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Doc's log of the 1962 DELTA QUEEN season

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    Doc's log of the 1962 DELTA QUEEN season

    1962 was the first year that Doc and Capt. Ernie Wagner were together on the DQ. Doc had spent 1959 as Mate on the DQ in order to upgrade his license, but 1962 was the beginning of the Big E, Little Doc DQ years. I'll report different topics in separate postings.
    The 1962 season began in Cincinnati on Feb. 24 with the annual Mardi Gras trip to New Orleans. It was 36 degrees and snowing at departure. This trip ended at the wharfboat in the early hours of March 17. They laid over 5 days in New Orleans at Toulouse St. - foreboding of Doc's future????
    There was a week before the second NOLA round trip left Cincinnati, which was followed immediately by a third NOLA round trip. The Derby Weekend trip was May 3-5, followed by a fourth NOLA round trip.
    June 1-11 was the Reelfoot Lake trip.
    June 12-22 was a Cincinnati/Pittsburgh round trip.
    June 23 began 10 consecutive week-long trips to Kentucky Lake.
    Sept. 1-4 was the Labor Day Weekend roundtrip to Louisville.
    Sept. 8-27 was the Cincinnati/St. Paul roundtrip.
    Sept. 29-Nov. 6 were the final two NOLA roundtrips.
    Nov. 7 she left for Dravo, where she was pulled out on the 12th for the hull inspection. A bent port rudder was repaired, but the boat was "pulled back onto ways twice more due to faulty weld in sea chest" She left Dravo Nov. 17 and landed at the wharfboat Nov. 20, ending the 1962 season.

    1962 DQ crew

    According to Doc's log, this was the DQ crew for the 1962 season:

    E.E. Wagner Master
    Harris Underwood Pilot
    Albert Kelley Pilot
    C.C. Hawley Mate
    L.D. Poor Mate
    Cal Benefeil Chief Engineer
    James Saunders Asst. Engineer
    Ralph Horton Asst. Engineer
    George Hill Purser
    Lou Dallio Asst. Purser
    Ed Gallagher Steward
    Chas. Huff Striker
    Terrell Beckett Striker
    C. Lambert Carpenter
    Paul Benefeil Maintenance
    H.M. Carr Deck Watchman
    Bruce Edgington Deck Watchman
    Jas. Powell Deck Watchman
    Marty Stouder Hostess
    Happy Briscoe Gift Shop
    Harmon Mize Organist and calliope
    Trip pilots included: T.S. Dunn Mardi Gras; J. Hughes and W.C. Dugan Pittsburgh; A. Maples, C. Fehlig St. Paul; Fred Way, Bill Dugan to Dravo

    More tomorrow... hope this brings back some memories for our 'oldtimers' who post/lurk on .org!


