Friday, September 18, 2009

shipping news -- more

Rather than tinkering after the fact, I'm updating yesterday's post with a new one.

1. I've found the web site of the World Ship Society, Port of New York Branch, which gives photo essays of famous ships entering and leaving their slips. Here are three: 2. The first, the one about the SSUS, reminds me that I once got to tour this liner. It was during a class trip during in the early 1950s when the ship was still new. As I recall, the class was the one my younger brother was in and I got to go along courtesy my Mom, who was one of the parent-chaperones. I liked the event but don't have vivid memories of it.

{SS United States; source:}

3. In pointing out differences between liners and cruise ships I didn't mention speed. The SS United States was the fastest of them all.

4. I found this image on eBay of all places. (It's a lot easier to find old photos of ocean liners having historical associations — as in getting torpedoed — than the ones whose names my father's eyes lingered as he opened his New York Times each morning.)

{New Yorkers welcome the Lusitania as it docks in New York; source: eBay via photobucket}

5. I said I couldn't show an image of the SHIPPING—MAILS part of the Times because of Copyright restrictions. One site seems to have overcome scruples on that score, though the source is from the 1930s rather than 50s:
This link leads to an image of New York Times "Shipping & Mails" for August, 24/30, 1939 (pdf).

6. In 1959 when I was doing college visits and suffering college interviews, I was asked what I thought about my father's daily commute. Afterward, I thought the interviewer was fishing for feelings of despair over the mind-numbing waste of time and energy from those lost hours. I didn't have any such feelings and mumbled something inconsequential which clearly did not impress the guy. Only now, as the moment returns to memory, do I think that I might have explained to him that the train ride gave an emotional and aesthetic uplift as the cars ran along the broad Hudson. On the other hand, I hadn't then had much experience of that thrill. Decades later, when my father had been struck down by heart attacks, I moved from my efficiency apartment on the Lower East Side back into my parents suburban home and, myself making that daily commute, came to love the ever-different, always beautiful river views at the station and out the train window.

This photo shows the Hudson at Scarborough, location of the commuter train station serving our village.

{The Hudson at Scarborough; source:}

This one shows the modern version of the train a bit farther south.

{A Hudson Division commuter train at a station just south of Tarrytown; source:}

7. A site called The Tappan Zee in the Age of Rig & Sail gives some some images of oil paintings that show the grandeur of the Hudson at our upriver location where it reaches its widest breadth.

This one for example:

{The Hudson at the Tappan Zee by Francis Augustus Silva, 1876; source: the painting hangs in the Brooklyn Museum}

{Detail from Francis Augustus Silva, The Hudson at the Tappan Zee; source:}

8. With money from my first real job — a paper route — I built myself a ten-foot racing pram. I kept it on the river, but did not use it as much as I expected. The river there is too large, the boat too small, for much pleasure. Then as later, I was more interested in the making than the doing. Getting there and back was problematic: too far for walking or biking and I was too young to drive. Still, I my friend Bobby did make expeditions down to the Tappan Zee Bridge and up to Bear Mountain.

{This is what TZB looked like from my point of view; source: wikipedia}

{The river at Bear Mountain; source:}

To get to Bear Mountain, I passed by the great mothballed fleet of Liberty ships from World War II.

{Liberty Ships; source:}

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