The year was 1938. There were two old ladies in my cabin, both snoring loudly. The oldest was probably at least sixty. They sounded as if they were trying to harmonize but in my estimation they were failing miserably. It was dark, only a slight light tried to peak out from under the door. I felt I could dress quietly and get out smoothly enough to let the duet continue.
We were on the path and certain to meet the Hurricane which had devastated the Nassau County on Long Island. The smell of musty clothes and morning bad breaths filled the cabin. I had to hurry to get out before the high seas won the battle with my stomach. I opened the door to the hall and escaped into air that was not much better. Since I was travelling steerage I was supposed to stay on the lowest deck and the air outside was wonderfully welcome. I saw no other souls stirring around so I climbed the stairs to the next deck and since nobody stopped me I climbed some more stairs and found myself on the top deck.
I sat down on a box that probably held life jackets and drew long deep breaths and slowly my stomach settled. I closed my eyes and probably would have fallen asleeep. The box was smooth and slippery and I had to hold on to the railing to keep from sliding off.
Suddenly I felt I was no longer alone. Out of the darkness a very tall person had appeared and since she was standing looking at me I felt I had to greet her. Would I do it in Swedish or in English? When she opened her mouth to respond, there was no doubt about who she was. It was the "I vant to be alone" woman, Greta Garbo. I said "Im sorry, I'm not supposed to be here for I have my room in 'steerage' She said "don't go on my account" We chatted for a few moments. She asked what my plans were and I told her I had wanted to go to America since I was a small child and when I was small I used to tell people I would have eighteen children. She asked how old I was and I told her I was eighteen years old.