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A Limburger Cheese Birthday

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    Yes, Travis, it was the DQ that got many of us on the river. The AVALON was my first steamboat and of course the NATCHEZ is my pride and joy now, but it was that first trip on the DQ which drew me to the river and changed my goals from a Ph.D in Reading to riding the DQ as much as possible and learning about the whole river system and steamboat history. I honestly don't remember when in that 3 day trip IT got me, but I'd guess somewhere during the first day of cruising...what a life-changing experience!


      We all remember when we experienced that first tingle and "knew" that we were hooked on steamboating forever -- usually after hearing a reverberating whistle blast and/or the delightful offkey melodies of a steam calliope!

      Perhaps a future "River Ramblings" program could be a show and tell type event with everybody sharing their "first time" recollections!


        Jim Blum, I recall, was the only one of us young people (then) from the early '70's who partook of the stinky cheese with Captain Wagner, but I knew exactly what red onions he craved on the limburger... and it was often my responsibility to comb the local groceries for them. The best beer were the gallons of draft brew we loaded up in empty Coca-Cola jugs at Smith & Groves Saloon, in Cairo, for the down-bound to-Memphis blowout on the bow that started as soon as the DELTA QUEEN was turned around and headed down.

        Cap was 47 when I started working for him.... 101 !?


          *Limberger Cheese/Right of passage?*
          Hi, Shipyard & Steamboating colleagues:
          In reviewing the accounts on this thread RE: Capt. Wagner's near 'ceremony' with Limberger cheese, I'm wondering if he wasn't putting you all to 'the test' in a kind of 'rite of passage?' We had an old Navy Chief laden with medals at my one base who had been of the old school aboard the big battleships manning the massive 16 inch guns. Hailing from the hills and coal mines of West Virginia, he'd invite us to his off-base home where he and his wife held a cook out. In time, after stories of 'the old days,' he'd haul out BALL BROS. glass mason jars filled with clear as crystal moonshine. This stuff could fire a rocket to Mars. He'd watch intently as the jar(s) were passed around to see our reaction. Everbody took swigs feeling the stuff hit you with red face, watery eyes. Those who were timid sniffed, passing the powerful stuff he took careful note of. Yes, an ordeal--but his 'rite of passage.' Cheers!

          R. Dale Flick
          Summer - Northern shores of Lake Michigan.