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The Log of the Empire State   By:

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The Log of the Empire State by Geneve L. A. Shaffer

Dedicated to My Mother and Your Mother

To My Mother

Your little hands are folded, Your tired breast is still. But your valiant heart beats on and on, And so forever will. In the lives of those who knew you, Each gentle beat will bring An echo sweet and tender, To linger there and sing.

By C. T. S.

The Log of the Empire State


As Miss Shaffer was appointed the special representative of the San Francisco Examiner on the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, Commercial Relationship Tour of the Orient, as well as being a member of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, she was requested to write this little book covering the three months' trip, and she wishes to thank all the members of the party for their kindly interest and cooperation in helping her secure much of the information contained herein.

Chapter I

Before we had reached the Golden Gate we acted like some great happy family, eager to enjoy every minute. After we stopped waving our tired arms to the crowds of friends on the docks and the last bouquet aimed at the Mayor's tug had landed in the bay, small groups, with radiant faces, discussed what do you suppose? No, not the crossing of the Bar, but the opening of the ship's bar. As you know, Uncle Sam seems to consider the dry law impossible on the water.

We were all saying that San Francisco's farewell made us proud to belong to such a city, when M. A. Gale told us that he wanted to add a word of praise for one of San Francisco's traffic officers, who let him by when he made a speedy trip for some valuables left behind, which had just been missed at the last moment. But, do you remember who was the last passenger? She was nervous and fidgety ever since she came on board, too. None other than Bulah, the handsome mare bound for Yokohama. It was worth going through the steerage to watch her enjoy one of our "eleven o'clock" apples.

When the lunch gong sounded, we all went below (doesn't that sound real nautical?) to try and get settled in our home for the next three months. Apparently there was no place left for even our hats, thoughtful gifts, fruits, candy and flowers, filled every inch of ordinary space. Christmas time was tame by comparison.

Many were down to lunch, fortified by a highball, but at dinner, mal de mer had claimed its victims, and there were only a few brave spirits on deck to indulge in dancing the first night.

The second day out everybody was trying to remember everyone else by name. One positive lady insisted that A. I. Esberg was Dr. Morton, but little mistakes were forgotten, and many of the committee were soon calling each other by their first names.

While most of us were getting comfortably settled in our deck chairs, someone noticed that Louis Glass, George Vranizan, C. W. Hinchcliffe, Carl Westerfeld, C. A. Thayer, C. H. James, William Symon, F. S. Ballinger, P. H. Lyon, S. L. Schwartz and Henry Mattlage had disappeared below. And it is said by one who trailed them to their lair, that the Fantan and Pie gow games, going on in the steerage, were the magnet.

There were other discoveries in the steerage. A Servian girl, Alma Karlin, who speaks ten languages fluently, but could not afford a first class passage (although once well to do) on account of the low exchange value of her country's money. She is on a three year tour to study conditions in the Pacific Islands, to learn if her countrymen can successfully immigrate to this region.

A young American married to a Chinaman, a group of Orientals devouring an odd looking concoction with chop sticks, a motley group of Hindus with their fezzes, made the picturesque gathering, that gladly received the surplus fruits distributed by the belles of the ship.

We struck a squall that surprised many of us enjoying the salt sea breeze in our stuffy state rooms, by washing the spray over our neatly put out dinner clothes... Continue reading book >>

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