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Remembering Capt. Mary Becker Greene

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    *DQ Rocking Chairs/Bring your own*
    Steamboating colleagues,
    Judy, Jim, thanks for your memories above further expanding this discussion thread. How these fascinating discussion threads begin, exand, grow the pleasure of Good to see a number returning to or bouncing back and forth with FACEBOOK, public to semi-private, private webs and links.

    JIm, I never thought about the factor of the rockers on the canvas/wood deck, which may explain the use of the famed metal/steel 'semi-rockers' or 'bouncers.' There were times I went a long period without seeing, stepping aboard the DQ. When I did see the then new white, wood rocking chairs I naturally took them for what they were. Judy makes a good point about "tripping over them." The chairs themselves served as something of a cute little PR and advertising 'hook' in the media touting "rocking on the river watching the world go by." LIke Judy I spent as many hours on a "perch" directly in front of the pilothouse.

    I remember years, years ago passengers boarding the DQ here at the old GL wharfboat hauling their own deck chairs from home. I recall them driving down to the boat. The chairs were those infamous aluminum type with the multi-colored nylon webbing. They also brought a couple of other smaller aluminum webbed chairs. No sooner were they unpacked than they put their chairs on deck by their cabin door as a family to stretch out with their beverages.

    R. Dale Flick
    Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati


      The deck chairs in the photo of M B Greene & Tom Greene on the CGC that instigated the deck chair discussion show what appears to be wide straps forming the seat and back. The same type of deck chairs on the forward Texas Deck in May 1968 when I went to work on the DQ were of the generally same type construction except the seats and back were die cut patterns in a solid piece of metal. Not saying that these chairs were not from the CGC; however could the chairs in the photo have been replaced by the ones w/solid seats/backs after the photo was taken then transferred to the DQ?


        No, Jim, there were two types of metal chairs, the ones with the metal straps were from the GCG, the solid ones were DQ bought for the DQ when she started running over here. By the mid-50's the GCG chairs were showing their age.


          *Deck chairs/Meal seatings*
          Steamboating colleagues,
          Morning, Jim Blum and Jim Reising. I think Jim R. is correct on the metal deck chairs from the GCG moving over to the DQ, then other chairs being added. I recall, when the old chairs bit the dust, a number of crew and office staff were given the old metal chairs. Many were taken home to be sanded down, primed and painted new and fresh. Virginia Bennett had one or two on the front porch of her home for years. Basically the chairs were a 'generic' purchase from a supply company with the same line and style being seen all over. The next 'era' for deck chairs and tables came when the company purchased the rather heavy white wrought iron tables and chairs for the front deck above. You can't say they weren't solid and heavy. Problem with some deck chairs and tables on boats and ships is being subject to wind during storms on the river blowing around. The fine curved wood benches on the outside bulkheads on two decks with slats were built on the boats in California. If you got down, looked under the end of the one bench outside on the Purser Office side you could see where a section of the wood was deliberately NOT painted steamboat white so you could see the W.W. II Navy Gray. How many here remember that?

          Years earlier on sailing day arriving passengers checked in with the DQ Purser Office to collect your room key--not the present slip card for doors with the little red and green light also serving as an on-board credit card. Just opposite between the purser Office and the Souvenir/Notions shop was that veteran round wood table dating back to the days on the Sacramento River. Behind it that semi-round or oval wood shelf usually with a big pot of growing flowers or red roses or other cut flowers. Usually a DQ waiter or whomover there to sign you up for preference with 1st or 2nd meal seating. I remember a number of times Mary Greene, Capt. Tom and Letha's daughter, manning the deck chair table in front of the Souvenir shop. Mary was serving as VP of the company then under her mother. Mary had a number of great ideas of her own for the boat in those pre Betty Blake days. One was the updating of the bar off the dining room on the starboard side. Another was updating the main dining room more on the lines of what became the 'Orleans Room' in later years. Power-house Betty Blake didn't conjure up all and everything for the boat in those days as imagined. For a number of years the deck chairs were those folding sling canvas type in dark blue and painted white wood. They were marked with your name on a tag and placed by a deckman outside your cabin or wherever you wanted it. As the 'trip' progressed many chairs were moved here or there depending on new-found acquaintances and old friends. Many sun bathed on the open bow deck or back by where the calliope was installed. Many a blistering hot summer night passengers abandoned their cabins to bring a pillow, sheet and sleep outside in their canvas chairs talking until the wee hours of the morning. How many here remember the days on the DQ when there was no calliope at all? Again, that was also a LONG time ago.

          R. Dale Flick
          Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati.


            Those wrought iron tables and chairs were actually pretty heavy. However, on the trip President Carter was on, we encountered one of the famous Upper Mississippi Midwest storms, straight line winds of about 85 MPH. Those tables most certainly did get blown around and overturned. The chairs that matched them were not the most comfortable chair for sitting and relaxing, and had no arms.

            The metal chairs that Jim Blum referred to had been relegated to the Cabin Deck bow by the mid-1970's, where they received little use. I did spend some time sanding, priming and painting those chairs. I would imagine that those metal chairs were HOT on the Texas Deck, sitting in the sun, which I'm guessing is why they were moved to the shaded Cabin Deck.

            Some aluminum-framed chairs with thick vinyl straps were then used on the Texas Deck bow. These were lightweight and comfortable, but the straps had to be replaced on a semi-regular basis. Those chairs were so light weight they did get blown around in a moderate wind. They were replaced (with what, I cannot remember) in about 79 or 80, and I had one at our home for many years on my back deck until the straps all gave out. I just never maintained it.


              Delta Queen Chairs

              I was hoping they would replace the old chairs but have been told at least with the rockers they will be refurbished an re painted white unless they are in such dis repair as to be non useable only then to be tossed out. I looked up a supplier for them who offered free delivery color choice quantity discount etc.It wwould have looked nice on the pretty new all redone boat to see all new chairs. OH WELL Don't know about the wrought iron ones maybe they are redoing them also.Just trying to help out. excuse spelling.Just a suggestion stay away from the high maintance strap ones.Carole


                The white "wrought iron" look tables, as I recall were brought on board in Memphis, the year escapes me however. I believe they were cast aluminum, which surprised me at the time. There may well have been additional tables/chairs that were actual cast iron brought on later.

                The metal chairs in the CGC photo with the wide slats appear to have been used with cushions--I theorize that by one chair forward where the woman is standing looking aft. That chair appears to have something on the other sides of the slats. Possibly the woman brought a towel from the room. Just a wild guess about cushions, however is cushions were to be used with those chairs where were they stored?


                  GCG Deck Chairs?

                  According to Larry Norris, nephew of the late Dorothy Frye, these canvas and wood deckchairs came off the GCG. They also look much like the chairs that were on the DELTA QUEEN when I started working there in 1965.
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