked up at the stern end opposite the old paint house. There were various sizes/shapes of old and new lumber along with planks, beams, spars, jackstaffs etc. following the adage, "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without." Well, again, what do I know?

                    R. Dale Flick
                    Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Weight Scales

                      Dale mentions "There were a number of massive flat-bed weight scales to afix weight and charges for billing."
                      How many remember one of these scales on the Cabin Deck bow of the DQ? I suppose it might have come from the warf boat and is probably long gone.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Dale et al: I seem to remember that there were two big doors on the landing side too. With BIG chains holding the wharfboat in place. This would have been in the mid-1950s. I can remember BUMPING over those big chains in my '37 Ford. I remember there was a stair leading down into the bowls of the wharfboat at the stern end. There were long, STEEP steps leading up to the office and a number of cutesy floats and river "stuff" hanging from the under side of the office. There would be a number of cars parked in the wharfboat...whether pax or crew, I knew not! Never anyone around when I was aboard.
                        Cap'n Walnut.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          *GL wharfboat/Weight scales*
                          Hi, Bill, Ted, Tom & steamboating collegues:
                          Tom, you bet the old GREENE LINE whafboat was big--a real monster measuring in at no less than 300 ft. plus. I pulled archival photos last night taken during the great 1937 flood here showing the wharfboat with possibly the TOM GREENE pulled in front of the wharfboat for protection. I counted five wide freight doors from stem to stern thus confirming my memories of the large black letters painted above each door on the inside reading: CINCINNATI, CHARLESTON, PORTSMOUTH, LOUISVILLE. If one for WHEELING I can't recall now--and I never saw any of them closed. Another big freight door at the end below and the lower open access obove under the offices where the big capstan stood for sparing in and out. For years there was a big pitman arm in storage and a landing stage used before Marion Frommel and his company assembled, welded the present swinging stage. The wharfboat in B/W photos appears to have been painted either white or very light gray with matching roof bearing GREENE LINE STEAMERS in large letters. Later years it was painted a darker color. Capt. Doc Hawley vividly recalls painting the wharfboat with a crew from top to bottom. That was November, 1963 the day President Kennedy was slain. Doc and the men looked up seeing the flag on the top of the Carew Tower being lowered to half mast. Painting that molded metal with deep valleys using a brush a real pain as he remembered.

                          On the river side there was a walk way with heavy iron or steel cleats for tying up the boats with ropes/cables. If there was a hand rail for the deck crew I've forgotten. Tom correct RE: the offices on high at the upper end with stairs mounting, lots of flags and other boat relics. Below a long wood bench for people waiting to board and other scalloped railings salvaged from either the CHRIS or TOM. With the DQ along side you went over not by the swinging stage but by an aluminum gangway slid up and back with railings. For a time the ganway was covered in a nice dark green canvas weather awning like the big ships on the Hudson River piers in New York. Ted, I recall one--possibly two--very heavy industrial weight scales on heavy roller wheels with a big flatbed in oak for weighing freight, but can't recall any such actually on the boat itself. Probably something I missed in later years. There were no roof gutters with spouts and during a very heavy storm the water literally cascaded off in a waterfall.

                          As mentioned, fresh water came over via a heavy hose from the sloped wharf. How the wires were hooked up for electricity and phones foggy in my mind--but I'll dig out photos. Those very heavy mooring chains linked to rings in the cobbled landing were of very heavy links. Alan Bates, and others, once studied, figured out the weight of each link and the total lengths coming up with figure of great tonnage. Alan always wondered if the long chain lengths alone could have held the wharfbot if they were disconnected from the mooring rings.

                          Bill Judd on the money about Doc having the stern line cast free first. Varying on the wind and current, they would put the boat in slow astern to swing out; then come ahead or either backing out to 'round' and aim under the Suspension Bridge. Other times they laid out a number of feet, put her ahead and moved up and then out. Others on here with more 'hands on' experience would know better. It varied with conditions and the 'art' of the captain and pilot.

                          The wide gangways at the head and foot allowed autos, delivery trucks etc. to enter ahead and leave astern. A metal securuty gate was secured in the evening when the offices closed. Photos also show a very, very slight sheer in the wharfboat but the main center deck was dead flat.

                          Off hand I remember at least five offices on the office deck above with a lavatory. In later years one office was turned into a kind of temporary bunk room for crew if I recall. All offices plain, spartan without the later corporate gloss and fluff look. That's the way it was then. The Greenes were practical, sensible people with no time for prideful ways. All attention and funds went to keeping the boat in tip top condition and working order as she was their only asset. Betty Blake's office directly at the top of the steps when she was in the PR position. Betty did do some sprucing up with nice scalloped window shades on her door in a kind of burnt orange al la New Orleans. I could kick myself now for not taking more photos of the offices back then for posterity. Yet, they were working and I was just hanging around visiting. "They are nice to let you visit but don't you ever bother them when they are working and keep out of the way--and your mouth shut. Always thank them," my mother would say along with 'words' to my buddy Mickey Frey from his mother Dorothea. That indeed was now a LONG time ago. Again, what do I know?

                          R. Dale Flick
                          Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati

                          Comment


                            #14
                            You guys have reminded me that I have a file folder about the GREENE LINE wharfboat and perhaps the "fodder" for a future Old Boat Column in The Waterways Journal. I'll add it to my list -- THANKS!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              If my memory serves me correctly, the wharfboat was made in the 1930's from four standard open hopper coal barges welded together and decked over. Standard barges were 175 ft. long, 26 ft. wide raked on one end. Not many standard barges in service today except on the Monongahela River. Today's barges are referred to as jumbo barges, 195x35 for bow pieces and 200x35 for boxes.

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