60 Years Ago Today and Tomorrow

Friday, 6 June 1952:

At 7 a.m. it was time to get up for breakfast. We looked at the stormy seas through our porthole. At 7:20 a.m. I crawled out and made a fast job of it. That morning our tables looked rather empty and the portholes were closed on the port side.

After breakfast, I joined the rest of the kids on our bunks in the cabin and crawled back in bed. I was just going to relax for a few minutes, but I fell asleep and missed class. Later the steward came in to shut our porthole. The chimes sounding the lunch call brought me back to consciousness. There seemed to be fewer souls with appetites every meal. Sea sickness was taking a toll. It was almost an endurance test I do believe.

On deck it was pretty damp with the spray beating against our faces. We finally found a comfortable spot in the aft lounge which seemed to be fairly centrally located. Here we spent the afternoon shooting the breeze and playing cards. After dinner I decided to take half a Dramamine just to be in style and went to sleep.

Saturday, 7 June 1952:

At our 8:30 a.m. class Dr. Watkins gave a lecture on Paris.

After class I wrote a few letters till 2 p.m. Then I ate lunch and talked to Bill Speckmann, our dining room steward. He was only 22 and had gone to school for 12 years. I napped, read about painting and sculpture, and then cleaned up for class and dinner. It was Saturday night, you know! But everyone else looked as dirty as ever so I felt rather out of place.

After dinner we Virginia reeled (dance) in the aft lounge without shoes. After awhile, I ran down to change my skirt and shoes so I wouldn’t be seen in socks. We played and danced until 9 p.m. when the regular musician came in to play for the dance. There were all kinds of costumes at the dance as one boy came in shorts. I danced with Dick, Herr Rogers, and Henry. Then I went up to the fore dining room to see the rest of the movie The Big Clock. Bill and Irene came by, so we had an interesting conversation about philosophy and the ways of life until people in a nearby cabin objected to our noise.

7 June 1952

It is Father’s Day tomorrow and here I am in the midst of more water than I believed there could be in the whole world. This is my first letter of the journey. It has been hard to settle down to writing or anything thus far, but I am using my will power today.

The bus trip from Provo to New York was tiring but fun. There was no time for letters except while the bus was moving. Washington and New York were interesting. We had the personal attention of Senator and Mrs. Watkins and Senator Bennett’s staff, had lunch with them and visited the floor of the Senate.

When we arrived in New York via the Lincoln Tunnel, Alice and I took a cab to Aunt Ellen’s. We were late arriving and they were in bed, but they welcomed us heartily and gave us a bed, our first since leaving Provo. We had a chance to visit a little before leaving the next morning. We had a very good breakfast and caught a cab back to the hotel. We really saw New York by taxi I do believe. We had to get baggage insurance and money changed, and then we took a quick look at New York from the top of the Empire State Building.

The bus picked us up at the Times Square Hotel for a very quick and not very extensive spin around New York and then to Hoboken Pier 5 to board the Sibajak. We set sail at 4 p.m. The sea was calm the first night and day and fairly calm the second day, but yesterday we picked up a slight storm, so we have been experiencing what it feels like to be on a rocking boat.

About two thirds of the kids have tossed their cookies. I haven’t had any difficulty as yet except for a little woozy feeling when my stomach gets empty. We have had very good meals and I have enjoyed them very much. It is a little calmer today. We have been holding class morning and afternoon.


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