Editor of Cruise Line History, Michael Grace
After graduate school, Michael joined the William Morris Agency as an assistant, and later was assigned to work for Elvis Presley’s manager Colonel Parker as part of Elvis Presley Promotion first at MGM and then Paramount.
He then left Parker and worked for McCann Erickson Advertising before joining MSEI Public Relations, later ICPR, assigned to accounts including KLM, Whirlpool, A&M Records, and Paramount.
During this period he was Hollywood correspondent for COMBAT, the French daily newspaper established by Albert Camus.
This experience gave him a strong background in marketing, promotion and public relations but his real interest was in writing and producing.
- Michael began producing in the theatre and is part of the team (producer and writer) that created the internationally performed award-winning musical SNOOPY based on Peanuts by Charles M. Schultz.
- Snoopy continues to be one of the most produced shows worldwide with over 1200 productions including long runs in New York, Chicago, Sydney, San Francisco, and London’s West End.
- Snoopy ran for over 500 performance at the Duchess Theatre, received three Laurence Olivier nominations including Best Musical and then toured the UK & Ireland for 56 weeks.
- The musical has just been reimagined, winning the Broadway World Best New Musical, and Best Musical awards with a national tour set for later this year.
- He also produced P.S. YOUR CAT IS DEAD by Pulitzer Prize-winning author James Kirkwood starring Sal Mineo and Robert Foxworth. His one-man play, JFK – THE MAN BEHIND THE MYTH, was developed for HBO and produced theatrically.
- Michael began writing screenplays, selling his second to Universal. He then got in on the horror boom of the 1980s and wrote THE UNSEEN starring Stephen Furst (Animal House) and Sidney Lassick (One Flew Over The Cookoos Nest) which has a cult following.
- He then went on to write for the nighttime series PAPER DOLLS and KNOTTS LANDING. Securing a place on the hit series LOVE BOAT, he wrote numerous episodes including five two-hour specials starring Oscar and Emmy winners and nominees, Lana Turner, Kathy Bates, Claire Trevor, Anne Baxter, George Kennedy, Cloris Leachman and Tim Robbins.
- He has written movies for TV, including the thriller LADY KILLER starring Emmy and Tony winner Judith Light, various pilots and developed screenplays for Kevin Costner and John Travolta.
- He also developed screenplays for such major award-winning directors as Nick Meyer, Tony Richardson, and J. Lee Thompson.
- He has just finished a new musical: That’s Too Broadway with actor/composer/lyricist Tom Lowe, who starred in the London West End productions of Les Misérables and Cats. They are also developing another musical, MS St. Louis, based on the ill fated voyage from Germany to Cuba in 1939 caring German Jewish refuges.
- He received his BA from San Francisco State University and did graduate work at Nottingham University and the American University Beirut.
- He was a member of the San Francisco State University Foundation for five years and is featured on the university website as a prominent alumnus. He’s a member of the Writers Guild of America, Dramatist Guild and the Order of St. John of Jerusalem.
Michael’s Social & Travel History
During the mid-80s, Michael worked as a writer on the TV Hit Series The Love Boat.
- He wrote many of the two-hour special featuring great stars of the past including Lana Turner, Claire Trevor, Anne Baxter, Ethel Merman, Alexis Smith, etc.
- The public’s access to these stars, in familiar dramas and comedies, made them want to go on a cruise. They could see the stars in an ordinary world as “regular” people.
- The phenomenally successful series was responsible for creating the cruise industry as we know it today.
- It was a ten-year info commercial reaching the planet. Much of it was over-the-top fantasy, but it has to be one of the greatest selling tools or all time.
- Without Love Boat, there would be no Carnival Corp or the endless large cruise lines. P&O Lines (owner of Princess Cruises until Carnival bought it) said: “Love Boat” brought in over a billion dollars in business. Love Boat was the ultimate realization of a TV show turned into a brand name.
- The Love Boat drama was in stark contrast to Michael’s personal experience with ships and cruise liners.
Michael has sailed on over 55 ships and liners
- During the late 1950s and 1970s, Michael sailed on over 30 ships and liners with his parents, aunt, and grandmother.
- He had been a passenger aboard ships operated by the Grace Lines, Cunard Lines, Holland America Lines, US Lines, American President Lines, Matson Lines, Pacific Far East Lines, Delta Lines, Moore-McCormick Lines, Swedish America Lines, Home Lines, Canadian Pacific Lines, Italian Lines, American Export Lines, P&O Lines, Orient Lines, Italian Lines, French Line, etc.