      More notes from the '62 log

      On this dark and soggy day, a good time to add from Doc's personal log book of the DQ's 1962 season. In the front he lists the time between locks, both upstream and down, and of course this was in the days of the old lock system. He covers from 37-51.
      1956 measured height from top of smokestack jacket to water's edge(while fueled down) = 51 ft.
      When Cincinnati gage is 41.0 there will be 5 ft. clearance on Suspension Bridge with stack up - with 40 ft. on Lock 37 gage at same time.
      Now for some happenings on the trips:
      They went over all the old locks on the Mardi Gras trip, stayed in N.O. for 5 days. On the upbound they took the stack, whistle, flag poles down at Cairo, where the gauge was 50.25. They slowed down passing Paducah as the town was sandbagged. They spent two hours at the Sinclair Dock in Louisville taking on fuel before heading into Cincinnati, where Doc helped a sick passenger to an ambulance...
      There was a week before they left on the second NOLA trip, with the Cincy gauge at 40R. Met BABY LERE, took Chanault Reach over Lock 45. At this point they were averaging 15.8 mph!!! While they were at Memphis, the County Sherriff came aboard to attach boat - result of suit. (They left at 5PM, so that must have been resolved.) They lost 20 min. due to rudder failure at Old River. They stayed in NOLA two days and on the upbound they went aground at Graham Point. The assist boat also grounded. They were freed in shortly under 4 hours. Once again they took the stack down at Cairo 48.75 ft.
      The third NOLA trip was similiar and uneventful, although they had to tie up several times for fog. They landed at Warsaw and picked up Mrs.Greene on the upbound.
      The Derby trip was unremarkable.
      On the fourth NOLA trip they had to lock through, as river was only 13.8R when they left Cincy. On this trip they landed at the Dumaine St. wharf - that is now the Moonwalk. Previous trips landed at Toulouse St., now the NATCHEZ' wharf. On May 29 at 5:45PM a passenger died. They removed him at McAlpine Lock apparently. When they landed in Madison, they tied up below the MAJESTIC showboat.
      On the Reelfoot Lake trip they knocked off drain pipe on boiler deck with protruding drift at Tiptonville, otherwise nothing noteworthy.
      Jesse Hughes and W.C. Dugan were the pilots for the Pittsburgh trip. There was a big crowd on bank waiting to see the boat when they landed in Marietta. They landed at Wood St. in Pittsburgh with 5 ft. clearance under Ft. Pitt Bridge with stack up. They landed in Portsmouth waiting for lock 31 to lower dam. There were 13 boats waiting to go over the pass.

      The photo was taken in June 1962 by Fred Way. Jr. as the DQ left Pittsburgh. Jesse Hughes is the pilot, and this was his last trip as pilot on the DQ.
      Attached Files


        The Kentucky Lake trips and beyond....

        On the first Ky. Lake trip they put a woman passenger off at Lock 46. She had broken her arm. On the second trip, they landed at 4th St. in Louisville below the MAJESTIC showboat. Doc took his week's vacation from July 7-14. Before the sixth Ky.Lake trip they hung a new monkey rudder. Doc was Master on the Aug. 11-18 Ky. Lake trip as Capt. Wagner took his week's vacation.
        The Labor Day Weekend Cruise had 203 passengers - those Texas rooms with the wide lower berths must have had 3 pax each!
        For the St. Paul trip, A. Maples and C. Fehlig were pilots, with Geo. Hill as Purser. M. Bartenhagen was at Lock 17. They arrived in Rock Island on Sept. 14 at 4:35PM and left at 7:55 PM. Since that was a Friday and I was in high school, I suspect I was at the football game rather than at the levee... They stayed in St. Paul a little less than 24 hours before heading downbound.
        On the first fall NOLA trip, they put a car off at 4th Street in Louisville - probably Mrs. Greene's. They landed below the Caruthersville ferry to put off a passenger with a heart attack. At Natchez, Deckhand L. Craig was shot to death and died at end of stage. Deckhand J. Johnson taken as a material witness.
        The second NOLA trip had a movie crew aboard. When they landed at Natchez, they took on 240 gas masks as a safety precaution against sunken chlorine barge. On the upbound trip they stopped at Gladstone to put off gas masks on Coast Guard boat. The cruising season ended on Nov. 6th in Cincinnati.
        Fred Way and Bill Dugan were the pilots on the trip to Dravo. They pulled the boat out on Nov. 12. Took off bent port rudder, hull inspection. Welded new stem and installed old rudder with new stock. Lowered into river, pulled back onto ways twice more due to faulty weld in sea chest. On the return trips, boys on bank at Rome shot at boat and hit smokestack. No damage. Landed at wharfboat Nov. 20th.


          I find this fascinating. More! More!!!


            Wow, Judy!

            Talk about traveling down memory lane. That 1962 season described in Doc's log was the first time I saw the DQ in daylight, and the first time I ever photographed her. Here are three of the photos on that St. Paul round trip back in 1962, snapped just below Lock 11 at Dubuque on the morning of Saturday, September 15th. I presume the pilot on watch would have been Archie Maples, since Charlie Fehlig typically stood the afterwatch on the UMR. Hope you enjoy these shots. Notice the big "NO LOW BRIDGES" banner across the forward end of the sun deck, and also how the boat looks so clean and uncluttered in these views -- plus she still has her elegant sheer prior to the hull's hogging at the stern in 1991. Thanks also from this old-timer for posting these fascinating glimpses back in time on the DQ courtesy of Capt. Doc.
            Attached Files


              During the second autumn NOLA trip, did the stop at Natchez occur sometime during 22-28 October? If so, didn't the provision of gas masks more likely have something to do with fears over the Cuban Missile Crisis ?


