60 Years Ago Today

Thursday, 5 June 1952:

At our 10:30 a.m. meeting, the mortality rate was rather high. There were only three of the 31 kids present at class. Dr. Watkins lectured us on France and in the middle of the lecture the waiters brought broth and cakes.

After the lecture, it was time for another delicious lunch. I thugged the menu as usual. There were apples on deck as I wrote in my diary. A little later, there was a storm brewing and Alicia wasn’t feeling well. So I sat on the stern and watched the churning waters.

At our 3 p.m. French class we only had 22 students present. We separated into two groups to study. After class, I was sitting on the bench by the rail on the promenade deck and Carol’s would-be friend, Joe, came by. Then we went into the lounge to get an orange drink and met some kids playing checkers. The girl, Eleanor, was going to a youth conference in Germany and the boys, Bill Borcherding, Frank Cuff, and Lewie Valle, were touring Europe on their own. One of them knew Rex Johnson. Somehow we got off on Mormonism, and I did my best to give them a clear picture of our beliefs.

At dinner, our numbers were definitely decreased. Once again the food was so good. Then I decided to take a nap. What I thought was only a few minutes turned out to be a couple of hours. It was 10 p.m. when I awoke.

On deck, I found the group of Puerto Rican students holding forth on the promenade deck. They were singing and dancing. I recognized one number Barrachita. Later, I asked Rosa, who I had met earlier and had been singing some solos, if they knew Por Un Beso De Amor? She said no, but asked what else I knew. So I said Barrachita and they sang it again for me. The whole group seemed talented. Before retiring we set our clocks up an hour, so it was about one in the morning when we got ready for bed. As I went to sleep the water was rather rough.

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