Sunday, September 11, 2016
Where Were You on 9/11/2001?
This luxury liner, which crossed the North Atlantic over 1,000 times is today a hotel, museum and conference center located in Long Beach, Cali. Staying here gives one the interesting vantage point of catching a rare glimpse of the golden age of superliner transatlantic travel.
It was a terrible night for me, spent most of the night on the floor of the Art Deco bathroom with a terrible vomiting spell. This was the result of, we later learned, my almost bursting appendix, which was surgically removed days later.
The night before I had dinner with my mother in downtown Long Beach. I remember it was a surreal evening. Dusk on the ocean. Navy men in their dress whites. Twenty-four hours later, we were on the beach at Santa Monica, in a veritable state of shock. Downtown Long Beach was shut down.
I was scheduled to fly out of LAX on 9-11. As we approached the airport, we noticed the exit was blocked off. We spent the day in Hollywood, visiting the homes of golden age stars, such as the Bel-Air home of Ronald Reagan (the Secret Service were keeping guard in a car) and the Beverly Hills home of Jimmy Stewart (which had sadly been torn down the year after he died).
I think I was the last person in the world to hear of the attack. As I awoke I stumbled out of bed and made my way to the promenade deck and sun deck in search of my mother. The ship was a maze and I found myself alone. In a shop in the first-class Piccadilly Circus, a female employee had her TV on and said to me, "America has been attacked."
at 9:25 PM