60 Years Ago Today

Monday, 9 June 1952:

I helped play the vibraphones on the way to breakfast. It’s such a nice way to be summoned to eat, but some of the kids say it makes their stomachs turn over. At our 8:30 a.m. class, we heard more about the wonderful city of Paris which we were soon to visit.

At 10:25 a.m., I studied French with Alicia on the aft deck. And Alicia finally made it to lunch for the first time since she had been sick. Afterwards, I cleaned and organized my suitcase while trying to find my pen. I was unsuccessful. While sitting in the fore lounge, I suddenly realized I hadn’t come across my camisole in searching for my pen. Undoubtedly, I left it at Aunt Ellen’s hanging in the bathroom. So much for that—I must get busy and write some more letters. Guess what I found my pen! However, I still didn’t get any letters written, because Ben came up and asked us to come down and help sing America.

After griping about the situation to Mrs. Rogers, we decided that helping to sing was the best thing to do. After they got through practicing America, they started on You’ll Never Walk Alone. So nasty me pops up with “You don’t want us to sing this one do you?” It seems to me if they wanted us to sing, they should have asked us in the first place. Oh well! I’m sure this will add to the chorus immeasurably.

At 4 p.m. it was French class again. Sure haven’t been studying like I should. The afternoon passed quickly with song practice and French class. After class, Dr. Rogers helped me with my talk. It was dinner again and I had to get some letters written, but we chit chatted in cabin 167.
Later we arrived one hour early to watch the Indonesian show and the lounge was already packed with passengers. So we crawled to find a spot in the fore lounge, but we had difficulty finding seats. Finally, we found a little bare spot on the floor up near the stage to watch the Indonesian show. While we were waiting for the show to start, we met a Puerto Rican fellow who closely resembled Zachary Scott. We informed him of this later.

The show was emceed by an Indonesian who was able to read English from his script. First, the men showed us the native costumes of the different parts and islands of Indonesia. Corey, our cute little waiter, with the gold tooth, modeled a costume from Bali where he was born. Then we enjoyed some native music and a dance by one of the boys dressed like a girl.

The parts of the program which impressed me the most were the fighting and fire dances. In the fighting dance, Corey, and another tall Indonesian, who had previously performed a very striking dance, pranced around till they acted out fighting each other. In the fire dance, two fellows and the girl (the boy dressed like a girl) danced with candles in each hand. They waved the candles around in all directions while keeping them glowing continually. The whole group of performers sang farewell by singing an Indonesian song which sounded like it might be their national anthem.


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