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Author Archives: Michael Grace

THE MAN BETWEEN – Sir Carol Reed’s Berlin-Set Thriller starring JAMES MASON

Why it’s time for Carol Reed’s Berlin-set thriller The Man Between to come out of the shadow of The Third Man. Starring James Mason and Claire Bloom, the film captures many scenes of post-war Berlin. The Man Between (1953)? When reviewing Carol Reed’s postwar thrillers, it’s usual to dismiss The Man Between (1953) ... Read More »

California’s SP STREAMLINER LARK served San Francisco and Los Angeles

Southern Pacific’s deluxe streamliner Lark was the premiere overnight passenger between San Francisco and Los Angeles. A favorite of businessmen and movie stars. The Oakland Lark connected with the Lark at San Jose then via San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara to Southern California along the coast route. The Lark rivaled ... Read More »

FIRST GAY CRUISE sailed in 1987 aboard the SS BERMUDA STAR

The first all-gay cruises were operated by RSVP cruises aboard the SS BERMUDA STAR over thirty years ago. This is a retro look at gay life in the 1980s aboard the first gay cruises.  Operated by gay pioneer RSVP, the passengers dubbed the ship Bermuda Star Cruise Line ship the SS BRENDA ... Read More »


The Cap Arcona was considered one of the most beautiful ships of the time, launched in 1927, was the largest German ship on the South American run. In 1940, the Cap Arcona was taken over by the Kriegsmarine (the German Navy), painted overall gray, and used in the Baltic Sea as ... Read More »


In December 1934, the refurbished Earl Carroll Theatre located on the south-east corner of 7th Ave and 50th Street, New York City, opened as the French Casino. This glittering supper club was described by Fortune magazine as ‘a vast scarlet and silver restaurant which, in terraced rows of tables, seats ... Read More »

NAZI SUBMARINE sinks Coastal Liner SS ROBERT E. LEE in 1942

The SS Robert E. Lee was hit by one torpedo from Nazi Submarine U-166, steaming at 16 knots about 25 miles southeast of the entrance to the Mississippi River on July 30, 1942. Lookouts had spotted the torpedo wake about 200 yards away before it struck the former Eastern Steamship ... Read More »

DELTA LINE – First Modern AMERICAN FLAG LINERS built after WW2

The “Del Triplets” – Del Norte, Del Mar, and Del Sud – were the first modern American flag liners to be built after World War 2 and became a top choice for cruising to South America. They offered first-class, mid-century modern passenger service from New Orleans to South America. Premiering ... Read More »


RMS Empress of Scotland, originally SS Kaiserin Auguste Victoria, was an ocean liner built in 1905–1906 by Vulcan AG shipyard in Stettin (now Szczecin, Poland) for the Hamburg America Line. The ship regularly sailed between Hamburg and New York City until the outbreak of war in Europe in 1914. CLICK ON IMAGE BELOW TO WATCH THE VIDEO Video featuring the RMS EMPRESS OF SCOTLAND ... Read More »

Fire At Sea SS MORO CASTLE off Palm Beach Deathtrap for Cruisers and Crew

Onboard the Ward Line’s SS MORRO CASTLE, in the early morning hours of September 7, 1934, a deadly fire erupted in two places on the cruise/liner en route from Havana Cuba to New York City. After wonderful days at sea and a wonderful time in Havana, the cruise turned into ... Read More »

Mid-Century Dancing to ERNIE HECKSCHER Orchestra at San Francisco’s FAIRMONT HOTEL

San Francisco’s Ernie Heckscher retired in 1984 after decades of leading his dance orchestra in San Francisco. He became a fixture of the Fairmont Hotel as much as the big red sofa in the lobby or the clock on the ornate Venetian Room’s archway. New Year’s Eve was an annual ... Read More »