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Open Letter to the US Congress, by Charles Greene

Jun 29, 2008

Charles Greene, member of the Greene family formerly owned Greene Line Steamers, including the Delta Queen and numerous other steamboats, has sent an open letter to the US Congress. This is what he has to say – and I’d like to emphasis how much I supprt every single word of this letter!

Dear Members of Congress,

My name is Charles Greene. My dad, Robert Greene, was ferried off to his WWII troop ship in San Francisco Bay aboard the Delta Queen, which then returned loaded with wounded troops. My dad came back from the war. Far too many did not.

In 1947, my grandfather’s cousin, TomGreene, bought the Delta Queen, had her towed from California to Cincinnati, and put her into operation carrying passengers up and down the Mississippi River and its tributaries just as steamboats had done for more than 100 years.

Today the Delta Queen is the only remaining genuine steamboat carrying overnight passengers on our inland waterways. On her travels, she brings much-needed tourist revenue to many river towns, which will now be needed all the more after the devastating effects of the recent floods on the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.

Yet now some members of Congress want to put her out of business because she doesn’t comply with a provision of a law that was never intended for riverboats.

The Delta Queen survived being towed through the Panama Canal without incident, and has served honorably and faithfully for more than 80 years without any serious safety incidents. The Delta Queen survived the recession that followed the attacks of 9-11, and Hurricane Katrina (although her then-owners did not). She is surviving $140/bbl oil.

But there is a good chance that the Delta Queen cannot survive her most lethal challenge to date: the inaction of Congress. Without an exemption to legal restrictions due to her wooden superstructure, this will be her last season.

To some in Congress the facts do not matter. They care only about the letter of a misapplied law. So to all of you I ask this question: Come July 4th, just what the hell are we celebrating?

Charles Greene
Lewisburg, KY

1 Comment »

One Response to “Open Letter to the US Congress, by Charles Greene”

  1. mel hartsough Says:

    Mr. Greene I applaude you efforts. As a former crewmember and Officer on the DQ(DQ and MQ 76-84 deckhand and Mate) it would be a sad day when the DQ was not allowed to run. I was mate on the DQ in may of 1979 for the first annual company steamboat race between the DQ and MQ and am extremely proud of that. I’ve also also met some incredible ppl durng those years. I pray that your efforts will be rewarded with a favorable resolution, Good Luck and God Save the Delta Queen, Melville J Hartsough former 1st Mate Str. Delta Queen