05 July 2009

Your Bawth is Ready

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, on this day in 1950:

Aboard the Queen Mary
Homesickness Unknown Among Sea Travelers
Cruising Reporter Meets Many From Home Town
by Priscilla Hendryx
Post-Gazette Staff Writer
THERE is no such thing as a homesick Pittsburgher aboard the Queen Mary. If anyone feels a desire to discuss the progress of the new United States Steel building or the summer operas, he doesn't have to look far for a comprehending ear. I am traveling with Carol Thorne of Wightman Street and Marian McAdams of South Linden Avenue. And the first people we ran into on sailing day were Mr. and Mrs. I.W. Wilson and their daughter Peggy, of Murrayhill Avenue, and Mr. and Mrs. Errett M. Grable and daughter Patsy, of Edgerton Avenue.
John Humphrey of Greensburg and the Pike Run Country Club is aboard with the Kent School racing team. The boys will compete in the Henley races in England and they work out on rowing machines on deck every day. They all look very sporty in their white sweaters with blue "K's" and their navy blue blazers.
Ted Griggs of Waterbury, Conn., whose mother is the former Harriet Aiken of Pittsburgh, was one of the first people I met. Ted graduated from Yale last month and is touring with a professor and other students this summer.
Mixed with French, German and English accents, Pittsburgh voices sound good once in awhile. And no doubt we will continue to hear them occasionally as we cross the continent.
* * *
At home, when you want to take a bath, you walk into the bathroom, turn on the water, and hop in. Or easier still, you pull the shower curtain and surround yourself with clean water.
Aboard the Queen Mary, a bath is a ritual, and there is nothing simple about it. The bath stewardess, dressed and capped in white, approaches you the first day to find out at which hour you wish your bath to be scheduled. And for the remainder of the voyage, then, and only then, are you allowed to enter the sacred precincts labeled "Bath 1" and "Bath 2." When your time arrives, and for one woman in our cabin that means 7:00 a.m., you are roused by the English stewardess who escorts you with much ceremony to your private bawth. The water is steaming hot so that the walls perspire and you likewise, and if you are unfortunate enough to have a pre-breakfast bathing hour, you are likely to get out feeling a little faint.
* * *
One boy finds that the best sleep-inducer is to read a paragraph of the "Ocean Times," a small daily printed on board. Yesterday afternoon he read three paragraphs because his mid-day snooze was interrupted not once, but three times, by the bath steward who wanted to know who in room C-27 wanted a bath.
The food is marvelous and the only thing I don't like on the Queen is the class distinction. Every time you turn around there is one of those blasted "1st class only" signs. We have taken a swim in the A deck pool [sic], but they'd probably put us in steerage if they knew it.

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