Good Riddance To The Delta Queen - And Response (3)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Re: Bidding War Could Take The Delta Queen Away From Chattanoog?a.

Yippee. Best news headline I've read in a while. Maybe somebody else can take that floating eyesore away from Coolidge Park and give folks back their nice view.

I have never set foot on that boat and never will. The only reason it lost its permit is because the previous owners decided to cut the already low pay of the wait staff and entertainers and a senator told them If they followed through with that, he would pull the permit. Voila.

Hopefully, when it leaves town, they can throw a rope over that rat-infested barely floating Petri dish across from the Aquarium and take it with them. Two for the price of one. BOGO on the Tennessee River.

Herb Montgomery
Hixson 

* * * 

When I first read this opinion, I was so dumbfounded that I did not know what to say. After giving it a bit of thought, it saddened me to think that there are people out there with this attitude toward history. The Delta Queen is such a beautiful boat stemming from a time when commercial riverboats were a viable means of moving people from one destination to another.  This boat is a part of river history and Chattanooga being a river town, though some may think it not, it would be a big loss to the city for this boat to leave. 

Since the person has not set foot on her decks they have no means of knowing she is good of paint and well dressed. It is a wonderful opportunity for the younger generation to visit a time when the wooden boats traveled the river. I can think of far worst sites along the river’s edge than the Delta Queen. 

It is a sad thought that an individual would be so enthusiastic to see more jobs leave the Chattanooga area. This is another path to seeing more people to become unemployed. I applaud your levity at pushing history farther away from a younger and unknowing generation. 

Jim Dunn 

* * * 

I for one cannot wait till someone else buys the Delta Queen. I hope it gets out of here before the city of Chattanooga starts wasting money on this money pit. 

The Delta Queen has slowly rotted as it sits in the fetid waters of the Tennessee River. The paddle wheel sits idle, becoming water logged and rotting. The boilers as gone as told to me by the previous master chief. The boilers cannot even supply domestic hot water and they have now installed water heaters. The cross-compound steam engine is a unique treasure, but sitting idle is its ruin. 

I have stayed on the Delta Queen many times, but have not returned in the last two years because of constant turnover in staff and the denial of accepting a gift certificate by the manager on the boat. 

The Delta Queen is worth more as parts than as a whole. 

Let us bid adieu to the once Grand Lady of the river, and let her pass away with grace and dignity. 

Dwayne Cales
Hixson 

* * *

As an avid enthusiast of all things historical, especially related to Chattanooga or transportation, my heart is extremely heavy with this news.  However what breaks my heart, is the reaction most Chattanoogans have in regards to the Delta Queen.  These opinions are no exception. 

The writer of the first opinion needs to climb off the pedestal on which he currently sits, jump on his high horse, and actually visit the Delta Queen before he sputters more of his banter. Ignorance must be bliss, since he's never stepped foot on the boat.
 
The Delta Queen never was fully embraced by Chattanoogans as it should have.  I refuse to point fingers, lay blame, or even pretend to know the exact reasons why.  Was it location?  Was it the alleged misdoings of the first proprietors?  Was it the ever changing ownership while the lessee of the hotel on board bears responsibilities that should never be placed on a tenant? 

As a former crew member aboard the Queen after its retirement from regular service, and while a hotel here in the city, I can tell you one thing with absolute confidence.  She's an historical icon.  One of a kind.  A jewel that when polished will shine brighter than any other.  If she leaves, and becomes a literal shell of her former self, does Chattanooga want the blame for not saving her?  Or, while not as heartbreaking, what if Cincinnati succeeds and the city ends up making millions of dollars as a result of a relative small initial investment?

 She shouldn't go out like this.  Too many great memories.  I have heard the steam powered calliope play.  I've dined with former captains and crew members as they reminisced of the days when she traversed the Mississippi and her tributaries.  I've heard her whistle blow and have been fortunate enough to pull the cord.  I've rang her bell. I've witnessed hundreds if not thousands of smiling faces who were thankful for the privilege of seeing the Grand Lady in person for the first time.  I have also seen the faces of children light up as I demonstrated the nautical telegraph giving instructions to the engine room. 

God save the Delta Queen and her crew. 

Justin Strickland


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