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Delta Queen Companion Bills
Published on: September 17, 2008

U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot introduced Save the Delta Queen legislation in the House last October, and now Senators George Voinovich and Sherrod Brown have introduced identical legislation in the Senate. "As I have said many times before, the Delta Queen is an American treasure that needs to be saved," Chabot said. "I appreciate Senator Voinovich and Senator Brown joining this fight, and I look forward to working with them to protect the Delta Queen."

News alert Here is the full roster: Sponsor: Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) Cosponsors: Lamar Alexander (R-TN) Evan Bayh (D-IN) Sherrod Brown (D-OH) Thad Cochran (R-MS) Chuck Grassley (R-IA) Tom Harkin (D-IA) Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) Richard Lugar (R-IN) Mitch McConnell (R-KY) Barack Obama (D-IL) David Vitter (R-LA) Roger Wicker (R-MS)

Voinovich introduces bill to keep Delta Queen afloat
Business Courier of Cincinnati (read original)
Tuesday, September 16, 2008 - 2:52 PM EDT

Sen. George Voinovich on Tuesday tossed a lifeline to the Delta Queen's tenuous future as an operating overnight steamboat, with a bill to extend its exemption from the Safety of Lives at Sea Act.

Voinovich, R-Ohio, introduced the bill, first reported by the Courier in August, with co-sponsors Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; Tom Harkin, D-Iowa; Thad Cohran R-Miss.; and David Vitter, R-La.

The bill would renew the boat's 40-year-old exemption. A House measure is stalled in the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, chaired by Minnesota Democrat James Oberstar.

Without the exemption, the historic riverboat will be forced out of the overnight passenger cruise business after Oct. 31.

On Sep 10, 2008, at 11:42 AM, Vicki Webster wrote:

Hi Nori & John,

We had a fabulous rally in Maysville yesterday with another one coming up in Point Pleasant next Tuesday, Sept. 16.

Onward & upward!

Sept. 9, 2008
A Call to the Senate

Senator Jim Bunning, of Kentucky, got an earful today from the steamboat community when he mistakenly came out against our Queen. Maybe he is just low on facts, or something. Anyways, I called up and spoke to an assistant who told me she has already fielded many calls from concerned citizens. If you call him, be brief, be friendly, and say thank you.

I perhaps blubbered on too long, and mentioned that my father, Bill Muster, was a strong supporter of the unions. She hesitated for a moment, so I said, "Not too much union, not too little, but just the right amount." Here is what I mean by that. First, as a child, my father would always give us a report of the doings on his latest trip to Cincinnati or Washington, DC. I remember one time he told us that a "new" union was trying to get on the boat. Greene Line already had all the unions it needed, and the crew members did not want the additional fees. Nobody wanted the union. My dad told us that the union man had offered to give him cement shoes and throw him in the river. Of course, as a kid, that scared me!

I am not sure what came of that. The cement shoes thing never happened. However, I get that story confused with the one about Representative "Bribe Me" Garmatz, because I am sure Greene Line prevailed in that situation. As far as the unions, I remember my father saying they made the "new" union go away. However, recently someone else told me that my father capitulated. I do not think that is true, though, because my dad was always good with the unions. He liked them and they liked him. There was never any friction with my father in charge.

Birthday wishes go out to Dennis Shenk (now retired), Chief Engineer on the Delta Queen then the Mississippi Queen & then the Delta Queen again for many years!!!

Media Release
By: Maysville-Mason County CVB, Maysville, KY 41056
Contact: Duff Giffen, CVB Director
Phone: (606) 564-9419 Email: duffgiffen[at]
Contact: Vicki Webster, The Save the Delta Queen Campaign
Phone: (513) 381-3571 Email: vjw[at]

Supporters Rally to Save the Delta Queen
September 9th, 11:00 a.m., at Limestone Landing, Maysville, Kentucky
Please attend the rally and show support for this endangered American landmark

Maysville, KY - A Save the Delta Queen steamboat rally will take place Tuesday, September 9th beginning at 11:00 a.m. at Limestone Landing in downtown Maysville, Kentucky.

The Delta Queen is the last traditional steamboat carrying overnight passengers on America's inland waterways and for that reason has been designated a National Historic Landmark. In 1966, she was inadvertently caught in the technical provisions of the Safety at Sea Act, which was intended to cover ocean-going ships, not riverboats. Recognizing the difference between boats that operate on rivers, within yards of the shore, and ships that sail the high seas, Congress established an exemption for the Delta Queen in 1968. Since then, the exemption has been renewed nine times, in virtually every case by near-unanimous votes in both the House and the Senate.

Without congressional action, the current exemption will expire at midnight on October 31, 2008. Bipartisan legislation to extend the exemption (H.R. 3852) was introduced by Congressman Steve Chabot of Ohio on October 16 of last year. It remains in the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure because Committee Chairman James Oberstar of Minnesota refuses to release it to be voted on by the full House of Representatives.

Senator George Voinovich of Ohio has announced that when Congress reconvenes after the August recess, he will introduce an exemption bill in the Senate.

The September 9th rally will feature speakers from the Save the Delta Queen Campaign, state and local government representatives, Bill Wiemuth, Delta Queen Historian, and a representative from the office of Congressman Geoff Davis, who is a cosponsor of H.R. 3852. Music will be provided by Saint Patrick's Elementary and High School choirs.

