Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Queen Mary turns 80 this week, and we're all invited to her birthday in Long Beach

Commodore Everette Hoard welcomes the public aboard the Queen Mary this Friday for an 80th birthday party.


Guests still check in as they did decades ago, in a glamorous lobby.
Aboard the Queen Mary, a sea gull may be attending Friday's party! 


ONE OF the world's great ocean liners is having a big birthday.
And we're all invited.
Some anniversary celebrants will don period togs to salute Queen Mary's 80th!
As the Queen Mary turns 80 Friday, I remember a long ago voyage with now departed loved ones.
A view from the cabin enjoyed
during a recent visit by our writers. 
And I'm thinking of the thousands of celebrities, soldiers, immigrants and ocean lovers she carried across the seas.  Ah, the movie stars and diplomats who wined and dined in her hallowed halls and banquet rooms!
DURING Friday's party, Commodore Everette Hoard will read Royal Letters, including one from Queen Elizabeth II. Then he'll officiate at the ceremonial cutting of the Queen Mary's 80th Anniversary Cake, a quarter-ton replica of the venerable ship.

all around! TV celebrity baker, Jose Barajas created the spectacular cake which is 15 feet long.
Queen Mary christened
the Queen Mary in 1934.
We had the good fortune not long ago to spend several days on her, in Long Beach, California, where she's been a hotel since her 1967 retirement.
How I'd love to be there Friday. But I'll savor memories of stepping three times on her, including once long ago, when she still sailed the oceans blue.
THE QUEEN Mary was christened by Queen Mary, on Sept. 26, 1934 at the John Brown Shipyard in
Clydebank, Scotland.  With her was King George V, but it was the Queen who, by tradition, launched the magnificent ship.
Champagne flowed as it will on her 80th, marching bands saluted and plenty of hoopla carried on into the night, before a crowd of more than 200,000.  She soon became the transatlantic crossing vessel of choice for dignitaries, celebrities and thousands of immigrants. Winston Churchill and his wife Clementine loved the Queen Mary and often sailed on her.  The restaurant's signature upscale restaurant is a popular celebration venue for Long Beach residents and worldwide visitors. I've had the good fortune to play Sir Winston's beautiful piano and mingle with the locals who dress up in vintage costumes to remember and briefly capture a bygone era. Other celebs who regularly crossed on her: Bob Hope, Fred Astaire and the Windsors.  Audrey Hepburn had her honeymoon aboard the liner. 

The Queen Mary will light up for a day long public celebration Friday.
QUEEN MARY -- born during the Great Depression -- grew into the biggest, fastest and most popular ocean liner in the world. She is constructed with 10 million rivets and was innovative at the time, with a waterline length of 1,004 feet (longer than the Eiffel Tower is tall!)  During World War II, she was painted grey and served as the Allies’ largest and fastest troop carrier. Later, she resumed her place as a world-class ocean liner completing 1,100-plus transatlantic voyages before retiring to Long Beach in 1967.
AS THE beloved ocean liner turns 80 on Friday, the public is invited to join a ship-wide celebration. The Queen opens her gangways and ballrooms, decks and salons, attractions and eateries to a daylong celebration. Admission is free for the party, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., along with discounted parking.
Free admission and discounts on board will mark Friday's Queen Mary party.
ship tours and attractions. All are welcome, especially Long Beach residents and families. Commemorations will include the reading of letters by King George V at the ship's launch on Sept. 26, 1934, and a congratulatory message from the current top royal, Queen Elizabeth II. The anniversary will feature a surprise announcement, described by ship officials as "a forward-looking plan inspired by the ship's eight-decades of public life and influence on maritime commerce."  It's top secret -- could be a major renovation, or who knows?  But the Queen promises to be around for a good long while.  Long live my favorite Queen!
The Tetons in autumn  are a sight to behold -- we bring them to you soon!
COMING SOON: Livingston, Montana's Murray Hotel has hosted celebrities and rock singers,  movie stars, politicians and even a Scandinavian Queen.  What makes this 1904 hotel so appealing 110 years after it was built? And a look at Jackson, Wyo., and the Tetons, for a bonanza of autumn scenery, plus a dinner theater to tip your hat to, the Jackson Hole Playhouse! We strive for a sense of fun and play in these Wednesday and weekend posts. Explore, learn and live and tell your friends about www.whereiscookie.com

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