Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Gambling on a Riverboat by DeeDee Lane
Five Fun Things!
When I write our Christmas letter, which frankly speaking is sometimes a “Valentine’s Day letter,” or a “Never” letter, I include a list of five fun things we did during the year just past. So this is a list of five fun things about being on a gambling riverboat. Unlike my heroine in, My Gambling Man, I cannot time slip to 1835, and board a gambling riverboat traveling down the Mississippi River. Although, I do think I’d look quite dashing in a tall stovepipe hat worn by gambling men of the time! So I am sharing these thoughts from my experience aboard the Emerald Queen a stationary paddlewheel riverboat casino run by the Puyallup Tribe of Washington state from 1996 to 2004.
1) The creak and groan and bobbing movement of being on board a riverboat with a large paddlewheel. Even though we were not moving it was wonderful to lean out over the gold plated railings on deck and feel the flow of water beneath.
2) The buffet where I learned that prime rib is the PERFECT delivery device for horseradish. And that made me learn the joy of clutching the table with eyes tearing after chewing a perfectly dosed bite of meaty horserasdishy goodness.
3) Mystery shows where I could set up my friends as suspects, rat people out with abandon, make up lies, create other personas and generally have a great time that always ended with SOMEONE in handcuffs.
4) The slots of course! I’ve never been a big fan of table games, at least the ones where I have to bet money on the draw of the cards. However, I am definitely willing to double my twenty dollars on the penny taking “Copper Droppers.”
5) The moonlight reflected on the water was a beautiful sight to see. For me it was especially mesmerizing in the romantic ambience of a riverboat.
The Emerald Queen, at least the riverboat casino part, is no longer in use and at last report sits empty in its same berth at the Port of Tacoma. The Puyallup Tribe Emerald Queen Casino digs have moved closer to I-5 (The major North/South highway through Washington State) to two locations in Fife and Tacoma. And the legacy of the boat still remains during “The Battle at the Boat” fighting bouts which started at the riverboat, retained the name, but changed their locale to the I-5 Tacoma showroom.
Needless to say I am still looking forward to the time I am on a riverboat that is actually traveling down the Mississippi River. While researching my novella I did find several examples currently running, including the American Queen which cruises from Memphis, TN south to New Orleans, LA. So I guess I need to include the other “list of five things” I write for our Christmas letters… “Five things we’re looking forward to in the coming year.”
DeeDee Lane, My Gambling Man
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