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  • Mary Sward Charlton
    replied
    Captain "Popeye" has run a few trips for us now and then the past couple of years. Again, an honor to meet! Captain Bob, when am I going to meet you??

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  • Bob Reynolds
    replied
    I believe Gene "Popeye" Tronnier is still living as well.
    Last edited by Bob Reynolds; 11-22-2008, 05:42 AM. Reason: can't spell before coffee

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  • mel hartsough
    replied
    No I hadnt heard of Harold passing Pete he was just on that long list of pilots I worked with back in the 70's and 80's.

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  • Pete Sisak
    replied
    I missed some of the NOLA roundtrips when they had guest entertainers come aboard....went several years with Pete Fountain & the Dukes of Dixieland as guest shows on the DQ...those were terribly memorable trips!

    I missed the times when my parents & I travelled with my grandfather in the 1980's...we did a number of St Louis to St Paul trips (on the DQ) in those years and they were memorable...as I recall, no real funky "themes" on these trips...we'd have the picnic lunch the afternoon we'd leave PDC out on the Texas Deck bow! Family & friends from Racine would either meet us in Dubuque or PDC, and that too was always fun.

    I also miss the Illinois river trips, like the UMR trips..close to home & million dollar scenery!

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  • Pete Sisak
    replied
    Originally posted by mel hartsough View Post
    I reckon the thing I miss the very most is blowing the Delta Queens whistle. When I was a mate occaisionally I would have to blow the 20 minute whistle if the pilot was not up there yet. There is an unbelievable feeling of power when you blow that whistle and its so smooth and FUN to blow. The MQ's whistle was not near as much fun or as easy to blow, oh it was still fun to blow any whistle but none matched the DQ's. Doc and Roddy used to let me blow the Natchez whistle when I would ride and they let me steer. And Mary you are so right about the creaking of a line. How about waking up and automatically looking at something like a plant or a hanging ornament to see if we were underway. Or the unmistakable sounds of being inside a lock. I also really miss all those old Pilots I worked with that are just about all gone now. Captains Oren Russell, Harry Louden, Wally Blice, Edward C. Winford, Joe Gayle, Red Karnath, Fontaine Johnson, John Ritchie, Bobby Powell, Charlie Fehlig, Arthur J. MacArthur, Gene Tronier, Harlold Demarrero, Carroll S. "Rip" Ware, Bill Foley, Tom Kinney, Ruben Williams, and I am happy to say Capt.s Ted Davisson and Lexie Palmore are alive and well.

    Harold Jr has passed? Many of my family DQ trips had Harold DeMarrero as captain or commodore...he was a real favorite of my grandfather & parents back in the 1980's...shared a number captains' tables as well!

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  • Judy Patsch
    replied
    Mayflies/fish flies/ 24 hour bugs

    Mel, one of my first trips I was awakened by a swishing noise. It was the deckhands sweeping the bugs off the bulkheads. We always stirred them up with the bowthruster upon leaving Dubuque. One of the bridges, I believe the Savanna/Sabula one, had to close down because the bugs were making driving conditions too slick. On cool evenings I liked to sit by the old searchlight to stay warm, but the downside was those bugs.

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  • Mary Sward Charlton
    replied
    Bruno--Mary and Google?? Perhaps you should tell me this one first--privately!!

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  • mel hartsough
    replied
    Good ones Bruno, they also called Mayflies "fishflies" as they smelled like fish on a wet deck. I remember up around Lock 2 below St. Paul they would get so thick they'd be knee deep around the search lights and lord help ya if you slipped and fell as they were slick as cookin oil. And back in back in the day we still had those old carbon arc lights and on a busy nite you might have to change them twice and that sucked when it was really cold and windy cause you'd get all that carbon dust on your face and in your eyes.

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  • Bruno Krause
    replied
    I'm sorry, but a few more...

