Tuesday, March 16, 2010

For Emily and Bill

When I got to NYC in 1958 I went to work on a cruise ship that was an English boat that sailed from New York to Bermuda every week. The QTEV Queen of Bermuda docked at Pier 95 on 12th Ave.
My first assignment on the ship was as a second class waiter, which means I served the Officers in their mess.
Seasick, Looking at food and serving it three times a day made me throw up two or three times every meal. I was doing this all the way down to Hamilton Bermuda and then all the way back to NYC. The Officers got tired of it so they moved me to the night shift on the telephone switchboard. That was a blast. There wasn't much activity after 9 pm. And it wasn't hard work.
If you wanted to you could surreptitiously listen in to conversations............I didn't because it was mostly boring stuff.

My partner at night was an old Liverpudlian who had developed a side line business for himself as a podiatrist. He was a crusty old bugger who catered to the many flaky waiters who were 'a bit off' and he would go to their cabins and give them pedicures. He had a little black bag full of tweezers, cuticles clippers etc.

He was also in love with a black girl who was about 20 ( he was 60 ) in Bermuda. I could tell you more about his love escapades but... decorum will not allow it.

I had been on the ship for 3 months when I got a radio call from sister Rene that my dad was very poorly and was not expected to live very much longer. The ship was about to leave Bermuda for the two day sail to NYC and when we got there we had to make arrangements for a flight to England.

It was Friday 13th of June 1958. The plane was a DC-7 and it had mechanical difficulties that were scary. We left the terminal twice and returned from the runway for repairs.
It was after midnight- so Saturday the 14th- when we finally left NYC.

When we got to Runcorn on Saturday we were all shattered and jet lagged. On Sunday a contingent went to Warrington to see Dad.
I was asked to wait until the next day because too many people returning from America would clue Dad into the seriousness of his condition. (Give me a break)

He died on Monday the 16th and I never saw him again.


One final note. As I was leaving Runcorn on that Friday March 7th 1958, I had walked out the front door of #6 and was about two houses up the street when my Dad made it to the front door. "Don't you want to say goodbye to your Dad?" said my Mum.
I went back and kissed him. He was ashen and had a 2 day growth on his face. But I'll never forget it. Never. I loved him. And today is his birthday anniversary. Happy birthday Dad -March 17th- you are 105 years old today.

19 comments:

Emily said...

Good post. I always learn a little bit more about your experiences when you write them.

Happy birthday, Grandad.

get2eric said...

It was written for you Emily.

Anonymous said...

Well I read it too,Eric. Of course I wept! I loved our Dad so very much and before he died I was lucky enough to hold his Arm and tell him (when he asked me wot's up) that I loved him and didn't like to see him lying there..You put it so nicely, Little Bro. x


Norma.

debgraafsma said...

Thanks for taking the time to share. Your blog holds wonderful insights. Blessings, Debbye
debgraafsma.wordpress.com

EdamameMommy said...

wow. Tearing up as I fly over that same ocean in reverse a couple days later. THIS is what I hoped you'd write, however gut-wrenching, when I helped you set up grandadsays. Even if it isn't written for me. Mine will appreciate it in the future, too. sniff sniff.

EdamameMommy said...

wow. Tearing up as I fly over that same ocean in reverse a couple days later. THIS is what I hoped you'd write, however gut-wrenching, when I helped you set up grandadsays. Even if it isn't written for me. Mine will appreciate it in the future, too. sniff sniff.

EdamameMommy said...

wow. Tearing up as I fly over that same ocean in reverse a couple days later. THIS is what I hoped you'd write, however gut-wrenching, when I helped you set up grandadsays. Even if it isn't written for me. Mine will appreciate it in the future, too. sniff sniff.

EdamameMommy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

hahaha and Stephanie, I read every one of them AGAIN!! xx you see,Eric, what we all want from you now is yet more memories,please.


Norma.x

Do you remember Jackie and Billy Shaw playing footy on the front every day with our Colin and me?

Anonymous said...

i without a doubt enjoy all your writing choice, very attractive.
don't give up and also keep writing as a result it just nicely to follow it,
excited to look over more and more of your own articles, thanks!

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I am just a blog-surfer. But I was moved and enriched by your memories of your sea misadventures and of your love for your father.

You have a real talent with words. I envy you that talent and for your loving relationship with your father. I never knew mine.

Thanks for sharing from your heart. Hope you don't mind a stranger dropping by. Roland

Vetmommy said...

Powerful stuff. Keep them coming!

get2eric said...

Roland, You're welcome here.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Thanks for welcoming a wandering stranger.

If you've a mind, you might check out my blog : WRITING IN THE CROSSHAIRS {as in a rifle scope since authors have to focus their work with clarity.} www.rolandyeomans.blogspot.com.

Thanks again for being so gracious to a cyber-traveler. Roland

Sheilagh (60 x60) said...

Just come across your blog, I was touched by your words about your dad. It's my mam's birthday today, she would have been 85 today but we lost her 7 years ago. My dad's anniversary ins March 17th we lost him 25 years ago.

I live in Runcorn...weird coincidence's I think.

Best wishe

Vetmommy said...

Can't wait until you get back from your cruise so we can have an update!

Anonymous said...

Hello,Sheilagh! nice to read your posting..Eric is bringing memories flooding back to me of when we were small in Runcorn which I am enjoying immensely ..have you read his Daughters Blogs?


Norma. Hurry up,Eric, and post some more,please. :)

somebody said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
get2eric said...

When I said it was written for Emily I did not mean exclusively......
I wrote it for all.