- He sailed on some of the great liners and passenger ships including the Kungsholm, President Hoover, Empress of Canada, America, Lurline, Medea, Mauritania, Homeric, Mariposa, Monterey, Matsonia, President Wilson, Dentledyke, Del Sud, Santa Rosa, Oriana, Prince George, Royal Viking Sky, etc.
- He experienced P&O Line’s Canberra going Around-the-Pacific in the late 60s, as a graduation experience, and the next time he heard about this ship she was doing troop duty during the Falkland War.
- He sailed with his aunt on the Saturnia – the pre-war Italian Line ship… this was one of the first to have individual balconies or verandas for their first-class staterooms. Grace Line’s new Santa Rosa had verandas – Liz Taylor sailed in these large suites during the 1960s.
- His last cruise voyage, before 2000, was aboard Carras Line’s Daphne sailing to Havana, Cuba in 1978 from New Orleans, the second year for Carras sailing to Cuba. Carras pulled out because of political problems and a bomb threat. There have been no passenger ship services between the USA and Cuba since.
By the time he was writing for Love Boat, the great steamship companies and their liners were flying hand me down foreign flags, painted like old whores, scrapped or doing three-day cruises to the Bahamas. You couldn’t travel trans-Atlantic except by the QE 2 (only in the summer), and there were no trans-Pacific voyages. There were no First, Cabin, or Tourist Classes. No horseracing or skeet shooting or playing the ship’s pool. Vanished. Just one big class. Just Vegas afloat.
- The very successful THE PAST and NOW (CRUISING THE PAST) website first appearing in 2008 has been an outgrowth of Grace’s high interest in cruise and social history.
- Starting with his first ocean voyage when he was eight years old.
- Drawing on his knowledge and a vast maritime and social history collection, he can produce a very successful website.
- Cruising the Past captures the moments in the time when passengers “crossed the pond” in style and “getting there was half the fun”!
- The website is visited by thousands of people daily who search for a glimpse of the past and researching social history.
- He has lectured and consults extensively on travel and social history.
Michael’s Legal Triumph with the FEC
Along with The Daily Kos, we both prevailed in a landmark Federal Election Commission 2007 decision reaffirming the right of American bloggers to exercise their free speech rights.
- Bloggers were now considered media like the New York Times, AP, cable news, etc.
- I had been sued by Congresswoman Mary Bono and the Daily Kos by a private citizen who was attempting to place unconstitutional restrictions 0n free speech. I was backing the Democrat Candidate in Palm Springs, with Bono claiming I violating FEC laws.
- They lost, we won.
- Since I answered the lawsuit propria persona, I represented myself rather than engaging an attorney. It was great satisfaction winning since the so-called elitist grandstanding Washington DC law firm lost along with Ms. Bono.
- Since then, as an independent, I have no party affiliation. I find both parties are corrupt and owned by Wall Street.
- My third cousin, Senator Albin Barkley was VP under Truman, and other relatives included Illinois congressmen, Governor of Kentucky, Irvin S. Cobb, famed humorist, actor, writer, and Josiah Bartlett, delegate to the Continental Congress for New Hampshire and signatory of the Declaration of Independence. He was later Governor of New Hampshire and Chief Justice of the New Hampshire Superior Court of Judicature. That world, as shared to me by my grandmother, no longer exists.
- For the past fourteen years, I’ve been active politically, so-called right, and left, from advocating for the taxation of organized religion and the destruction of political correctness on social media besides this website. Since then, politicians from all sides, including their lackeys and mouthpieces, activists, overpaid officials sucking off the public trough have threatened lawsuits, name-calling, hacking, etc.
- I support the Convention of States Project; a national effort to call a convention under Article V of the United States Constitution, restricted to proposing amendments that will impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit its power and jurisdiction, and impose term limits on its officials and members of Congress.
- Bring it on! I love muckraking! Because, what they now call the traditional media, is mainly a collection of opinionated overpaid flacks doing leg work for the p0oliticians, politically correct activists and the billionaires who should be taxed on a President Eisenhower basis: 90%.
- So, along with the Daily Kos, I’m now part of that great cloud of witnesses, including Larry Flynt, who has advocated for freedom of expression.
- The political blog is now media, along with tweets and legacy mainstream journalism.
- The NY Times didn’t cover the FEC decision and the failing LA Times gave it five inches.
- Since the decision, these legacy newspapers have lost millions in subscribers and advertising.
- Of course, there was no TV news coverage because they thought no one would cut the cable!
Here media coverage on the landmark decision for bloggers in 2007!