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Famous Workers on Board the DQ

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    Famous Workers on Board the DQ

    Here is a nice article that mentions a famous person on board the DQ getting her all "purdy" for the next chapter in her life.

    Chattanooga Times Free Press | A ride on the Delta Queen puts a smile on your face

    Volunteer aboard DQ

    Now that one identity is public, let me reiterate that there was no opportunity for anyone to volunteer to work on this trip - 3 people were invited in recognition of their work on the Save the DQ campaign.


      My Dear Miss Pat;
      I miss you so much my dear friend. I lost your address and email. Please forgive me for not writing to you as promised. Where are you now? Are you living in Chattanooga so that you may keep an eye on our beloved Delta Queen?? I am just heartsick over the total loss of all the once ! Like losing 6 members of your family overnight. I am still reeling from it.
      Did you ever hear the final outcome of the passenger that fell down the stairs that day and I helped him on the floor? I never heard from them after that, and I have always worried about him. If you know anything of my sweet ex-patient, could you let me know how he is?
      May God Bless you all,
      Bettie Russo...the 19th century nurse.


        ONLY THREE!!!!!!!!!!! There were enough people working to save the DQ to fill every room, and then some. And I am NOT including myself. Not to denigrate those who did get to go, but I'm sure that more than 3 worked tirelessly and would have given their souls to the devil to be on that trip. Many of us would like to have worked tirelessly but for the demands of life. Oh, well. Hard work is occasionally rewarded, but usually is not, except for the satisfaction of a job well done. And the job is not done yet. The detractors of the DQ have done an excellent job of giving the country the impression that the DQ is unsafe and should be sidelined. I get this from virtual strangers from all parts of the country. Obviously it will take more than 3, or 300, or 3000.


          Capt. P, sorry, but this is a bit funny. We ALL went through this anger, this mere betrayal...Why the frit wasn't I asked to help on this last cruise? Yes, indeedie, the e-mails were fast and furious, and we all, from California to Florida to Missouri to Ohio to New York were a little, actually a whole lot, PO'd, big time..." I coulda done this and I coulda done that and what was their problem, for Kryst's sake? What about me, dammit...

          But we all gotta take a breath...Who worked the hardest over the past 15 years? I'm truly, sincerly thrilled to tears for the people that were asked...Jo Ann and Barb are my heros, they both fully deserves it... Phillip? why not, he's one of us and has never ridden the Legendary One before? good for him... And Toot's? Come on, who do you think started this sickness in all of us? Burlers and turlets, indeed...Eric, sure, he's been with the various companies before dirt and did a wonderful job as the Video extordinaire. Get on FaceBook, Eric has been on all the boats since forever..Bill, no question here, how many of us have created a blog with videos dedicated strictly to the last gasps! The only one that should of been there, and was originally asked with the others, but couldn't make it due to geographical problems, understandably, was Franz...

          Now are there a few more mere FRN's that should have been asked? What do you think I'm gonna say? 77+ trips, is that deserving? Someone that started a new life strictly to start that life on the Delta Queen? A guy/gal that completely obliterated their retirement to cruise on the last ones? Deserving? At least thirty "lectures", two TV interviews, faxes to everybody in Congress and their uncle, 1500 petition signatures? Is he deserving, well I don't know, but he spent a lot in the Texas... :-)

          The point is that we were all deserving, but unfortunately the list had to be made small. I'm thinking Capt Phillips made some pretty good choices...But I'm still PO'd...


            Thanks Bruno, for your kind words. As one fellow steamboater said (who wasn't invited), if our friends get upset and mad then they weren't truly friends anyway.

            You guys will never know how fortunate Barb and I felt and how honored we were that the offer was thrown our way. We certainly tried to represent each and every one of you with each loving stroke of the cleaning cloth with the Brasso on it and the swipe of the squiggy on ALL that glass (is that how you spell that neat little tool to take off the ammonia water from glass?). For anyone that thinks she is a small boat, I beg to differ. When you go to polishing brass and washing windows - she's pretty darn big. There were also two real original crew members on that did nothing but make up rooms - cleaning from top to bottom including bathrooms and making beds (yes, those fancy white bed linens are still on there).

            It was our privilege to be able to actually get down on hands and knees and get dirty for the sake of our beloved boat. I guess you could say we were worshiping her. It was an honor I will cherish forever and ever.

