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Author Archives: Michael L. Grace

AUSTRALIA to NEW ZEALAND on the elegant liner AWATEA crossing the TASMAN SEA!

Far away from the Trans-Atlantic services – “Down Under” – Union Steam Ship Company operated a fleet of excellent passenger ships between Australia and New Zealand until 1960. In her day the Awatea was regarded as one of the most luxurious and fastest liners of the period. Her history was ... Read More »

What Was the TITANIC’S CAPTAIN SMITH Doing While the SHIP SANK?

No one knows exactly where Captain E.J. Smith was at 11:40 p.m. on Sunday, April 14, 1912. But witnesses said he appeared on the bridge of the Titanic just moments later, asking what the storied ship, making its maiden voyage across the Atlantic, had struck. “An iceberg, sir,” First Officer ... Read More »

The Streamliner SHASTA DAYLIGHT – San Francisco to Portland

Southern Pacific’s streamlined Shasta Daylight train operated daily between San Francisco, California (by ferry boat to Oakland), and Portland, Oregon through the 1950s and into the early 1960s. From 1949 until 1966, the custom-built daylight train had a tight 15-hour-30-minute schedule in either direction for the 713-mile trip through some of the most beautiful ... Read More »

RAYMOND LOWEY’S Mid-Century Designs for Los Angeles MATSON LINE’S Lurline Booking Office 

Raymond Lowey’s basic design philosophy was behind the creation of the interiors for Matson’s luxury liner Lurline and modern ticket office in downtown Los Angeles. These were the ultimate in mid-century design for California’s famous steamship line. Raymond Loewy, whose modern concept of everything from fountain pens to airplanes, ships, ... Read More »

The RMS TITANIC’s five CHINESE Survivors

More than a century after the Titanic sank in April 1912; few new stories surface from the wreck. When documentary filmmaker Arthur Jones and his team started work on “The Six” — their film about the ship’s six Chinese survivors — in 2012, they kept expecting to find that someone ... Read More »

“LUSCIOUS” LUCIUS BEEBE – First Openly Gay Celebrity!

San Francisco Chronicle columnist Lucius Beebe was probably the first gay man and major celebrity to have a publicly open relationship. An author, journalist, historian, raconteur, gourmet, and bon vivant extraordinary – this extraordinary personality was world-famous and a long-time columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. He loved trains and ... Read More »

Sunset Strip’s famous CHATEAU MARMONT HOTEL killed by COVID-19!

In February 1929, Los Angeles lawyer Fred Horowitz opened the apartment building he had built just west of the city limits on an unpaved stretch of Sunset Boulevard. Named Chateau Marmont, it looked like a Loire Valley castle in France and was marketed to burghers of outlying cities seeking pieds-à-terre in a spot ... Read More »

LAWERS and HOTEL MANAGER endorse NOTORIOUS West Hollywood SEX PREDATOR JOHN DURAN

PAC members, D. J. Moore, Latham Watkins, Attorney, and Nick Remedio endorsed scandal-ridden former West Hollywood Mayor John Duran to serve another term on the City Council. Sources are claiming Moore and Remedio weren’t completely briefed on the scale of Duran’s notorious behavior by the mainly elderly white male Chamber ... Read More »

The AMBASADORE EAST – Lunch at the PUMP ROOM with NATALIE WOOD and ROBERT WAGNER

When Ernie Byfield opened The Pump Room in the Ambassador East Hotel on October 1, 1938, he undoubtedly had little idea that he was beginning an enterprise that would still be thriving to this day. Today, The Pump Room remains a highly acclaimed restaurant and Chicago landmark. Located in Chicago’s ... Read More »

The fabulous OCEANIC was the largest late mid-century ship build for cruising!

By the mid-1960s, when jets had killed off all but the stragglers on the North Atlantic, Home Lines introduced the OCEANIC. Home Lines proudly proclaimed that their 39,000 tonner was “the largest ship built exclusively for cruising.” By the mid-1960s, when jets had killed off all but the stragglers on ... Read More »