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MISSISSIPPI QUEEN dismantling 4/26

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    MISSISSIPPI QUEEN dismantling 4/26

    Here are some current pictures from our anonymous source, taken this week at Belle River LA, north of Morgan City. Note the mermaids, running lights, and searchlights are still attached.
    Attached Files

    #2
    It's disheartening to see what has been allowed to happen to this once great riverboat. I took a tour of it in Cincinnati shortly after it was built in 1976 and at least I still have my memories and some photos. I was 26 at the time. I loved the fact that it was steam powered and had the world's largest calliope. I still have a picture of it hanging on our wall.

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      #3
      More sad pictures. However, it is nice to see the suffering over. No more stories about how she will come back...no more supposed last minute purchases....no more groups looking for donations. It is over!

      I remember watching her be built as a child. Later her at Cox's Park in Louisville on one of her shakedown cruises in July 1976. This is where I met Col. Vic Tooker and first saw her Wheezing Wurlitzer (as Ann Zeiger so aptly called it) calliope.

      This MISSISSIPPI QUEEN was truly the boat that caused my attention to be drawn to steamboating. She was constantly on the news and in the paper for the 4 years she was under construction. So the word steamboat was on the tip of the tounge of all Louisvillians. I started riding the BELLE OF LOUSIVILLE back then, too....from there it was history!

      Keep the pictures coming! Sad as they are...they provide a certain solace.

      Travis

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        #4
        Looks like the bucket planks are rapidly disappearing from the paddlewheel. Maybe they will be cut up into "souvenirs" to be sold at the auction!

        By the way, Travis, last week at the museum I found two bankers boxes full of MQ construction photos and other materials. These were given to HSM by a caring person in the Robin Street Wharf office who said they were otherwise destined for the dumpster and she thought we should have them.

        We also have the BIG model of the MQ, as she looked in 1976. I hope to move it to a different case soon where it can be better viewed from all sides.

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          #5
          More MQ pictures

          Here are 3 more of the dismantling process this week. The big mystery to me is WHY the navigation lights, searchlights, mermaids are still there, and WHY they didn't remove and sell these items in New Orleans, which is slightly more accessible to buyers than Belle River. When the NATCHEZ guys tried to buy one searchlight, the owner would only sell both for $5000. Now he has $0 for them. And as Keith mentioned, cutting those bucket boards up and selling as souvenirs would bring in a bundle - I suspect the owner has no clue how much money he could make off of our river community if he sold 'souvenirs'... in the video an auction of signs, etc. was mentioned, but when and where and what would be included? From all reports all the interior signs, plaques, nameplates have been long gone from the Perry St. days.
          Attached Files

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            #6
            1 more

            And finally, L & S.... I want to make it clear that I take no joy in posting or looking at these pictures, but this is a part, sad as it is, of steamboat history and I think it needs to be preserved, and I've been lucky to have received these via the sternline telegraph, which is more powerful than CNN, Fox, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC combined! Long live the sternline telegraph!
            Attached Files

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              #7
              I for one very much appreciate you taking the time to post these pics Judy. As Ugly and cumbersome as some folks thought she was she was the first Steamboat I ever lived and worked aboard. She was only a year old when I boarded her one spring day in Natchez. John Hayes was the Mate, Dave Williamson was head deckhand and Carl Shelton was Master. I believe Ed Winford and Arthur McArthur were the Pilots. Tom Murphy was Chief Purser and Carolyn Jones(Mary Poppins) was Chief Steward. I cant remember who was Chief Engineer but I do remember Fred Klein was First Asst. and Dennis Shenk was 2nd Electrician. Thanks again Judy for giving me my last looks at the one I loved the most.

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                #8
                Memories of her from a better time: YouTube - A Tribute to the Str. MISSISSIPPI QUEEN

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by mel hartsough View Post
                  I for one very much appreciate you taking the time to post these pics Judy. As Ugly and cumbersome as some folks thought she was she was the first Steamboat I ever lived and worked aboard. She was only a year old when I boarded her one spring day in Natchez. John Hayes was the Mate, Dave Williamson was head deckhand and Carl Shelton was Master. I believe Ed Winford and Arthur McArthur were the Pilots. Tom Murphy was Chief Purser and Carolyn Jones(Mary Poppins) was Chief Steward. I cant remember who was Chief Engineer but I do remember Fred Klein was First Asst. and Dennis Shenk was 2nd Electrician. Thanks again Judy for giving me my last looks at the one I loved the most.

                  One of her early Chiefs was Vernon Grant. Does that name ring a bell? She sure had one fine Second Electrician whom later became one of the best Chiefs that the DQ had in later years, Dennis Shenk.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thanks Frank, thats actually who I was trying to think of. He was a stocky kind of stoic man with horn rimmed glasses. He had a daughter that was a maid. I remember her as being pretty wild. Dennis and I were pretty good friends over the years I watched him go up through the ranks and saw him go through some tough battles. Rest in peace old friend

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                      #11
                      Speaking of Chiefs I remember one we had on the MQ, an older gentleman by the name of John Rawles. He was deaf as a doorknob but could put one end of a screw driver against a cylinder and the other end to his ear and tell you exactly what was wrong. We also had a British porter on the DQ by the same name, John Rawles, that decided to jump off the bow into the Ohio one night and was returned to the boat in the morning after being picked up walking down the road by the Sheriffs Dept.

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                        #12
                        And it's some wonderful video too. Thanks, Jon, for posting. I had many an enjoyable trip on the MQ, and I always will think of her as being a better boat than the AQ.

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                          #13
                          I remember Chief Grant, as well as the entire list of crew you mention, Mel. Wow, I don't know who taught me more about entertaining - Vic Tooker or Chief Tom Murphy! I came aboard when Catfish Mallory became Cruise Director, and it was just a week after Cindy Unrein (later to become Cindy Chengery) started as Singer/Hostess. Eddie Bayard was band leader and cornetist and his sidemen were Bill Hawkins (drums), Dave Jacobs (bass), Stan McAuley (piano), Syl LaFata (clarinet), Bill Coburn (trombone). Rounding out the entertainment staff were Sandy Hancock, Marla Fant, and the one and only Bodine Jackson Balasco, the Last of the Riverboat Gamblers. Those were the days!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Speaking of Tom Murphy, he pulled a good one with great entertainment value one night on the MQ. He was dancing with some lady, stopped and stood back, and yelled, "FIFTY DOLLARS?!?" Needless to say, it brought the house down!

                            Mel, John Hayes got on the DQ at St. Paul in 1975. I was filling in for the watchman, who was on days off. I had the bow watch that day, and John showed up wearing a backpack - I think he was on some long distance hike, and wondered of we were doing any hiring. He got a job right then as a busboy. He was wactchman on the MQ when she first came out, and got his Mate's license around the time Dick Weber and Dave Williamson did. Wonder whatever happened to John?

                            When Dennis was 2nd Electrician on teh MQ, his door had a plate on it that read "Second Electrician". Under that someone wrote "Deuce Juice".

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Bob Reynolds View Post
                              Speaking of Tom Murphy, he pulled a good one with great entertainment value one night on the MQ. He was dancing with some lady, stopped and stood back, and yelled, "FIFTY DOLLARS?!?" Needless to say, it brought the house down!
                              Tom Murphy was known to use that line many times with many different women over his years as Purser on the MQ. I wonder if he ever got slapped.

                              Comment

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