This is the beginning of a series of posts concerning Lad’s Voyage to Venezuela, taking a similar route as John Jackson Lewis during the first portion of his journey, about 88 years later. Lad and Dan had been hired by their Uncle Ted Human (husband of Helen (Peabody) Human, Aunt Helen), sister of Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion, Grandpa’s wife who had passed away in 1933 after a long illness. This is Lad’s version of the adventure he was taking and the same trip Dan had taken earlier in the year, traveling with Ted Human to South America.
Sunday morning, Jan. 1, 1939, I presume, dawned as usual but I certainly did not see it. When I finally arrived at the dining-room at twelve-thirty the hall was practically empty and everyone was eating in comparative silence. That afternoon there was very little activity above on the decks, and I presume most of the passengers were below, nursing big heads and the other ailments that follow over-indulgence. I spent a couple of hours at the bow of the ship watching the water gracefully roll away from the prow in a slow sweeping wave and watching the Porpoises and Flying-Fish that seemed to keep ahead of the ship effortlessly. The strong breeze that blew from the Port Bow was beginning to show the first signs of warmer climates and I thoroughly enjoyed those few minutes that in actuality, were hours. When I returned to the Club Room I noticed a number of people busily engaged in watching something going on on the rear deck below and naturally I went to see what was causing such intent watching. There, in the swimming pool, where three of the deck hands with long brushes, rubber boots, which apparently afforded rather poor footing on the slowly rolling tile bottom, water and plenty of soap. They were getting the pool in condition for the warmer weather that was expected on the following day. We all had many laughs as the men now and then would go sliding across the pool bottom as the ship rolled a little further than usual and before they had finished each of them had fallen at least once.
Supper was also a quiet affair although about half of the passengers were there, and the Cruise Director, during the meal, announced that a dance would be held in the Club Room that evening. The first few dances were rather sad affairs, but as the evening wore on, they became more lively and when the band tried to stop playing at twelve, there was such a cry for more that they finally consented to play on ‘til one. I did no dancing but thoroughly enjoyed watching and listening to the music. That night was the first time that the wind really began to get warm and after the dance I spent half an hour or so wandering about the decks and watching the sky and stars, which were beautiful, and wishing that there were more of those I had left behind with me then to also enjoy that first wonderful southern night. I retired that night full of the expectations of the warm weather that the following day would bring.
Tomorrow, more of My Ancestors.
On Monday I will begin a week of letters written in 1943 with Lad and Marian’s wedding imminent.