                They went by Natchez on the 24th, but I don't know anything other than the chlorine barge entry, and that is a story that Doc has often told. But who knows, maybe that was a coverup.


                  Ky. Lake Trips

                  I am interested in finding out how far into Kentucky Lake those trips went. Given the one-week round trip time from Cincy, and the length of Kentucky Lake, I doubt that they could have traveled its entire length.

                  The reason for my asking is because I was born and raised on Kentucky Lake (our house was right on the lake) at the 86 mile marker. We saw the DQ pass a few times, but it wasn't until about 10 years later.

                  I'm also interested in the Reelfoot Lake trips. I spent a lot of time down there as a youngster, and still return often to hunt and fish. To my knowledge, there wasn't a place for the DQ to tie up in that area. Also, did they run bus tours from the Mississippi to the actual Reelfoot Lake (a couple miles away)?

                  Thanks for any information; these posts are fascinating!


                    Kentucky Lake Trips

                    "... how far into Kentucky Lake those trips went."

                    The DELTA QUEEN would normally make a hard right after exiting Kentucky Lock, upbound, and go directly to the landing at Kentucky Dam Village resort and tied up. The boat usually had a hard time getting off the ground when backing down for departure. According to Captain Tommy Utter, that landing was a hilltop before the Kentucky Pool was raised, and the lake barely covered it.

                    Occasionally, the QUEEN would venture into Lake Barkley via the Barkley Canal and immediated turn around and head back to the Kentucky Dam Lock and lower herself down to the old channel of the Tennessee River and down back to Paducah, or else head for home as soon as the Ohio River was breached. It depended on how time was going-- whether the boat was running ahead, or behind, schedule.

                    Of course, various Captains may have varied the trip according to their wishes. Of the many Kentucky Lake trips I made as a youngster, I was the Captain on only one very exciting adventure.


                      As Sam said, they went to the hotel area in Kentucky Lake, no farther. As to the Reelfoot Lake trip, the only notation Doc has is that they stopped in Tiptonville. I presume they bussed passengers to the lake for the day, but the boat did not go into the lake.


                        In the late 1970's, we would sometimes go up as far as about mile 30 or 32. The Barkley Canal is at mile 25; Eggner's Ferry (Aurora) Bridge is at mile 43. It depended on timing.

                        Capt. Jim Blum's license on the Tennessee runs up to Peggy's Light, about mile 38 or so, so he must have had sufficient trips up that far to get the endorsement.


                          Sam: OK, OK ! So what's the exciting adventure?? Cap'n Walnut


                            It Was Fifty Years Ago ....

                            Regrettably, unlike Captain Hawley, I did not keep a log of my "exciting adventures"] over the past fifty years since I first left Cincinnati in a trail of smoke and steam and headed into the mystery below. I tried to keep a log, though, but found a need to document every moment of the past day, so I had to choose between "living it" or "writing about it". Obviously, I did not realize that all I needed were a few lines to serve as a reminder to tweek the memory and not the next great American novel hot on the heels of Huckleberry Finn.

                            Every day was an adventure on the DELTA QUEEN, but my finest time was that glorious first summer on the Steamer AVALON, half a century ago this June.



                              Here are a few visual reminders of that memorable first season on the incomparable excursion steamer AVALON. 1959 was your first year on the boat, and it was also the first time I ever took a camera in hand and snapped a photo. And here, 50 years later, are those first five pictures I took with the family's Kodak Brownie box camera. Yep, you guessed it -- the AVALON at Dubuque on August 6, 1959, after returning from her 2:30 afternoon excursion. And as they say on TV -- "You Were There!"
                              Attached Files