Shipboard memory

48 years ago I graduated from high school. Three days later we got in our 1965 Buick Special and headed west across the country to Los Angeles, where we’d put the car on a barge to be shipped five thousand miles to Guam. That was Dad’s newest Navy duty station. We took two or three weeks to drive through a lot of national parks, including Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone, and stopped at other places too, like Wall Drug in South Dakota. When we hit Utah the radiator in the car began to overheat. The nearest dealer quoted us a price of several hundred bucks and, more importantly, about a week’s wait to get the parts necessary to fix or replace what turned out to be a cracked block. That wasn’t acceptable, so we limped down US 89 from Bryce Canyon into Phoenix at about 35 mph, refilling the radiator every twenty or thirty miles.

Once we got to Phoenix we had a nice family reunion for a week or so, I think, and then it was on to Los Angeles. We got the car onto its seagoing transport and then we found our own: the SS Lurline, formerly known as the Matsonia. It was a five-day cruise on Matson’s flagship luxury liner from LA to Honolulu, and there were a fair number of teenagers on board, so I had a good time.

I’ll bet I heard this song about 50 times during those five days.

One Comment

  1. I heard that song every hour on the hour during the summer of 1968, until I was sick unto death of it. (That and Sunshine of Your Love.) But I don’t think I’ve heard Sky Pilot since. I guess it wasn’t a song that holds up all that well.

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