Sunday, August 28, 2011


We are all tired of hearing the word HURRICANE, I know. And the people living with IRENE are much more tired of her than we are. But know that we are hoping and praying for you and that your losses will be minor.

I began thinking of this as a blog when I heard one news caster saying that New York had never before suffered any loss of life from a Hurricane. Then another such person came on and discussed the 1954 where the losses were minimal. Still nothing said about the huge one that hit Long Island in 1938. This is Sunday afternoon and finally 1938 was mentioned and the huge losses in lives and property on Long Island.

A passenger Liner named KUNGSHOLM was approaching New York from Sweden. Suddenly we met enormous waves and most of the passengers hurried to their staterooms to be sick. That night in the dining room things were difficult. Food kept sliding from the plates and some things ended up on the floor. I was booked for a berth on a very low level of the ship and if the year had been a little earlier it would have been called STEERAGE. My room was tiny and I had two or three room mates. After dark I went to my room, opened the door, and closed it again for the smell was atrocious. I went farther up on the ship than we bottom dwellers were supposed to go. No one cared so I found a comfortable corner to sit and contemplate the people who were still up and around. It was entertaining but I went to sleep and no one bothered me. Around five in the morning I woke up and began climbing stairs. I needed fresh air and on a very upper deck I found a quiet place to sit and watch the waves that were breaking over the super structure of the ship.
A very tall woman approached me. She stood in front of me and when she began speaking to me she put on foot on the seat next to me. She was amazingly steady. She spoke English with a very pronounced Swedish accent. Most of the short interlude was where are you from, where are you going, what do you ,plan to do in America etc. It was Greta Garbo. She had been drenched by waves in her walk, the hair that had crept out from under her scarf tied around her head was a mess, but she was gorgeous none the less. Nothing could ever change her large eyes or her classic profile. When she left I went down to my cabin to get changed into something dry before my bunk mates woke up needing the bathroom. As far as I know they never made it to the dining room. Nobody told us that we had met the hurricane that had killed so many people and destroyed so much of Long Island.


Liza said...

Glad to see you back, Svensto! Hope all is well with you. The hurricane passed pretty far from me, even if I am in Maryland. Some parts of the state, on the ocean and the bay, suffered damage, but the evacuations seem to have worked, and the loss of life was small, considering how very many people were in the storm's path.

Beth said...

Greta Garbo! Oh, Svensto, you have lived such a remarkable life. You are fearless! My youngest son lives on the upper east side of NYC and they were OK through the storm. Now, they are just wondering what to do with the stockpile of food and water! Not a bad problem to have.

Anonymous said...

glad to see you writing again. your infomation is always so interesting. your life is so amazing. thanks for sharing