    1. the AQ's Front Porch...great coffee, incredible view, good danish, stay inside or go outside to have a smoke, rain or shine, and the humor and friendship that is Lance...
    2. The AQ's model of the Delta Queen in the Mark Twain Lounge, a room that just keeps on attracting the overly curious, the room is full of steamboatin' stuff, it'll take more than a few cruises for me to fully absorb... I've stared at that model a lot. The model is gorgous...and perfect, depicting the beginning 80's, my guess (double porthole in the spashboard).
    3. Walter introducing his band, and I know Jeff is from 'New Yawlk' now, but in my mind he will always be, just from the inflection of Walter's voice, from Chicago!
    4. Bobby Horton and Lewis the Mark Twain guy, and the guy that does Cajun Christmas. First time I saw Bobby, I could never understand why some of his fingernails were so long, seemed wrong...I know why now and I can't wait to hear him and the antique instruments he plays, again.
    5. Shiloe in the morning, mid summer, cicadias going...I can say the same thing about Fort Donalson...how much history... stories of people trying to save our country's butt that ended in victory but also carnage...overwelming and heartstopping...
    6. Oak alley through the fog, about 6 am...Oak Alley's Mint Julips about 9:30 am, incredibly decadent...
    7. The sign that points to the engine room... can say the same for all the signs that are in steamboatin' script...Watch Your Step
    8. Joyce's etouffee and seafood gumbo, I'll eat it until I'm sick, dee-lish...I've been known to have just soup, many bowls, but just soup none the less, for dinner in the Orleans.
    9. The AQ's wonderful variation of lighting, very high tech, not steamboaty at all but so cool, in the Grand Saloon. Especially during a show, especially during Phil Westbrook's "By Request" show...and funny, we didn't realized we liked Sinatra...guess what?
    10. Capt Lexie's Orleans Room stage backdrop painting...Every trip, every one, I look a little closer at that talent...
    11. The Mullen Sphere Containment System, Damn we had fun that day...
    12. Teasing the crew about various things, realizing that you can really get away with teasing the crew, that you have 'arrived'...many years in the future I'll tell everybody about Mary and Google, it was fun...he-he-hee
    13. you mention the noise of a tight rope, I'd like to add my amazement at seeing a tightening wet rope start to steam!.
    14. Paducah and my shoes...enough said, quite a few will understand.
    15. Watching without being too conspicuous, the deck crew replacing a bucket board.
    16. Mayflies!...I'm sorry, they aren't very attractive, yet so utterly river rat stuff, I love em'. I'm thrilled just to watch the first time passenger's reactions to their presence...Where else could you get rid of such a huge menace with a leaf blower?
    17. Onion Rings at Grafton...
    18. Bruno's version of a Hurricane... only one a day please...
    19. Listening to the focus, tilt and pan motors on the DQ's spotlights very late at night, better yet early morning-ish, I can still hear those noises... and also the noise and smell of the bowthruster in my head. Especially the starboard spotlight...the motors on the spotlights, port and starboard, sound different to each other...
    20. the occasional bat flying through the spotlight beam...
    21 Bingo numbers B11(Legs), B7(bee's heaven), B8(Bea went on a cruise and what did she do?), 44(hubba, hubba), B2(Quack), 22(Quack, quack), and of course 55...

    That's enough...
    Last edited by Bruno Krause; 11-20-2008, 10:26 PM.

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  • mel hartsough
    replied
    the thing I miss the very most

    I reckon the thing I miss the very most is blowing the Delta Queens whistle. When I was a mate occaisionally I would have to blow the 20 minute whistle if the pilot was not up there yet. There is an unbelievable feeling of power when you blow that whistle and its so smooth and FUN to blow. The MQ's whistle was not near as much fun or as easy to blow, oh it was still fun to blow any whistle but none matched the DQ's. Doc and Roddy used to let me blow the Natchez whistle when I would ride and they let me steer. And Mary you are so right about the creaking of a line. How about waking up and automatically looking at something like a plant or a hanging ornament to see if we were underway. Or the unmistakable sounds of being inside a lock. I also really miss all those old Pilots I worked with that are just about all gone now. Captains Oren Russell, Harry Louden, Wally Blice, Edward C. Winford, Joe Gayle, Red Karnath, Fontaine Johnson, John Ritchie, Bobby Powell, Charlie Fehlig, Arthur J. MacArthur, Gene Tronier, Harlold Demarrero, Carroll S. "Rip" Ware, Bill Foley, Tom Kinney, Ruben Williams, and I am happy to say Capt.s Ted Davisson and Lexie Palmore are alive and well.

    Leave a comment:


  • Keith Norrington
    replied
    I was present, several times, when the late Capt. C.W. Stoll was asked, "WHY are you interested in steamboats?" as if it were akin to some kind of terrible illness to be avoided. C.W. would swell up like my cat's tail often does, turn red and wag his finger under the nose of the offending person as he bellowed, "You either ARE or you AREN'T interested in steamboats -- and if you AREN'T, you just wouldn't understand!"

