Transmission 29: Liz MacDougald

Courtesy of Chester Kishel, Jr.

Courtesy of Chester Kishel, Jr.

My father was a diplomat with the U.S. State Department, so we traveled constantly throughout the 1960s. We liked taking ships because we could bring our wild and crazy Oldsmobile Cutlass convertible. How is that for luggage?

Our only route was Le Havre to NYC and vice versa. Basically, we moved every two years from Europe to the States. I was very young, so I don’t remember a lot. I do know we traveled first class and each had our own purser — they were always very nice and so attentive.

I always had an earache during the crossings which was a bummer, especially because I wanted to swim in the pool so, so, so much. In those days, you just suffered through stuff, so I watched my brother play in the pool instead. Another memory is the dining. The water glasses were so thin and delicate that during one meal, I bit into my glass. Everyone went nuts! I couldn’t resist as a kid, I guess. I was fine, but the staff made a huge fuss.

My father never traveled with us on those voyages. He would accompany us to the dock, and we would watch as he waved goodbye amidst the streamers (paper cuts!) and confetti. Then off we went. We had diplomatic passports, so we never waited in line. Sadly, that perk was lost on me back then.

— Liz MacDougald, former passenger