RMS Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary
Sally at The (Mis)Adventures of Karl and Sally has begun a meme where old family photos and stories take center stage one more time. Won’t you join us? Just click, and allow yourself to go back, back ……
Being a “meme newbie” I must confess that clear-cut memories of my family’s first real vacation are haphazard … like witnessing random snapshots shown at lightning speed on some giant screen. I’ve chosen these 1957 excursions not just for the warm fuzzies that still linger ~ but because I credit those sailings as the germ which grew into a life-long infatuation with cruising.
By all accounts, I was a happy ~ tho’ reckless ~ 7 year old. Oblivious to potential hazards, I loved exploring the ships' nooks and crannies. In those days parents weren't inclined to worry; they'd reason, "We're on a ship; how far could she possibly go?" (An age of innocence, yes!)
A couple of virtual snapshots remain focused:
We 3 Willers lined up, awaiting Sunday morning religious services. I'd slipped aside, beneath a purple velvet-like barrier to join what I can only guess seemed a more interesting group of folks. Then, like a rocket, my mom’s arm shot out, grabbed mine: “No!, You mustn’t go there … that’s First Class.”
Our return voyage aboard the Queen Mary, took an unfortunate route across the North Atlantic’s stormy seas. This, before stabilizers became commonplace. More than half the passengers – mother included – took to their berths. Public areas and dining rooms were virtually deserted. An ex-Navy seaman, my dad seemed immune. I didn’t know any better. Together, we’d brave the elements out on deck, careful to use the thick ropes strung up by crewmen to ensure no one was injured. Ah, how the Queen rose high, higher … then plummeted carelessly, crookedly down again. Up and down, side to side! I was thrilled -- and to this day, I enjoy being on a ship in crazy weather.
There being more than few children aboard both the QE and QM, the staff would host little tea parties and such to keep us entertained. That's me on the far right, no doubt challenging the kid to (my) right, "What are you laughing at?" Mom was so proud of my "french" braids ... now, I'm thinking they look painful!
Here I’m wearing a concoction my dad assembled – in full pout, totally humiliated because “people are looking at me; they’re laughing.” (How I feared being looked at too closely!) It’s rumored, a full meltdown ensued. Poor daddy!
A couple of years ago DH and I were near Long Beach and thought it fun to go visit the old Queen Mary. Wow, it had been 50 years! I was eager but anxious all the same. Would I remember? Now, the tour is very interesting if one remembers its history of service in WWII, or is a naval enthusiast. (I am neither.) So, while DH thoroughly enjoyed that side of things, I kept my subconscious on high alert, waiting for the light bulbs in my brain to fire.
Unfortunately, there were but a couple of nuances... like a dream, here one instant, gone the next. Disappointed! I’d tried so hard … but don’t suppose that sort of thing can be forced.