    True, there are many who "just don't understand" what it is about steamboats that casts its mesmerizing spell over us. It's hard to fathom anybody being UNmoved by the gloriously inspiring sights of sunrise and sunset on the river, the beauty of a misty fog lifting from the water, the reverent, soul filling peace of night on the river, the sounds of a melodious, echoing steamboat whistle, the hissing clouds of steam from the capstan, the jangling of the engine room telegraph, the booming gong of the roof bell, pilothouse chatter and the exchange of crackling radio messages with passing towboats, the rhythm of the engines and the churning of the paddlewheel, the delightful odor of hot oil and steam -- not to mention the wonderful aromas emanating from the galley (especially frying bacon and brewing coffee) and the pungent smell of new line as the deck crew skillfully weaves bumpers and monkey fists, the joyful tootling of the calliope and the festive music from the evening show in The Orleans Room. I always treasured the silence of very early morning on deck, after watch change, when the boat was "choking a stump" somewhere at a remote wooded area and the only sounds were birds chirping in the trees and the capricious gurgling of the river as the sternwheel dripped quietly. Also a BIG part of it are the personalities of the crew, from the captain to the deckhands, who are the "family" that makes it all go, with each person an integral piece of the boat's operation. Not to be forgotten are the friendly folks on shore who enthusiastically wave to the boat and wait at locks at all hours with wide eyed children to experience the fascinating sights and sounds of the steamboat.

    I learned at a young age (over four decades ago!) that "people on the river are happy to give" and I wouldn't take anything for the dear river people I've known -- many of them now long departed -- and for the cherished friendships I have with so many who are infatuated with this absolutely wonderful, UNcurable "illness" we call STEAMBOATING!

    KEEP UP STEAM and KEEP THE FAITH!
    Attached Files

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  • Mary Sward Charlton
    replied
    This has been such a beautiful thread. I've loved hearing what others miss--crew from the "good old days"--which I never got to experience--and passengers. I remember meeting what I call my "River Gods"--and they will laugh when I put them here. They are folks who contributed so much to river history, just by doing their jobs--folks like Doc Hawley, Alan Bates, Captain Don Sanders. Then the folks who have shown me over these few seasons what it means to be a river person--Bobby and Linda Horton, Dave Para and Cathy Barton, Jerry Sutphin, Bud Robertson--oh, there are tons more. The crew who taught me so much--all those engine room and pilothouse men and women who patiently taught me, over and over, how things work, so that I could explain it to others.
    Here is another you river people will understand: the creaking of the line. There is nothing on earth that sounds like it. I hear it in my sleep.
    Oh, and the sounds of our engine. I spent enough time in the engine room that I got to know some subtleties about its sounds--sometimes I would know when it didn't sound quite right. Didn't know why--I'll leave that to others!

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  • Jim Herron
    replied
    I can only read these lists in amazement for you've all brought out things I've already had slip away from my memory and so many more that only those with a lot of time on the ol' gal can compile. For me, with only two trips on the DQ (and two on the AQ), the slight humming of live machinery far below during the night was memorable for, once the boat tied up or stopped moving, the stillness became noticeable, even deafening. I agree with all you've said about the crews for it is really they who make or break the experience and all of 'em I've met were just perfect at their jobs. The whistle goes beyond a passenger experience; you ought to hear it from a mile down the shore or echoing through the hills. And the calliope, well it's the voice of the DQ. For someone on the shore, it's as if she's singing to you and her mood was usually a happy one, But when she's in Kentucky and the song gets to "Weep no more my lady..." Well, that's a hard one to take, especially now.

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  • mel hartsough
    replied
    More things I miss

    11. Making a Lock. The thrill of lassoing the floating pin on the first throw. Knowing just how to work that spring line and turn it into a backing line.
    12. Tying up at nite in the fog. It was always interesting.
    13. Meeting interesting Famous people. John Hatford, Glen Campbell, Paul Harvey, June Lockhart, Phil Donahue, Larry Flynt, Barney Olefeild, James McArthur, Helen Hayes, Flip Wilson, Jaques Cousteau, Ben Lucien Burman, Jane Curry, CW Stoll, Capt. Fred Way, Capt. Ernie Wagner, Capt. Doc Hawley.
    14. Breakfast on the DQ. It beat the MQ breakfast hands down.
    15. Hanging out on the Bow of DQ on a cool evening.
    16. Working on either boat during Lay-up.

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  • mel hartsough
    replied
    Ten things

    1. I miss the thrill of making a landing and the show we used to put on for the Pax. The Cap'n hollering orders over the loudspeaker and me making sure everything went smoothly and then the applause we would get from the decks above.
    2. The Fun and the laughs I used to have with that Tall Texas Gal up in the Pilot House when I was a mate and she a Pilot.
    3. Cool Brisk Fall mornings on the Ohio.
    4. Walking the Decks on either boat early in the morning making sure my crew was doing their jobs.
    5. Being trusted enough by certain pilots to steer for them on the midnite watch so they could catch a nap on the couch.
    6. Being a deckhand on the MQ and the camraderie.
    7. Cruising days.
    8. The tours we used to give for a dollar a head on the DQ for the crew fund.
    9. Sitting down in the engine room at the desk chawing the fat with the engineer on watch.
    10. Going down to the boiler room to see Bubba and Ed and listening to Bubba play his Sax.
    thats all for now but be advised there will be more.

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