            I will add that Phillip (age 23) simply offered to come to Chattanooga to pick Barb and I. Captain Phillips spoke with him personally and asked if he would like to come down a couple days before and ride the rest of the way into Chattanooga with us, as there was a couple other folks getting off. You see we were Coast Guard approved to carry only so many crew members. No one was a passenger. EVERYONE had to carry their weight. And we DID WORK.

            As for as the welcome into Chattanooga, Captain Phillips threw out to Barb and I just a couple of days before arriving in Chattanooga that there would be press conference and if some of our fellow Campaigners would like to come and welcome the boat, he would try to arrange to allow them on the boat. Totally taken by surprise, Barb and I wasn't prepared with phone numbers and didn't have internet access even if we had had email addresses with us. However, a fine group was able to make it to Chattanooga on short notice - some had already planned to be there whether they were allowed on the boat or not. It was a fine welcoming committee of many MOR's and S & Der's and Campaigner's and even some crew members. Everyone should be proud. We were able to show Captain Phillips just how important she is to us and how much she means to us. It was icing on the cake to welcome our friends aboard and to spend her last few minutes as a "real" working, running steamboat with them, if that is what happens.

            That being said, as I've said before, I WILL NEVER GIVE UP - NOT EVER!

            Thanks to anyone who has done anything on the Campaign to SAVE THE DELTA QUEEN. PLEASE continue in whatever way you have been able to help.

            I hope this clears up any questions regarding this issue.


              Gross generalizations

              Originally posted by Bruno Krause View Post
              Capt. P, sorry, but this is a bit funny. We ALL went through this anger, this mere betrayal...
              . And Toot's? Come on, who do you think started this sickness in all of us? Burlers and turlets, indeed...Eric, sure, he's been with the various companies before dirt and did a wonderful job as the Video extordinaire
              The point is that we were all deserving, but unfortunately the list had to be made small. I'm thinking Capt Phillips made some pretty good choices...But I'm still PO'd...
              Your statement that unfortunately the list had to be made small and that pretty good choices were made is well put.
              But let the old English teacher in me point out a bit about gross generalizations: ALL is inclusive, excluding no one. There were many people who went through the emotions you discussed, but not everyone did. I presume you are basically speaking for this current generation of repeaters, because to characterize Eric as being with the companies before dirt sure makes me and my generation and those before us of DQ passengers really older than dirt! Toots may have started the sickness in your 'generation', but again, not in ALL of the DQ fans. Some of us were terminal by the time Karen came aboard in 1976. She has done a fantastic job - no, rather a labor of love, in her many years aboard the boats which now repose in MAL purgatory. The many loyalists who preceded 'my generation' preserved the DQ and saved her so that we later could come under her spell. I can't speak for the DQ in her California days, but I know that ever since she became a Mississippi River system boat, she has had legions of devoted followers from many generations. Each of her generations has its own icons, memories, experiences. The most wonderful thing about the DELTA QUEEN is that she was able to enchant and charm each new generation, and hopefully she'll still be able to do that, whether with steam up or dockside.
              But to the casual reader of this board, please know that not everyone felt bitter over the delivery trip 'guests/workers' selections or felt rejected because they weren't chosen to be aboard the delivery trip.


                Thanks, Judy. Very well written. And no doubt many of us from any of those generations of DQ fans were just so happy to know our friends, or people we remembered, had the opportunity to be onboard. I had a perpetual smile on my face that whole week just for them. I never even thought about going to Chattanooga until three days before I went, and certainly never thought I'd have an opportunity to set foot on the boat myself. All that mattered to me was knowing those onboard for the trip were having that experience!! And I know there were lots of others who felt the same way. To me, the arrival day in Chattanooga was an amazing and unexpected gift, for which I am so grateful, but my greatest joy was seeing the smiles on the faces of those who had been onboard working that whole trip.


                  Well, I don't know that I was steamed--but I sure was Green! With envy! I may have had the DQ "in my blood" for a long time, but I'm still a "newcomer" to the real-life thing. And what part of my Retirement MAL didn't get, the Government has taken with their handling of Citicorp.
                  So, my logical side took over, and realized that some of the best choices were made, and I would hate to have to say who got to ride/work (just because I was raised in a 1923 era resort, and have been around a lot of steam doesn't count--RATS!). To those of you who got to go, GOOD SHOW!!! Ya done good by her, and I am very happy for y'all.
                  Now to try to figure out how to get her back on the river, instead of dying a slow or quick death at the dock. THAT is the mission!
                  David Dewey & Linda too.
                  PS Yes Judy, VERY well written!


