Safe and sound in Hamburg. A clean new apartment where I can cook. Time to decompress from the autobahn.
I went to the Maritime Museum in Hamburg Germany today.
The elderly security guard took my ticket and said, “We have six decks, you should start at the top and come down”. My mind’s eye saw him forty years ago on the bridge of a bulker.
These pictures are my thousand words. Nothing like the live experience but if you want a hint of this remarkable collection and haven’t the time to come to Hamburg then I hope you enjoy these images.
I don’t control my thinking much anymore so I’m going to give in to a few streams of consciousness. This is your cue to get that People Magazine in the throne room and skip this step!
The top deck was the world of tiny ships. The biggest a roughly 10cm replica of the Queen Mary. Summers in the 1960s would find my Dad at the dining room table of the cottage on Lake Erie detailing the hull of some ship model. One particularly intricate model was of the Queen Mary. He’d spy me out of the corner of his eye, wink and call me Jakey – perhaps a derivative of the nickname he had for his brother John. That model was displayed for many years on a shelf just below the University Plaques that lined all 4 walls of “The Mincher Room” at the cottage.
My father dedicated his life to the local University as a professor, then department head, and finally dean. He had a piercing stare when he was making his point to you. My mother once said he could see straight through a man’s head. Trust me, to a six-year-old kid that was something!
The last ½ of the nineteen sixties saw him take the academic side of economics into the field in Zambia – a new country in south-central Africa. Word came from Ottawa that the new President, Kenneth Kaunda, needed an economic advisor. Dad was selected, Mom packed up the kids and we were off.
There wasn’t a global communications network. Contact with Canada consisted of letters and telegrams. Information was currency and Dad had sources that would arrive both in Lusaka and Windsor. One such man was Archy, a tall distinguished European. He arrived one night with a black case cuffed to his wrist. Dad and Archy spoke quietly in the den and then he exchanged pleasantries with my mother and departed for the airport. It was a simpler time.
As a family man, my dad wanted his kids to live and experience. It didn’t matter what – you just had to do it. He would sit on the beach at the cottage and watch sailboats glide silently along. He wanted that for his kids. Dad had no interest in learning to sail so he made a deal, “you kids learn that skill and maintain the boats and I’ll pay for them – BUT, anytime I want a ride then you have to take me”. Hell, I can count on one hand the times he actually called in that debt. I suspect his goal was met by having sons that can take the helm in a gale and bring the boat safely to shore.
Well, that’s where my mind wandered as I walked today. I hope you like the pictures.