The Queen


The Queen should not go! We are referring to that wonderful ship based in Long Beach. The rumors are that, due to severe financial problems, there is talk that the fate of the Queen Mary is unknown. We certainly hope that this is not true.
Named after Queen Elizabeth’s grandmother, the ocean liner Queen Mary made her maiden voyage on May 25, 1936. War service began in March 1940, and for a period of six years, the Queen carried a total of 765,429 military personnel. She carried up to 15,000 troops at one time and transported Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill three times to conferences.
On New Year’s Day, we dined at the famed ‘Sir Winston’s’ aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach. The ambiance and view are spectacular. Finding ‘Sir Winston’s’ on the Queen is indeed a challenge. We were given a map to the location. You travel through the main hall of the ship, down the port promenade deck where finally you find a sign reading ‘Sir Winston’s.’ Ah, but that is not the end of the journey – you have to climb 20 steps before you arrive at your destination.
Named after the great British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, the man who rallied the British people against Hitler, you are greeted with a warm “Welcome to Sir Winston’s” as you enter an eatery that makes the journey worthwhile. Depending on the number of guests in the restaurant, you are given the freedom of your own selection of seating. We chose a secluded corner where we could look out over the gleaming Pacific Ocean and beckoning lights of Long Beach. We dined on prime steak bathed in port wine sauce, herbed potato compote, and a vegetable banquet. For dessert, our waiter Paul suggested an out-of-this world Chocolate Mousse smothered with a rich topping that had us craving for more.
My first memory of the Queen was in the 1930’s when I made a crossing with my mother; everything was so grand. Mother and I dined on a five-course dinner. At tea time, we were served tea and crumpets, jellied rolls, tiny salmon sandwiches and caviar on special crackers. At dinner, we dined with the Captain who was adorned with white hair and matching beard. The Queen was especially generous toward this young girl who was offered everything from history lessons to dance lessons. It was the dancing lessons that made that trip with my mother exciting. Everyone danced in those days.
Arriving in Long Beach in 1967, the Queen welcomed people from around the world, as a hotel and a historical place of interest not to be missed. I have learned that the Queen is in trouble. Like everything in this difficult time, the ship’s future is in question. I sincerely hope the Queen Mary stays open in Long Beach and does not follow in the steps of Howard Hughes’s legendary Spruce Goose that now resides somewhere in Oregon.
Long Beach; get your act together and save the Queen Mary from financial ruin!

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