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Crazy DQ idea...or is it?!?

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    This is what I wrote the President:

    I grew up in the Greater Cincinnati area in the 1950s and know this riverboat very well. Even after moving to Paducah, KY in 1985 we still saw the DQ regularly at our riverfront. I would hate to see all of this come to an end and deprive future generations from ever experiencing a real steam driven paddlewheeler and the sound of a genuine steam whistle and steam calliope. There aren't many of these left.

    During the campaign you expressed support for the Delta Queen’s exemption from the Safety at Sea law. Possibly a new law could be drafted that differentiates between Safety at Sea and Safety on Inland Waterways, which would forever exempt the Queen. I've been thinking along these lines now for some time.


      Oh, I've written the President and called the White House too. But this is going to take a person or persons who has contacts to get anything done. Just each individual - and how many of us "really" will even take the time to call and/or write, is not going to get enough attention. Does any one from Illinois know any of Obama's people or does anyone know Biden or any of his people?

      For those with Democrat Repesentatives or Senators who co-sponsored the bills in 2007 and 2008 do any of them "really" have your ear?

      I believe this is how it will get done. So please contact me by email through the board if you are that person who has the right contact. I'd love to talk to you.

      I'm not being snide or smart, I'm just trying to let you know what I've learned since June, 2007 when I first started writing letters and making phone calls. Unless a VERY large number of folks makes a fuss or you know that "right" person, it appears next to impossible to get the attention needed for this issue.

      I, for one, will not give up! Not EVER!!!!



        My understanding of the status of the COI is that it doesnt expire until March 09, its not the COI that expired, but the exemption, which rendered the COI mute, don't ask me how I know...


          Bruno; You are so right. And believe me, it hurts me to say it. My heart is breaking at this loss, just as all of ours are, but you brought up a realistic point that it seems no one else has. I live up in Washington, and was supprised when we not only "lost" our DQ, but ALL OF THE STEAMBOATS at once! This kind of thing does not happen by accident. I believe Majestic had planned this all without any disclosure to the crew or public. I last saw the Columbia Queen on the Colubia River years ago. It used to dock at the Red Lion Inn Hotel on the Columbia River under the I-5 bridge. All of a sudden she just seemed to disapear. I recieved a flyer in the mail the other day from Majestic to try and get me to go on some deisel powered yaght of there's on the old Lewis & Clark Columbia River run. The very first sentence of the brochure said that even though a trip on the river with a paddlewheeler is no longer possible...we could book the trip on this modern yaght..NOT ON YOUR LIFE !!!!! This company and the Government has effectivly removed any trace of the Southern Heritage and Culture from the US rivers by removing ALL of the steamboats the company had. ( that were the magority of them) I cannot help being pessimistic. My husband and I own a company, and I know that this big of a company, with this many ships, does not do what they did without planning. They knew what they were doing LONG before the rest of us did. My husband's company knows about City, State, architecture planning at least 10 years in advance of the general public if it is a big job. Decisions are made and deals closed LONG before the public or media know about it. I cannot help but think that Majestic had full knowledge of what they were doing, and the outcome of our country's steamboats. I think it is alot bigger than anyone gives them credit for, and there is alot of political whielding going on behind our backs. It breaks my heart to see such a loss. I can only pray for thier (all the steamboats and especially my beloved Delta Queen) welfare as I think only God can forsee what is going to be their ultimate fate. I must trust in his care. Every time I see my "Scarlett Dress" in the closet, I cry. I don't think I can ever wear that BBQ dress again. I just hear her whistel so mournfully crying in my ears and wonder what is going to happen? As for Majestic...I hope they colapse.


            And I am wondering if this steamed trip to Chattanooga wasn't part of their plan too-- as this Sunday the local paper had a 3/4 page article on the DQ titled "Steam's Gone--Delta Queen docks in Chattanooga to becme hotel," written by Bill Poovey, APwriter Above the headlines is a 1/4 page photo of the DQ, and two more photos in the article. While it does say (about in the middle of the article) "The owners, Ambassadors Internatinal, Inc., have chartered the mostly-wooden vessel to Chattanooga Water TAxi owner Harry PHilips while they attmept to find a buyer to again operate it for Overnight cruises." The main gist of the article is the DQ is docked and Steamboatin' is dead.
            Two things--this kind of publicity just makes our campaign harder to win; second--Why didn't we get this kind of coverage during the final trips when we had more momentum, and this could have gotten us over the top? Who is doing these press releases?? There's a big sidebox, "If you go" Delta Queen Hotel: Coolidge Park Landing, Tennessee River, Chattanooga: A grand opening is planned for April 1. Room rates range from $99 to $175 depending on size and date."
            There is NOT ONE WORD about the Save The Delta Queen campaign, and only casual mention that, "In October, the boat lost it's exemption to operate overnight river cruises for up to 176 passengers. Due to fire safetly concerns, federal law prohibits such boats from carrying more than 50 overnight passengers."
            BTW, the article also states, "The boat, with smokestacks 57 feet high, " SmokestackS!!!! I guess the writer didn't even look at the pictures (Although I just got an old United Airlines "Memphis" poster with the DQ having two smokestacks and the paddleboard without any lettering on it).
            This is sooo frustrating!!
            David D.


