This page is a tribute to John "Cheyenne C. Cheyenne" Hess
Cheyenne C. Cheyenne ("where the middle "C" stands for Cheyenne") is dying and his mom called the boat that Donald works on with the news early this morning (September 23, 2003). He apparently doesn't have long to live. Cheyenne is an old steamboatman who worked on the Delta Queen, Mississippi Queen, and the Natchez. Cheyenne is the only person that Donald knows who has a permanent employees' badge to get onto the DQSC boats. He'd love to hear from all his "old steamboatin' buddies", as he calls his many friends from the river. His address is: John "Cheyenne C. Cheyenne" Hess 903 5th Street Carrollton, KY 41008 or you may call: 1-502-732-4634 His mom said that her son is in the hospital, now, but will be released soon, to return home to die there. She also related that there will be no funeral services, and he will be cremated. To view Cheyenne's photos, please visit Donalds site with the images of Cheyenne in them. Thanks. John "Cheyenne C. Cheyenne", (where the middle "C" also stands for Cheyenne, and don't you forget it!) Hess started on the Delta Queen around 1970 or 1971 as a deckhand. In those days, we had to have a man on the narrow outside of the deck, handling the bumper, better known as the "possum", when we went into a lock chamber. It was a very hazardous job, especially consider- ing that the deck was buckled into waves of steel from hitting the concrete walls over the years. At best, the "bumper man" had only about a foot between himself and the boat and the lock wall when the Queen finally came to rest within the chamber. If the possum was not inserted exactly right to cushion the boat, then the Queen rang like a bell when steel and concrete met. Cheyenne always wore cowboy boots with very high heels and faux silver toe caps. John worked on an actual ranch as a cowboy. He rode fence on the back of a horse for days, and couldn't sit down to eat when he got back to the bunkhouse. He had to stand with his plate resting on the fireplace mantle until he was able to sit down again. Miraculously, Cheyenne was skilled at getting the bumper exactly at the right spot, and rarely, if ever, did the Delta Queen "ring like a bell" when he was handling the possum, and he finished his steamboat career with both legs in place and undamaged. One of his favorite jokes is, "I don't drink anymore" "But I don't drink any less." Cheyenne was a great prankster. Cheyenne hated his real name, John Hess, when Donald first met him. He'd been put into an institution when he was little because his family was poor and couldn't take care of him. He was quite intelligent, but has always been upset be- cause he'd been abandoned. He kept looking for his family until at last, he finally found his sister and his mother. Because he didn't like his real name, he took the moniker "Cheyenne", and it was the pranksters aboard the steamboat Delta Queen who began calling him "Cheyenne C. Cheyenne", where the middle "C" also stood for Cheyenne. After he found his mom, he found that early circumstances were different than he had imagined, so for many years now, he's been living with and enjoying the relationship with "MOM". John will be fondly remembered by all who worked with him on the boats. No one who knew him could ever forget him. The top header image for this set pictures John "Cheyenne" Hess on the left and Captain Gabe Chengery. They are posing together on the bow of the Delta Queen. Please visit the link below to read more, on what friends of John have to say about him. Thanks and please keep John in your prayers. John Hartford.com
John Hess has passed from this life. He died from cancer in 2003. He will be dearly missed by all who had worked with him on the boats. He will remain in our memories forever.
This set is not in the public domain. No part of it is to be removed from this site. Photos are copyrighted to John Hess (Cheyenne C. Cheyenne) and are used with permission through Donald J. Sanders. Thank you Donald. All back- grounds and images were created by me (Fiddlinsue). Information was composed by Donald. Please visit Donalds site to view images of Cheyenne.