Monday, November 26, 2012

Normandie Dot to Dot

I often am surprised how experiences in life prove to be a series of fortuitous - though sometimes bizarre - connection of dots.  This has proved to be so with the Normandie, the famous French Art Deco ocean liner of the 1930s.

First, a long time ago, I was given a Normandie luggage tag from some one who had actually sailed on her.

Along with the luggage tag was this news clipping from 1942 (?) - there is no date - of the Normandie tipped over in New York harbor.

Then years after that, I went to the library to pick up some books that I had ordered.  This book was among them - though I had not ordered it up!  It was was a library error of happenstance that proved to be wonderful.

A riveting story
After that I ordered up this book.

A great read.
Check it out here.
Then, I was once at the Met to see another exhibit and stumbled upon the Normandie panels.  A delightful and beautiful surprise. 

History of Navigation Panels
at the Met in NYC

Also on view are chairs from the grand dining room, silver, and other exquisite items to which one can pay homage.

Most recently, we were at a hotel on the coast of Rhode Island.  After we had checked in, I asked the gentleman at the front desk to direct me to a specific place in the hotel.  Ironically, this gentleman was French, and very kindly thought to escort me.  As we approached a set of stairs, the walls were covered with ocean liner related art - among them the Normandie at the very top of the stairs.

"That is the Normandie!  That ship was beautiful." I exclaimed as I went over for closer examination.

"Mais, oui!" he responded, and I flatter myself that he was delighted that I thought to comment.  "There was no finer vessel," he added with obvious French pride.

Here are the two works that I saw.

Now recently - and this could be termed the bizarre dot - at Thanksgiving Mom invited some folks over from the senior center to share in our dual turkey celebration.  Amongst them was a gentleman who was a bit of an ocean liner buff.  He told me that there were films of the Normandie on YouTube.  I had never thought to look.

Here is one of them to start.

Be sure to also watch Part 2 of the above and the dining room one.  See how folks used to dress.  On my last cruise ... well let's just say it was quite different.

File:SS Normandie Pier 88 1941.jpg


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