Monday, March 17, 2014

Of Shoes - And Ships - And Sealing-Wax

So today I want to tell you about two terrific ships, both in Philadelphia.  They're two of the things I forgot about when I was trying to think of the few things I like about Philadelphia.

The first is a story that I hope will have a happy ending.  The S.S. United States is the country's flagship, named for the nation.  She's a passenger ship, an ocean liner, currently rotting away on the Delaware River in Philadelphia.  You can read more about her and see photos of her here:  and here:  This is a truly beautiful and amazing ship, one that we, as a country, should restore and be proud of, a piece of our history.

She's the kind of ship that looks like she's flying even when she's docked, as she has been for almost twenty years.  She's sleek and fast and still holds records for fastest Atlantic crossings.  Who else can boast that?  Her maiden voyage was in July 1952, a little more than a month before I was born, so maybe she holds a special place in my heart because of that.  I don't really think so, though.  She's a piece of living history.  Restoring her would provide jobs to idle ship builders in the area (Philadelphia still occasionally builds ships) and a restored S.S. United States would attract tourists and make history come alive for bored school children.  She could be used for functions, as a restaurant, or for parties, like the next ship I'm going to tell you about.

Moshulu is also docked on the Delaware River in Philadelphia.  Have you read Eric Newby's book The Last Grain Race?  I read it before we moved to Philadelphia and you should have seen my head spin when Jack and I walked down the river for the first time and  -  there she was:  Moshulu!  She's privately owned and well-maintained as a restaurant and bar.  We've sat on her deck drinking ice cold beer on hot summer days  -  the very decks that Newby trod during the Last Grain Race, which Moshulu won!  Things like this make me tingle!  Here's some more information about her:

Although I never particularly enjoyed my days as a sailor's wife (too much racing, not enough lying about drinking beer, occasional sea-sickness  -  please, just put me out of my misery!), I still love to look at beautiful boats.  These are two rippingly gorgeous boats.

I should say something about shoes and sealing-wax, shouldn't I?  I'm mourning the demise of my favorite pair of boots.  This happened a few years ago, but I'm still grieving.  I have them tucked in the bottom of my closet, but I dare not wear them because I'm not Johnny Depp, who sometimes  wears a favorite pair of taped-together boots.  Mine were from Tuk Shoes and I've been begging them to reproduce (or whatever it's called when you re-make boots after they've been discontinued) them, but to no avail.  They were non-leather (I'm a vegan) black cowboy boots with white stars and white piping.  They were so ME!  Well made, easy to pull on, attention-getting without shouting, and comfortable.  I've trolled the internet for secret stashes, but I think I have to let them go.  (Unless there are elves out there willing to make me a pair.)

I used to use sealing-wax and would again if I had anyone to write to.  It seems so Medieval and regal.  I love fountain pens and ink, and sealing-wax goes with those things.  I love the colors, I love the stamps to leave your own personal impression.  But if I started writing letters again, I'd have to improve my penmanship.  Currently, looking at my handwriting, most people think I'm a doctor.  I can't even read my writing sometimes.  I'm always dashing off things and then I have no idea what I've written.  (I'm using Lewis Carroll's spelling of 'sealing-wax';  it's normally spelled as two non-hyphenated words.)

Let's all take a breath and slow down.


  1. Hi Joan! Welcome to blogland. I love the name! There's always something good if we look hard enough. The boats are very interesting, how cool to sit and eat on a piece of history:)

  2. Thanks, Peggy. Moshulu is fantastic and the S. S. United States could be, too. It's true that there's usually some good to be found. It's just deciding if the balance between good and bad is tilted in the right direction. I'm glad you like my blog. You know how lazy I am, so I don't know how often I'll blog. I admire your blog with all the photos and links. That must take time!