Story so far: Grandma Cecile had planned her trip to visit her relatives back in her home village of Nieder-Mohrau, Czechoslavkia. Finally after months of planning, she was crossing the United States by train. In Chicago she changed from the Northern Pacific to the New York Central and had to beg the conductor for a new train timetable so she could watch the stations go by.
Riding through farm country in Ohio and New York, passing through large cities, Grandma Cecile finally arrived in New York City. It was June 5, her daughter Betty's 12th birthday! By the time Grandma got around to writing in her journal, it was June 6, and she was already out at sea.
Here is her entry which looked back at both June 5 & 6:
JUNE 6 Some country and scenery, Ohio; and New York seems such nice fields of clover and alfalfa. Corn was not very big. New York seems to be a place for grapes and factories. Albany, Cleveland; those big buildings ‐ a person almost gets scared when the train pulls in the station.
Arriving in [Grand] Central Station. I was crabby because the German Lloyd didn’t meet us there. So, naturally, you got to hire your own transportation.
|Card to help Grandma navigate Grand Central|
After I had my luggage on the boat I felt better but so tired. I walked around in New York so much till my feet hurt so much, I had to take a rest in Central Park, where I met an Irish Lady, who told me very much about the city of New York. We talked until I had to go to the dock.
Coming here I was very kindly directed to my room. I undressed and washed and went to bed ‐ slept so good, never heard the other passengers coming in, and never knew when we started.
|From ship brochure|
The beauty of this ship I can not write in words. The dining room had flowers in every corner; bouquets of roses on every suitable place. Each additional table had a pot of flowers; all were planted and grown in there.
The food is excellent. I wanted oatmeal, so I got hot milk with it, besides the cream.
After breakfast we went on the deck. It was indescribably nice, but no more land to see, the atmosphere is absolutely a tonic for nerves.
I have heard we have a priest on board this morning. We had no Mass, but the headquarters will let us know if there is a Mass tomorrow morning.
There are so many on board, every room is taken. I feel so good, because I slept so good. Just opposite where I am sitting is a big picture of a castle illuminated by electricity. The steamer crew speaks a queer German. It's more “plat” than "Berlin".
Grandma Cecile can't be blamed for being crabby when no one met her at Grand Central Station. The card shown above made it sound as if someone would be meeting the train and that card would introduce her. Usually tour operators have someone stationed to await their clients, collect them and move them on to their next stop. apparently if that was the case, Grandma somehow missed her contact person.
It seems hard to imagine Grandma Cecile walking around the big city of New York all by herself. Grandma was no stranger to NYC, though. When she immigrated to the United States back in 1901, she landed there, coming in through Ellis Island. She continued to live and work there for several years until she met and married Grandpa Alois in Nebraska and returned to an agrarian life. Her years in New York must have stayed with her.
The photo included is from one of the ship brochures that Grandma Cecile had among her souvenirs. More photos will be included in an upcoming post. The ship Grandma is on is the Europa. This wikipedia article tells more of the history of the Europa. She had reason to think it was a fine ship, it was one of the best of its day.
To read Post "19 - Grand Central Station Postcard 5 June 1936" Click Here
Story to be continued......