Tuesday, October 14, 2008

afloat in my mind

Two very nice young people help an elderly gentleman across the room

Memory amazes me.

How can you be puttering away in your workaday world, and all of a sudden a memory comes rushing unbidden into the dining room of your mind? It happens to everyone. Pulling weeds, you suddenly think of your grandfather's gray fedora. Driving to work, you re-imagine that unbelievable meal you had in a little cafe in Santorini. Or the red wagon you owned when you were three.

I had one of those moments last night, but I know exactly why. One of my favorite cruises was on the Queen Mary 2 four years ago when it was a brand new ship. Our small travelling band bought the tickets almost a full year earlier -- before the ship was completely built. So, we were pumped when we boarded her.

Everything about that trip was almost perfect. You know from my earlier posts that I try to do something special for the entertainers. It turned out that I had been one stage with one of the singers on an earlier cruise. Our group invited her to join us between her shows on the last evening of the cruise. She showed up quite resplendent -- still in her stage makeup for the second show.

Our group had also befriended one of the cadets assigned to the QM2: a young Irishman named Jonathan Ward. We had invited him to join us, as well, on that evening.

I cannot tell you everything we discussed, but we had a great time. (The details will probably pop into my head during a training session.) What I do know is that we felt we knew both of them quite well. While I was in Cork two years ago, I was going to see if he was still at the maritime college. I didn't.

The other evening, though, I was looking at some ship videos. One was a shameless advertisement for the QM2. But I watched it merely to see the ship in action. And, who should I see: Jonny Ward, now third mate on the ship.

I almost felt as if my own nephew had made good.

If you are interested in some background on the ship, take a look at
Queen Mary 2.


glorv1 said...

That's why we have memories, to remember the good things and sometimes the bad. You are not old, you are in the prime of your life Steve. Those are two nice looking people you have with you. Take care.

Steve Cotton said...

Gloria -- I tend to be the antithesis of the sentimental memory type. But, now and then, I recall a thing or two with some warmth.

Calypso said...

It is kind of great when those young people want to hug us up and escort us - a benefit of getting to where we are amigo!

Steve Cotton said...

John -- I guess it doesn;t look as if I am protesting.

Anonymous said...

Nice that you had the opportunity to sail on the Queen.
I have heard from a crew member that the ship has been sold to the king of Saudi Arabia and will now be used as a hotel. It's another lesson in how quickly everything is changing these days.


Steve Cotton said...

Rick -- You are thinking of the Queen Elizabeth 2. It is destined to be a hotel in Dubai. The Queen Mary 2 is still proudly plowing the seas. And I would gladly join her again at any time -- on stage or not.

Anonymous said...

That's good to hear and sorry for my bad infromation. Nice to know that the "new" Queen will continue to sail the seas.