              Notice the grand opening has been pushed back to April 15 now. I doubt you'll ever see anything about a "Save the Queen" campaign on the hotel website. That would almost be like KFC advertising for PITA or some other animal rights group. If she goes back into service, they'll loose their little hotel gig and this hopeful "cash cow" they have. If they don't stay on top of maintenance, she'll become anything but a cash cow.

              As others would say...what do I know?


                *RE: DQ 'boatel' news coverage etc.'*
                Hi, David, Phillip & steamboating colleagues:
                David and Phillip's views and insights above on recent news reportage/coverage for the 'DQ Boatel' are most perceptive and insightful. At times we all read such coverage and say, "How could they have said this the way they did?" It's an old story. Usually news reporters visit, interview and--if a real pro--dig and research before putting their story in print. Many don't know a thing about steamboats and generally go with their views and 'gut reactions.' Other times in interviews they go with what they are 'fed.' At times 'perception' can be very 'selective.' The printing presses are hot and ready and they head back to get all down for the next edition. Experts in media state that at any one time there may be a 4% to 10% margin of errors in a text--or information not given or looked for. The head editor's supreme 'blue pencil' is also ready to delete, add or alter some text to fit time and space considerations.

                Years back Betty Blake came aboard working with/for the DELTA QUEEN in PR and promotional work from the Str. AVALON. She brought in news writers, promoters, TV networks and editors of newspapers and travel magazines far and wide to gain wider exposure and recognition of the DELTA QUEEN brand name to the travel and cruise industry. Shipyard, Jim Blum, Bob Reynolds, Keith Norrington and others too numerous to mention on this web working on the boat remember some of this. Betty and the company rolled out the red carpet often wining and dining writers with trips on the boat with photographers in tow. Most did a fine, professional job. In the early 1970s I put Betty in touch with a writer friend of mine from what was then HOLIDAY MAGAZINE. Steve rode the boat, wrote and included fine photos with interviews of DQ passengers old and new. It was well done and received nationally.

                Another time Betty invited a travel writer in for coverage with all the courtesies the company could extend. He wrote and took photographs. The 'kicker' came at the end of his piece when he stated, "The DELTA QUEEN is nothing more than a well preserved relic." I remember Betty turning red/white in the face and going ballistic [You don't want to hear what she said]. She sat at her desk swigging cups of black coffee and chewing on about four cigarettes until she calmed down. At times such press coverage comes with a 'double edged sword.' In the old, old days leading cities on the rivers had 'river editors/writers' who knew the boats reporting about building new steamboats, the business and river personalities of the day. A few such writers then had been steamboatmen in their own right. Many pure poetry in print to read in the year 2009. Those days are long over with most papers today just giving coverage now and then.

                Barbara Huffman some years ago did a total re-work/editing of Frank Y. Grayson's THRILLS OF THE HISTORIC OHIO RIVER, from the files of the old CINCINNATI TIMES-STAR newspaper here going back to the beginning of steamboating. If you want a good 'read' with loads of incredible steamboat history telling all you wanted to know and more, I'd suggest you all look on the Homepage under books Franz has kindly provided for us. Grayson did his original compilation back in 1929. Barb did a fine job with this.

                Well, what do I know?

                Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River.


                  Dale, all true. As many of us also know, many writers write what they think the reading public wants to hear. I am by no means famous, but have probably been interviewed 5 or 6 times in my life for various pieces. I have been mis-quoted in every one. Once, we had a feature writer on a MEMPHIS QUEEN excursion, and he was so impressed he wanted to write a piece right there. What he wrote could not exactly be classified as lies, but it certainly was not the truth. I know this, yet, when I read about things I do not know about, I generally accept what is written at face value, even though my personal experience indicates I should do otherwise.


                    Reporters aren't what they used to be, for sure. Quoting Don Phillips, retired long-time reporter for the Washington Post, in the latest (April) issue of TRAINS,, "After 40 years of reporting, I have come to the conclusion that journalism as I knew it is actually dying." He was referring to the POST's coverage of Barack Obama's train trip from Philadelphia to Washington. They said he rode in a "caboose!" A private rail car (also known as an office car or business car) is a long way from being a caboose!

                    Similarly, my local paper showed a photo of Pat Burrell of the Phillies in the parade celebrating their win in the world series. The caption said he was riding in a "horse drawn carriage." He was riding behind the clydesdales in the drivers' seat of the Budweiser beer wagon. That ain't no "carriaige."

                    According to Phillips, the worst thing about the POST's error was that none of the senior editors caught it, and when told about it, they didn't even care.

                    I think that the only way that all the facts might be correct is to issue a press release, and then hope that it isn't edited so badly that the meaning is changed.


                      Jonathan Tschiggfrie’s Facebook site, “Save the Delta Queen” is another place you can respond. I am encouraging everyone on it to write President Obama. At least one member has taken me up on it. If enough people write, it could make a difference. After all President Obama was pro DQ during his campaign.