March 21, 2010

Queen Mary 2010: 1

Middle stack on the Queen Mary. A replacement for the original. 2010.

Himself: Neither of us felt well when we got back from LA, so we were exceptionally busy. Made me laugh.

Herself: Yesterday the 50th Boyden’s High School Reunion, camera shop closed before we could get my broken, much loved camera there, photos to flickr for Bee, sandwich by the bay.

Reading: Finished an old Cadell. Nothing at the moment.

Gratitude: Bee and Michael, G, the weather, and the Queen.

The Queen Mary inspires passion. Some love her because she seems exotic in this land of cookie cutter manufacture; others love her as a historical artifact. Folks like me love her because every bit of her is a work of art.

Perhaps she curves where one expects a straight wall. It might be her woods that charm, or her design, or even her details or materials. Maybe it is because she is the ultimate in reuse. Perhaps she surprises because she has held up despite decades of benign neglect. Few leave her unmoved.

We certainly prowled every accessible inch of her. Only once was G thrown out of a closed space….shame on them for leaving the door cracked. We saw the bad: whole outside decks clothed in T111 instead of teak, grass growing between deck planks on the bow, areas in the First Class Dining Room naked to the steel decks, artifact displays missing, downgraded, rotting, or changed beyond recognition, several serious rust problems, work being done but half heartedly and obviously on a low budget.

We saw the good: Beauty at every turn, the friendliness of the staff, delight in well maintained areas such as shinning original linoleum that they called Corkoid, our well maintained First Class cabin with many of the remaining details intact. Even the food in the Café was good as was the service.

Random carpet, deck, and Corkoid shots a la Peter Knego, the ship historian.

Now Delaware North has the concession. Every concessionaire has come to the Queen Mary thinking they could make a go of it. Disney gave up after losing money on her as did several other concessionaires including the QM Historical folks. Delaware North took over Old Town here in San Diego from the cash cow, money maker Diane Powers. After losing vast sums and being boycotted by the locals, they have sub leased it to a Chula Vista man. Can Delaware North maintain a giant rusting steel construction that sits in the ocean if they cannot make a small local park work?

One of my projects here was to re-photograph several sites I shot with my last camera. Twelve MPs give far sharper images than 6. I found to my amusement that I could not duplicate the funnel shot on the previous entry. I had climbed up to the radar shack to get that shot. This time the stairs were locked. I had also wanted to shoot the Second Class rear stair glass panel series on the history of transportation. I was appalled to discover that two walls of art glass had been removed and the openings were boarded up.

Both G and I will post more pictures of the Queen later in the week. Perhaps some interior shots tomorrow. Maybe even some reunion photos. Today life moves on. I’m downloading art opening pictures to Flickr so Bee has higher quality shots. Three days of downloading so far, and G waits impatiently for me to finish. I used Snapfish for my blogs. Zap and things are downloaded. The sun isn’t out yet. We are skipping the Cancer Society pot luck for an AA Business meeting. The pot luck would be infinitely more fun.

Here’s a few links to the Queen Mary for those of you who might be interested. A few of these are blogs and updated often. Come, take a mini vacation on the Queen Mary yourself.


Dave Lee’s Queen Mary Page

RMS Queen Mary

Bill Cwiklo’s Blog: Two recent entries on the Queen Mary

The Queen Mary

Letters From The Queen Mary

Julian Hill’s Queen Mary Website

Queen Mary 1966 Med Cruise

Queen Mary the troopship

Lost Liners: Queen Mary

Launch of the Queen Mary: Record and film

Queen Mary in the Movies



  1. Sounds like your trip was highly successful. Glad you had a good time.

  2. I've really been enjoying your words and pictures here. I envy your experience.

  3. You were on the Queen Mary? Hw did I miss that? I thought it was another ship. Please pretend I am no so stupid.

  4. Oh lovely. What a great opportunity to snap some marvelous photos.. and you sure did exactly that.

  5. Oh, my husband and I love the Queen Mary, we adore these grand old ships. We have been enjoying your pictures and stories these last several days, and envying your time. We would love to enjoy such a visit with you! Great pictures!

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Peter in front of a wall sculpture. We were invited up to Peter Knego’s home to see the latest installation.   Abstract flat ...