Tuesday, September 15, 2020
In 1969, Creedence Clearwater Revival recorded “Proud Mary” and we found ourselves unable to resist dancing to that tune whenever we heard it played!!! It has been a favorite ever since. Written by John Fogerty, lead guitar for CCR, the song was originally sung by them. In 1971, Ike & Tina Turner recorded their version. It’s the story of a low-wage earner who impulsively leaves his steady job and gives in to imagination and adventure as he hitches a ride on a riverboat. He finds his shipmates not only nurture his soul but offer enduring friendship. The river becomes his home, his life! Well, hey, must have been an omen! We can certainly relate to the joy of sailing the waterways and oceans!!!
In 2005, still years before she would dock in Chattanooga, TN and become a niche hotel in 2008, we had the pleasure of rollin’ along the Mississippi River on the beautiful Delta Queen. To us, she was history afloat! Built for lavish travel, she began an illustrious career in San Francisco. Drafted in WWII for military service as the USS Delta Queen, she was painted gun-metal grey and transported the wounded between ship and shore. In 1946, she was purchased by the Greene Line of Cincinnati, Ohio and towed through the Panama Canal and along the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers to Pittsburgh, PA for refurbishment. Since 1948, this proud steamboat has transported passengers in leisurely luxury from river town to river town along the Ohio, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Cumberland Rivers. Nearly put out of business by the 1966 Safety at Sea Law, the Delta Queen received exemptions that were renegotiated every 2 to 4 years. In 1979 she was listed on the National Register of Historic Places; in 1989, she was declared a National Historic Landmark. In 2008, her career ended, and she permanently docked as a floating hotel.
And here’s the good news!!! In 2015, the newly formed Delta Queen Steamboat Company purchased the grand lady and promptly transported her to the Gulf Island Fabrication shipyard in Houma, LA for restoration. In November 2018, both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate voted to reinstate a ten-year exemption allowing the Delta Queen to return to service. It was signed December 4, 2018 by President Trump. And it was announced in July 2019 that the Delta Queen would be in full service by the end of 2020!!
Well yeah, but that was before the pandemic put everything out of whack!!!
According to a Jefferson County Leader article by Steve Taylor on August 29, 2020, the plans to homeport the Delta Queen in Kimmswick, MO are firm. However, the effects of the Covid19 virus have delayed the timeline. So, we’ve signed up for the Delta Queen updates. I’ll keep you posted as we learn more. Wouldn’t it be lovely to once again roll along the river dancing to the music of Creedence Clearwater Revival and the addictive beat of “Proud Mary”?!?
Yes, it would!!!