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*Was it 'really' all that wonderful?*

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    It is very true that we often look at past things with rose-colored glasses on. But to use today's standards to judge things in the past just doesn't work. Food prepared before refrigeration was common was much different than food today. Also, folk's tastes change over time--look at what you get today in most restaurants--it's nothing like what was served even in my childhood (I remember MaGreen's (no, no relation to the Greenes, she ran the cafe at my family's resort) Chicken Fried Steak--you ordered it, and she would pound the steak right then, bread it and put it on the grill. Yes, It was very good!).
    As for "comfort" in travel, I suspect the bunk rooms on the DQ are as about as close as you could tolerate today to what was actually offered back in the day--I suspect that back in the day, they would be looked on as very Deluxe accommodations (No, I'm not complaining, I like 'my' cabin 338). Some years back I rode a 1914 pullman car being ferried to it's new home in a museum (no, we weren't supposed to be on board, but someone had to keep an eye on things). Now I own a 1915 automobile, so I can speak first-hand to this. The accommodations on board the 1914 car, that even in the day would speed along around 50mph were much more comfortable than bouncing along at 35 mph on bumpy dirt roads in an open car. Actually the accommodations on the 1914 Pullman car were better than today's AMTRAK, where space is carefully dolled out!
    But as a preservationist and historian, I welcome the closer look at what life actually was like, even if it bursts some nostalgic bubbles.


      All very true, David! Changing tastes, and beyond that, changing expectations! The old, "how you gonna keep 'em down on the farm once thay've seen Paree?". Yes, the DQ was considered very nice in its day, especially out in California for a one night trip. Still very nice over here and an improvement over the GORDON C. GREENE, with the big dining room, air conditioning (such as it was), many private baths, etc. "Was it 'really' all that wonderful?" back in the day? Some things would be okay, some not. Myself, as a passenger I would no longer tolerate no private bath. As far as food goes, with modern growing methods and quick transportation of fresh vegetables and fruits (some exotic!), our expectations evolve. Nostalgia is fine, but there is a limit to what folks who pay money will accept.


        My grandmother was born in 1878 in Cannelton, Ind. She had relatives in Louisville so they traveled quite a bit apparently between those two places....about 110 river miles if my memory serves me correctly. The only way to do this back then was by boat. When she talked about it, she never mentioned whether the boats were magnificent, the food was good, the rooms comfortable; to her it was just what you did..."we came up by boat". The only outstanding thing she remembered is they were coming up to Louisville to attend a wedding and sometime during the night the boat ran aground on a sandbar so they didn't make it to the wedding. My point being that traveling by boat was so common people took the boat itself in stride, much like we do airplanes today.