Carpe Diem and The Delta Queen
This is a print of a pen and ink drawing by a very good friend of mine who passed away a couple of years ago. It’s not only special to me because of him, but the object in the drawing has significance to me, as well.
The Delta Queen, is an American sternwheel steamboat, historically, used for cruising the major rivers that constitute the drainage of the Mississippi River, particularly in the American South. So says Wikipedia.
I say, the Delta Queen was the the epitome of fascination and adventure! And THE most romantic riverboat ever to cruise the great rivers of America.
Growing up, I often saw the Delta Queen docked in New Orleans and longed to board her. I had no idea my father often inspected that beautiful boat and knew her captain during that time.
So, once, when I was sixteen, he took me to visit Captain Ernest Wagner when the Delta Queen was in the Port of New Orleans. The captain was a large jovial man and proudly gave me a tour of ‘his lady’. During the tour, someone played the calliope. The distinctive, old world sound added a festive air to the afternoon.
Here’s a little taste of the Delta Queen’s Calliope!
When it was over and my dad and I started to leave, Captain Wagner asked me if I would like to spend a few days traveling down river? There was only one window of opportunity available at the time as she was booked solid the rest of that summer. He told me if my father could get me to Louisville, KY, I could board her there and spend the next four days traveling down river like the gamblers of old. He was gracious enough to include one of my girlfriends, if I was so inclined.
As you can imagine, I was elated.
So, I went home and asked my best friend if she could come with me. To my disappointment, she couldn’t. Then I asked another friend, and she couldn’t go either. And instead of being a brave adventurous soul, I declined the invitation.
Yes…you heard me right.
What is the saying, ‘if I had a nickel…for every time I thought what an idiot I was not to go by myself… I’d be rich!’ 🙂
Now, thanks to my artist friend, when I look at his drawing, I’m reminded…
To SAY YES to an invitation to explore.
To RESIST the urge to say ‘no’ because of fear.
To SEIZE the moment, because it my be my last.
It reminds me that life is short. A vapor compared to eternity.
Has fear ever kept you from saying yes? Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of possible embarrassment?
Did you miss an adventure because of it? Looking back, do you regret that decision? Why or why not?
I love to hear your stories, even the ones where you said, yes! Because, we all know that sometimes saying, ‘yes’ can be the wrong decision, as well. 🙂
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6 thoughts on “Carpe Diem”
OMG!!! I haven’t thought of the Delta Queen in years! I used to see that go by my house when it came up the Mississippi all the time. Wow! The memories that have come flooding back. Thank you.
Nothing I like better than helping good memories to resurface! Thanks for sharing!
What a great story! I turned down a particular agent’s offer for representation once because I had heard some negative things about her. In hindsight, I wish I would’ve at least given her a chance. I’ve since learned that my idea of negativity may not be the same as someone else’s.
On the other hand, I’ve done so many things I wish I hadn’t, I’d hate to bog down the comments section with all of them.
I’ve had similar experiences where I’ve based a decision on hearsay rather than finding out for myself. Live and learn! 🙂
Thanks for sharing, Joni!
We took the Delta Queen on our honeymoon. It was about 100 degrees and 100 humidity. July 30th is not the best time to be in New Orleans. Mark Twain reports that at some spots on the Mississippi you could stand and see 300 steamboats on the river from where you were. It’s hard today to imagine how many steamboats used the river every day.
Yes, New Orleans in the summer is 100% humidity even when it’s NOT raining! LOL But how wonderful to go up river on that historic steamboat! And, I can’t imagine 300 of them within sight. I wonder where all those steamboats are today? What a romantic time in American History! Thanks for sharing!