Quite an Eventful Week
Last week we were on the Queen Mary II sailing from New York to Halifax and Boston for the Fourth of July fireworks. It was a short cruise but fun, and with delicious menus. There are a few people who actually live on the ship year-round, as it is mainly a trans-oceanic passenger vessel. It carries about 2,600 passengers, has 14 decks, many restaurants and bars, and its whistle can be heard 10 miles away. It is more than 1,100 feet long. It cruises at about 17 knots.
The Atlantic water on this voyage was like a swimming pool with no one in it — smooth with wavelets of maybe 1½ feet at the most. The full July moon cast its brilliance across the water and lit up the sky as well as the ship.
Fellow Pinehurst passengers included Carol Southon and Judy Boyer, who were an entertainment show by themselves.
Our cruise prevented us from hosting Peter Williamson for the 112th Men’s North-South Amateur Championship. His grandfather, Dr. Peter Williamson, was a dear friend. So my classmate Larry Weltin and his wife, Marty, took care of young Peter during his triumphant week in Pinehurst.
We got home in time for me to meet the Champ and take him to RDU for his trip to his next tournament in Oklahoma, the Trans-Mississippi Championship.
Dr. Peter D. Williamson, young Peter’s grandfather, was a world-renowned neurologist and epilepsy expert, distinguished for his pioneering work in evaluating patients for epilepsy surgery. He died from cancer three days before our 50th reunion.
Aside from these professional credentials, his accomplishments include flying single-engine airplanes, collecting and driving vintage autos, snow and water skiing, sailing small and large boats, all the action sports. A Google search will reveal that one of his antique autos won the “Best in Show” prize at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance 2006 vintage car show. He and his wife, Susan Kettering Williamson, gave Dartmouth Medical School $20 million in 2007.
Bill Johnson, former Dartmouth golf coach and Southern Pines resident, said that Peter’s last match was one of the finest rounds of golf he had ever seen. “Flawless,” as he beat his Clemson opponent 4-3.
Young Williamson is one of the most delightful, intelligent, humble young men you will ever meet. He says his golf game is mostly in his mind, which keeps him focused on every shot he makes.
While Pinehurst was flirting with triple-digit temperatures, our voyage took us to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where the early morning temperature was 68 degrees. We were quite impressed with Halifax’s cleanliness and friendliness. It has grown remarkably since our last visit there more than 50 years ago.
The next stop was Boston, where we watched the famous July 4 fireworks, dampened briefly by rain and lightning.
Back in New York, we spent a night at the New Yorker hotel on both ends of our journey and had some time to roam around the city. We found two eateries that were stellar in their food and service: One was Sarge’s Deli on Third Avenue and the Tick Tock Diner adjacent to the New Yorker.
A quick bus ride around Ground Zero and the nascent Freedom Tower brought shivers at the remembrance of 9/11.
The last night we saw “Ghost,” a touching and humorous love story between Sam and Molly, where Sam gets killed by a mugger but continues to dote on Molly in his ethereal state. He walks through a door, which mystifies the audience and other illusionary stunts are magnificent.
Andy Thomas lives in Pinehurst. Contact him at dahtmuth58 @aol.com.
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