Friday, June 14, 2013

Getting There Is Half the Fun

In the mid-1950s my dad graduated from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, and immediately went on a tour of Europe with his seminary choir to sing for audiences both large and small, and stay in local homes.  They sailed from New York on the Queen Elizabeth II ocean liner and returned on the Queen Mary.  The choir performed to a full house on the Queen Elizabeth.  Years later, my sister and I reveled in looking through all the mementos of his trip in a trunk in the attic still labelled with the Cunard Lines stickers---five-course menus engraved on cream-colored placards, picture postcards of the Alps, guide booklets for famous cities and cathedrals, and photos of the host families and the choir members.  It was great fun on a rainy day.

The Queen Mary

The Queen Elizabeth

To us it seemed by far the most elegant and interesting way to travel outside of a time machine!

With Father's Day coming I faced the usual dilemma of a nice gift that Dad would really like, and for once I found the solution, a souvenir of a happy time, and a memorable trip--a pencil from the Queen Elizabeth.  It's a Ritepoint, made in St. Louis, Missouri, and a little spiffier than their usual advertising pencils, as befitted the great lady.

The twist pencil is imprinted with "Cunard Liner Queen Elizabeth," and an engraving-style representation of the ship, complete with smoke coming out of her stacks on the cream-colored "marble" center section.  It has a black top with washer style clip and gold-tone "jewel," and gold-tone point with 1.1 mm lead.  Extra lead is still in the barrel.

At lunch on Sunday, there should be some great stories and reminiscences.  As the Cunard ads used to tell us:

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