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A different (optimistic) view

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  • Lexie Palmore
    replied
    Actually, there are quite a few trains, several I can name in Texas and Colorado alone, and some of them are fairly new. Certainly a lot more steam trains than steamboats at present, sorry to say.

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  • Lexie Palmore
    replied
    Having seen Holbrook and several other Twain impersonators, there is at least one I liked better, who did his program at a college in Lufkin, Texas.

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  • Lexie Palmore
    replied
    You're a war baby as is my husband who was born in 1942. And I was born in 47 and I never cared for the do wop, bebop, rock and roll or whatever you want to call it. My father played a lot of big band music, so I have more of a connection to that, from a very early age, than to the Johnny Come Lately Elvis.

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  • Mary Sward Charlton
    replied
    Lewis is around, still doing gigs last season. I like him very much, as Twain and as a friend, both! Hal Holbrook was kind enough to write a letter for the Save the Delta Queen campaign, to be used as we saw fit. Thanks to both of these talented gentlemen for bringing this part of our heritage to life for so many!

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  • Keith Tinnin
    replied
    Possible the Mark Twain actor was Lewis Hankins, he started in 1989 and was still playing special Steamboatin engagements toward the end. He did a great job, I like him better than Holbrook, but maybe I'm prejudiced in Lewis' favor...

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  • Jim Blum
    replied
    I believe Hal Holbrook is still doing some touring as HST: Harry S. Truman.

    There was an actor some years ago who was on a Charter who did an absolutely striking Twain gig. Unfortunately I don't remember his name though I am reasonably certain it was Not Holbrook.

    In the late 70's there was a concerted effort to attract British, French and German tourists to ride the boats. The vastness of America was an eye opener to many who came.

    DISCOVER AMERICA BY STEAMBOAT!

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  • Ginnie Rhynders
    replied
    Jane Greene tells the story that an actor called her mother offering to portray Mark Twain on the Delta Queen. Her mother turned him down. His name? Hal Holbrook!!
    By the way, Jane is having cataract surgery so we wish her the best.
    Ginnie

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  • Judy Patsch
    replied
    Holbrook is alive and in his 80s. I'm not aware of any DQ trips he made, unless he was a judge for a race trip sometime....crew members????

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  • R. Dale Flick
    replied
    *RE: Voyages to America/Theme cruises.*
    Steamboating colleagues:
    Judy's posting/memories of the slogan 'Voyages to America' etc. got me to thinking. That famous banner was on the boat, as Judy mentions, for a long time in addition to being a (R) logo on brochures, ads, travel/cruise trade shows.

    Here's a 'brain teaser.' How many out there can recall ALL of the various promo slogans the company used over the years for the DQ? I don't think I can recall unless I pull junk out of 'dusty boxes' and look.

    Judy, on the 'Theme Cruises' can you ever remember if the actor Hal Holbrook ever was on the boats to do his 'Mark Twain Tonight?' Not certain but if Holbrook is around he must be moving up in years now. Theme cruises are quite popular also with the big 'blue water' ships from sports stars to ship history, music, literature, drama, movie stars of the 'Golden era' etc. Helen Hayes rode the boat frequently and really drew the passengers aboard.

    Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River.

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  • Judy Patsch
    replied
    Voyages to America

    Since that banner was on the stern sundeck railing from 1973 through 1978, I'll bet it was Betty's idea. And the brochures used that idea too. Come TO America, not away from it. Certainly would be a good angle in today's world situation!

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  • Paul Penta
    replied
    Theme Cruises

    Theme cruises were always a lot of fun on the AQ. We had Civil War, Big Band, Jazz, 50's Nostalgia, etc. Lots of pax, lots of interest. But those kinds of cruises, especially big band, would be impractical on the DQ, I think, for a few simple reasons.

    1. Not enough room in the Orleans.

    2. Where are 16 musicians going to sleep?

    3. How would you cover the cost of paying Jack Morgan and Al Pierson and their bands?

    4. Also, with a big band cruise, you usually get dance hosts - some more cabins gone.

    Paul

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  • Richard Weisenberger
    replied
    I believe Bob hit the nail on the head. The DQ needs to be marketed in the same manner as the Greene Line originally did as a "Steam Powered Time Machine", possibly with a modern twist. Sometimes you have to look back to see forward. I have always believed in looking back to come up with new ideas. Those old concepts can be expanded upon and given new life. They don't have to remain static. What's really hard is coming up with something totally different and keeping it relevant.


    Originally posted by Bob Reynolds View Post
    That sounds great David! Greene Line used to use the phrase "Steam Powered Time Machine".

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  • Keith Norrington
    replied
    I always liked the big canvas banner that was attached across the sun deck railing at the stern above the wheel proclaiming "VOYAGES TO AMERICA". I don't remember whether that was one of Betty Blake's ideas or not, but it was used in a lot of advertising.

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  • Judy Patsch
    replied
    Theme cruises

    Originally posted by Jim Herron View Post

    However, most of the baby boomers were into doo-wop music and all the other things associated with the '50's while I was into jazz and big bands. And so it is with each peer group. It was those adolescent years when life was far more simple that we think of as nostalgic. Perhaps some cruises could be structured around that style of entertainment. Same with other forms of music: country, maybe even classical. All have their following. I know that specifically themed cruises have been offered over they years. How do they do as a draw? But leave the rap, hip-hop or heavy metal garbage to the glitzy ships that look like half melted bars of soap.
    -JH
    As most know, the MQ had regular big band cruises, with Russ Morgan's Band directed by son Jack, the Guy Lombardo Orchestra with Al Pierson among the regulars. The MQ also had more theme cruises I believe, than the DQ.
    Something many of you may not know, but our DQ fanatic Pat Traynor went on her first DQ trip not for the boat, but for the Civil War program that trip. It would seem to me that Civil War groups, of which there are many, would be a good focal point of advertising/communication, as would many historical based groups. Of course, we are getting the cart before the horse in talking about promoting a boat which cannot cruise at this time, but the point is to any potential buyers that there are avenues of possibility to tap for potential customers. If a potential buyer would be willing to go outside the normal routine and use crew and passengers as consultants rather than Madison Avenue, they would be well-served.
    Something else which had fallen by the wayside is charter trips - that was my first trip in 1973, chartered by State Bank of East Moline Travel. They chartered about 8 trips a year for 5 or so years. National Trust always had one. AAA used to charter, and so on. What about AARP today? Our local Plus 60 group charters the TWILIGHT yearly. With the right promoting, it could get enough for the DQ. And remember what Jim said, we're talking 174 spaces to fill, not 1000...

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  • Bob Reynolds
    replied
    That sounds great David! Greene Line used to use the phrase "Steam Powered Time Machine".

    Leave a comment:

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