Golden Anniversary

She was the biggest in the world then.

She was the biggest in the world then.

No, not the usual sort. Not the kind you automatically remember. More the WTF kind, suddenly recalled by accident, by date and a declining skill at arithmetic. So here goes…

It was 50 years ago today that I boarded the Cunard liner Queen Elizabeth in New York bound for Cherbourg, France. (No, not QE2. The real one.)

I was a week away from being 10 years old. I remember arriving at the dock and wondering where the water was. All I could see was an endless black wall. Oh. That was the side of the largest ocean liner ever built. I kid you not. The ultimate missing the forest for the one really big tree moment.

The America I left that day is gone. Long and completely gone. Contrary to what you may have been taught, it was in many ways a lovely place. What with political correctness, the NSA, and the general collapse of Christian civilization, I can’t speak of that place without putting myself on a list today.

But if anyone’s curious, I might be induced to risk a description…

Though I suspect most of you already think you know. Which is the chief liability of being an Internet dilettante. You know all kinds of stuff you heard of once, in passing, and almost everything you know just ain’t so.

P.S. So Tim called my bluff. He wants a description. I’ll work on one specific to this entry, but in the interim I offer this post from my own blog archives a decade ago. Skip down to the boldfaced subhead titled “Dear Philosoraptor.” Read it, respond, and then I’ll know how to frame a more relevant reminiscence. Is that fair?

5 thoughts on “Golden Anniversary

  1. Funny you posted the link to “The Dinosaur Perspective” while I was typing. This post made me think of it. One of my all-time favorites.

    As for responding to it–I agree with it. Though I can’t claim to be a gentleman. Not consistently.

  2. What an incredible early birthday present that must have been for you!

    I’d like to hear the description as well. I reread your response to Philosoraptor, probably for the 10th time, and your description of the modern experiments with boys and girls rings particularly true. Yes, I live and work at an old-school, traditional setting where boys are still asked to where coats and ties to every single class, and young ladies are still asked (though they most frequently ignore the requests) to be modest and classy. But from your recollection, it’s clear that their *insides* have changed. Mine too, probably, despite my more-traditional-than most upbringing.

    Why I (we) rely on you for the longer perspective. I’m asking.

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