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    Working on the DQ

    I have had the pleasure of meeting some of you, and others know me as an occasional poster. As a Cincinnatian, I fell in love with steamboating, and the DQ, as a teen. I'm now living my dream and working on the boat! I decided that I'd better do it now, and am currently bartending aboard the boat. I've read many discussions about working on the boats, and I'll tell you, I probably have the easiest job on the boat. Even so, it is not for everyone. I work at least 11 hours a day, all on my feet; sleep on the top bunk, where I have to avoid the sprinkler head (!); and don't have time to eat! But I also am privleged to care for a legacy! While I mix drinks, I tell people the history of the boat, and of steamboating. I get to travel the rivers, and sit on the bow at night, watching the light pick out the markers. I spend my free time in the engineroom, where I've oiled the pitmans! And I've seen how hard everyone else works, too. It takes dedicated people to keep this grand lady going, but she is worth it. I love just being able to do the simplest things for her--polish her brass, or keep her customers happy, so they will keep coming back. So if you have a trip scheduled, please come see me.
    I will be posting a few pictures, if you are interested. I'm not the best photographer, and internet access is limited while on the boat, so bear with me. I'll be back on the boat beginning June 12.

    #2
    Thanks for your comments about working aboard that fine lady of the rivers.Looking forward to more somments from you as well as the pictures!

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      #3
      Here are the pictures. Thanks for sending them, Mary!

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        #4
        Regarding the middle photo - what is the location?

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          #5
          Keith,

          Seeing the excursion boats in the background it must be Mud Island / Memphis and the boats are the Memphis Queen fleet.

          Carmen

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            #6
            Carmen is correct. The middle picture is at Mud Island.
            The right picture is the the MQ preparing to land along side the DQ at Dover. TN.
            The left picture is the small lock chamber at Wilson L&D. The other side of the boat looked just like this too!

            Dennis

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              #7
              Captain Harris Underwood disliked running master on steamboats and seldom did it. On the Belle of Louisville, for example, he ran master for a total of one week while Paul took a vacation. He much preferred the solitude (?!) of the pilothouse to schmoozing with the passengers, which Paul enjoyed very much Another time Harry Hamilton came on as pilot and when Paul took a break, Harris had Hamilton run as master while he stayed in the pilothouse.

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                #8
                Thanks, Chief, for identifying the pictures--I have been without internet for the past two days while visiting my mother. However, I've also found more slides of the DQ from around 1980--and these are of the engine room! I'll have them digitized and will post a few, if anyone would like to see some. There is a wringer washer in one!

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                  #9
                  Mary, you would be surpised at how many reading htis board have USED that wringer washer!

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                    #10
                    Guess I'd better post a picture of it when I get it digitized. How about some stories??

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                      #11
                      My Washing Machine Story

                      The only washing machine on the DELTA QUEEN in 1965 was that same wringer-washer that was kept in the small "laundry room", on the port side alongside the low-pressure engine. It belonged to the engine room crew, and no one used it without their invitation and consent, especially those who did not belong on Chief Cal's crew. Captain Wagner found a spot for me as a temporary Watchman punching the clock for Bruce Edgington and his partner so that they could get some time off, for in those days there was no off-time or vacations unless someone else came in and worked for you, or else you quit.

                      My experience trying to clean my clothes by dragging them off the fantail of the AVALON had been a dismal failure, so that same method was not an option on the DELTA QUEEN. Instead I found a five gallon steel bucket, and as there was also a live steam line in that laundry room, I was able to persuade the Chief Engineer to allow me access to his live steam, and so was able to construct a primitive washing machine that far exceeded a handy line for cleaning clothes.

                      Actually it was fun boiling my knickers in my invention, but after a few uses, I noticed that I drew a small, curious crowd on the other side of the engine whenever my "washing machine" was boiling away. And I could not be sure whether they were admiring my inventiveness, pitying me, or waiting to see if I would end up like a scalded dog. Eventually the Chief must have either felt sorry for me, or else thought such genius deserved its own reward, and one day as again I begged permission to make use of his hot steam, he casually said, “Why don’t you just use the washer?”

                      So with that I was a member of the exclusive wringer-washing machine circle, and remained so because as soon as Brucie came back from vacation, my next assignment was as a Striker in the Engine Room, right next to the washing machine.

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                        #12
                        Great story! My observations from the bench in engineering tell me that although the laundry methods may have changed since those days, they are quite possibly the most organized on the boat. What else would you expect from a bunch of engineers? (They are the nicest guys--they allow me to sit there as much as I want!). By the way, I think there might be a picture of Rabbit Hash in those slides I'll pick up later today.

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                          #13
                          Hi, Mary! Glad that you are enjoying your experience on the DQ! I was Human Resources Coordinator, Asst. Purser and Chief Purser on her in 1999-2000 and 2003-2004. I spent much of my free time in the engine room but also enjoyed sitting out on the bow in the evening while we were underway or on a rocking chair on Cabin Deck by the paddlewheel. I have many great memories of my experience and the crew on the DQ, as well as the MQ where I was in 1998-1999 and 2003. I still get quite homesick for the DQ and her crew.

                          Kathleen Cade

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                            #14
                            Hi, folks--I have been unable to post the pictures I promised of the engine room, circa 1980. If Shipyard Sam agrees, I'll send them to his website, and maybe he will agree to post them for me. I just can't figure out the new software!! What do you say, Sam? In the meantime, I'm back on the boat, currently in Natchez, where I think it's hot, but the locals think it's cool. And I'm still loving it.

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                              #15
                              Mary's Pictures

                              Click onto the link to see Mary's DELTA QUEEN Engine Room pictures. If that MSN "Timed-Rook" thingy shows instead of a picture, click onto it and the photograph will open.

                              http://groups.msn.com/WillieandBuste...on.msnw?Page=1

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