The President Coolidge
I was graduated from Berkeley
in 1939; and as a gift, my mother took me to the Orient on the PRESIDENT
COOLIDGE. It was a great trip, the first of many to that part of the world.
Many recollections stand out, including admiration for Mrs.
Hart's two charming daughters. Her husband was Admiral Thomas Hart, who'd just
relieved Admiral Yarnell as Commander in Chief of our
Asiatic Fleet. She and the girls were to meet the Admiral in Shanghai.
One afternoon just two days out of Yokohama, I was with Mrs. Hart on the
promenade deck when we saw a junk on the horizon. Our ship approached and then
stood dead in the water as the junk came alongside. She told me a story.
The son of one of her best friends had, for a generous fee,
signed on as a crewmember of a junk, which was to sail from Hong
Kong to the west coast. Richard Halliburton, a popular travel
writer at the time, had organized the adventure.
When the young man got to Hong Kong
and fully realized the risk involved, he cabled home and said he'd decided not
to join Halliburton. His father's return message said the money had already
been spent and he'd better see it through.
He sailed from Hong Kong as a
crewmember, but the junk disappeared at sea and had not been heard from for
over a month. As the junk pulled alongside, Mrs. Hart was praying in thankfulness.
Unfortunately, she soon learned this was not Halliburton's, the
fate of which has never been known.