To learn more about the Save the Delta Queen Campaign, visit, or contact Vicki Webster at 513-381-3571 or vjw[at]


Call or write to your two U.S. Senators and your U.S. Representative - ask them to save the Delta Queen. The steamboat community has buyers negotiating to buy the boat, who will reinstate the unions and keep the boat running. Meanwhile, Senators and House Represenatives are trying to introduce legislation that will grant her the exemption. Keep up the steam!! Never say die!!!

Moving like the fog on the Cumberland River
I was leaving on the Delta Queen.
I wasn't ready to go, I'm never ready to go.
27 years of nothing but failures and promises
that I couldn't keep, Oh Lord,
I wasn't ready to go
I'm never ready to go.
Let it ride -
Let it ride easy down the road
Let it ride -
Let it take away all of the darkness
Let it ride -
Let it rock me in the arms of strangers, angels until it brings me home
Let it ride -
Let it roll -
Let it go.

Second Age: A Recall of Things Gone By and a Bit of Now
by Carl A. Franson

On Aug 23, 2008, at 3:53 PM, Sunny Franson wrote:

Dear Ms. Muster

I would like to let people who live in the Upper Mississippi area know about Second Age. It might interest you as it contains descriptions of river bluffs and of locks, wing dams, and more along the Upper Mississippi, and you are working for steamboats along the river.

My dad wrote a book about a time in his life when he was a young man and he described those times, the early 1930's, in personal and interesting ways. His name was Carl Franson. You can find out more about the book online at

My dad was raised in Fridley, Minnesota and attended the School of Agriculture at the University of Minnesota. One winter he and friends built what they called a floating house (a houseboat) where they planned to live while completing college, but two of them, my dad and poet friend Clarence Jonk, floated part way down the Mississippi instead. His book is about this time, about people, places and environments there, and also about travels to the Far East, when he worked aboard the President Cleveland. He wrote all this when he was quite elderly and was delighted when he was able to re-live his adventures as he wrote. He wrote simply and with charm, and the reader is pulled right into the times and places with him. There are also original photos that he chose to include in his manuscript. I've made no changes. It's his book.

My family is gone now, and I wanted very much to publish my dad's book for him, in his memory. He mentions areas and places from Lake Johanna, MN to La Crosse, WI, and places in Japan, the Far East, and the Phillipines. Specifics are from an era gone by but the nature of challenges he faced are the same as those we face today. People who have read Second Age have told me that they have enjoyed it.

Sincerely, Sunny Franson

Editor's Note: Second Age is now available in the Bookstore. Click here to see the book at Click here to see the Bookstore (at this site - an Amazon Associate).

Note from your webmaster: Earlier this month we upgraded our domain host server. During the process of migrating the site, was off line for three days. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. It caused a lot of anxiety at the secret headquarters, but it's all water under the proverbial bridge now. Party on!!

Guestbook Entry August 23, 2008
Name: John Mayes
Location: San Antonio TX
Does anyone have information on a boiler explosion on the Peoria River (IL) in September of 1866. My GG Grandfather was allegedly killed in this event.
Visits: First time
Rate this site: genealogy research

C H A B O T   N E W S   R E L E A S E

U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot
First District, Ohio
For Immediate Release
Date: August 22, 2008
Contact: Todd Lindgren - (513) 684-2723

Chabot Invites Chairman Oberstar to Personally View Safety Features of the Delta Queen

CINCINNATI - Congressman Steve Chabot (R-OH) has formally invited House Transportation Committee Chairman James Oberstar (D-MN) to view the safety features onboard the historic Delta Queen steamboat. In a letter sent last week, Chabot invited Chairman Oberstar to tour the boat on August 26, or any other date the boat is scheduled to be in Cincinnati this year. Chabot also offered to arrange a tour for Chairman Oberstar when the Delta Queen is closer to his Minnesota home.

"I am hopeful that Chairman Oberstar will take the time to personally view the tremendous safety enhancements that have been made over the years to ensure that every cruise aboard the Delta Queen is safe," Chabot stated.

Last year, Chabot introduced bipartisan legislation (H.R. 3852) to allow the Delta Queen to continue to operate as an overnight passenger vessel. The legislation has been referred to the House Transportation Committee, which Chairman Oberstar leads. The Delta Queen is currently operating under a congressional exemption that is set to expire on November 1, 2008.

The Delta Queen began operating as a sternwheel river steamboat in 1926 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1989. For the last 40 years, the Delta Queen has safely operated on the rivers of the U.S. under a congressional exemption due to the paddle wheeler's wooden superstructure not meeting certain regulations specified under the 1966 Safety at Sea Act. While Congress originally intended this law to apply to ocean-going vessels, the Delta Queen, which is never far from shore, was unexpectedly caught-up in these regulations. Recognizing the difference between boats operating on inland waterways and those operating at sea, Congress established the exemption in 1968 and has renewed it on nine separate occasions to allow the Delta Queen to continue overnight passenger cruises.

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Guestbook Entry August 20, 2008
Name: Mark Rook
Location: Tennessee
Thanks a million. Wonderful site! Check out the "Natchez" on ebay [click here]
Visits: First time
Email: markleerook[at]
Rate this Site: Searching for the boat of my dreams.
Post to guestbook: click here.

Editor's note: Here is Mark's painting, which you can buy at

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