                    Well said, Judy, and you have cautioned me before about statements I have made that ignore the fact that the ol' gal did truly exist BB&D, before Bruno and Deb...I also have a poor time with the concept of "assumption"...none the less, thanks for the reminder and I hope I didn't offend too badly...


                      Originally posted by Bruno Krause View Post
                      Well said, Judy, and you have cautioned me before about statements I have made that ignore the fact that the ol' gal did truly exist BB&D, before Bruno and Deb...I also have a poor time with the concept of "assumption"...none the less, thanks for the reminder and I hope I didn't offend too badly...
                      Heck, no offense - but as I said, the old DELTA has touched so many people for so many years, and will continue to one way or the other - she is bigger than any of our individual generational memories. She belongs to many generations.
                      Now, here's a question posed in an email this morning:
                      Who is left who worked on the DQ in Doc's era, meaning the 1960s?
                      Obviously we have Capts. Don Sanders, Jim Blum, Gabe Chengery; also Jim Reising, Dave Tschiggfrie from this board. Then there's Sharon Wright, who was THE office staff and later Gift Shop Purser on both the DQ and MQ; Jane and Mary; Richard Stewart; Henry Mitchell; who else? I'm wondering about Reuben the waiter, George Hill, or some other service crew... other possibilities please!


                        *RE: 'DQ veterans/1960s.'
                        Hi, Judy & steamboating colleagues:
                        Good question RE: "Doc's era/1960s." Another personage coming to mind dating way back then is, possibly, Mary Ann Schurr who worked for eons in the home office and as a company sales person representing the boat to the regional and national travel industry. Mary Ann and husband have since retired to a home down near Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Sharon Wright and Mary Ann were there way, way back in the old days with probably just as many accumulated years as those mentioned above. Another veteran is Arlene Bridges who was Betty Blake's secretary. Also Gordon Greene who is a fine lawyer and I 'think' served the company with his mother. Dan Pinger, president of DAN PINGER PUBLIC RELATIONS Co. here in town may not have worked directly on the boat but he did extensive consult work with Betty Blake on a number of company projects, political issues and needs dating way back and I met/knew him from my work in PR following graduate school.

                        When I was with the Cincinnati Public Schools before retirement here I'd frequently run into a few of Hicks family members along with those of the Davis [Mamie Davis etc.] family who really dated back to the old, old days. I had a number of their children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews in our school when I was in the admin office and would talk with them at PTA and sports events. That was a L-O-N-G time ago.

                        Well, what do I know?

                        Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River.


                          Here are some more; George Hill ( Purser) is in Canada, alive and well. Ed Gallagher ( Steward) is still with us I think? John Lewis ( Purser), now Mayor of Bridgeport, AL.
                          Micket Frye, Margie Simonton ( Hostess) and Lou Dallalio( Purser 1961)


                            Virginia Bennett worked in the purser's office on the DQ, at least in the 50's, and was in the wharfboat office by the 1960's, remaining there until 1968.

                            Mickey Frye's wife, Linda, was also on the boat in the 1960's, in various jobs.

                            And what about Henry Mitchell? I assume he's still alive and well.

                            As Judy pointed out so eloquently in her posting, we ALL come from various "eras" on the DQ, with each of those periods having its special people, events and memories that we will treasure forever. When we haul out our boxes of slides and photos, it becomes a "Who's Who" of the Delta Queen Hall of Fame. She is a queen of many reigns who has cast her spell on countless subjects!


                              On a blustery day, in 1981 or '82, when I was operating ACE Iron & Metals on Garden Street, Cincinnati, a customer came into the former livery stable and exclaimed loudly, "Cap, what are you doing here?" It was Reuben. I haven't seen or heard from him since.

                              Another time as I was paying a handsome older black woman, she signed her last name as "Brooms", an unusual name and also the surname of Jerry Brooms, the Crew Steward of the early '70's. When asked if she was related to Jerry, she confirmed she was his mother. Eagerly I asked how her son was doing only to learn, "He passed," meaning he had passed.

                              I see Sharon Wright, now and then, and prize the tiny Old Crow she gave me that was presented to her by Captain Wagner. It stands next to Cap and Emory Edgington's photographs in the pilothouse on the GV2. Arlene Bridges came by, a time or two, but many years ago, now, and I have since lost track of Cap'n B's best buddy.