The S.S. Uruguay articles contained herein were published by and for Mooremack Employees Ashore and Afloat.

 

Contest Winners

("The Mooremack News," January 1949)

(Courtesy of John-Paul DeRosa)

Two blonde, smiling girls sailed aboard the S.S. Uruguay on its 38-day cruise.  They boarded the ship seven years late.  The Cleveland Press sponsored an essay contest and offered a Mooremack cruise as the grand prize.  Instead of one winner, there were two, Mrs. Nancy Garbison Fisher and Mrs. Marilyn Fortey Raizk, and both were awarded the cruise.

Before they could claim their prizes, the war broke out and the Good Neighbor ships were pressed into service as troop transports.  So the girls postponed their trip until the ships returned to peacetime operation.  In the interim, they married and moved away from Cleveland, Mrs. Fisher to Manchester, New Hampshire, and Mrs. Raizk to Wilmington, Ohio.  When they sailed, it was a reunion for them as well as a prize.

The press in South America received them with considerable interest and gave them a royal welcome complete with interviews and photographs.  When the girls returned to New York, they were enthusiastic in their praise of the cruise and the countries they had seen and both agreed it was well worth the wait

Southbound the girls wowed the audience on Costume Ball Night when they arrived as "A Tree in the Meadow," with some of the most effective costuming ever displayed on the ship.  And northbound they came through with the following masterpiece:

"Thanks for the Memory"

Thanks for the memory

Of friendships we have made,

Sambas Arthur* played,

Slot machines and coffee beans,

The midnight masquerade—

How lovely it was.

 

And thanks for the memory

Of Rio after dark,

Cool Palermo Park,

Banana trees and shopping sprees,

It really was a lark—

How lovely it was.

 

Movies and bingo and races,

And tours to such interesting places,

Swimming and hot sunburned faces,

We did have fun, a cruise well done!

So thanks for the memory

Of dinners gay with wine,

 

Tangos Argentine,

Floor shows and the parties

Where we sang Sweet Adeline—

Awfully glad we met you,

And so for Auld Lang Syne—

We thank you so much!

 *  Arthur Warren, ship’s orchestra leader.

     

The Dance

("The Mooremack News," January 1949)

(Courtesy of John-Paul DeRosa)

Whatever else the North American may think about his Latin American neighbors when he returns from his trip to the lands below the equator, he is generally in agreement with his fellow passengers on one point—that the Argentine Tango is the most beautiful dance in the world.  This, on the word of Bill Conway, of the dance team of Lynn and Conway, a couple of youngsters who are creating a furor by their methods of dance instruction aboard the Uruguay.

Young Conway has discovered a well-knit pattern of dance interest among travelers in the South Atlantic.  It follows this line—the North American starts out with a strong desire to master the rumba, sees more of the samba as the trip progresses, discovers that the steps of the tango are not as intricate as he has been led to believe from the performances he has seen in New York musicals and North American movies, and after a visit to Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina, falls in love with the samba and the tango, and lets the rumba trail along as his third interest.  Since the rumba is indigenous to Cuba, the other two South American, this is not unnatural.

The South American heading north for vacation or business trip asks first of all about the fox-trot and when he feels he has mastered that he asks about the jitterbug.  The unrestrained tempo of the jitterbug is in line with the freedom associated with Latin American dances, with the result that the South American feels quite at home and becomes quite adept as a jitterbugger.  However, the South American finds among his fellow passengers dozens of North American dancers, young and middle-aged, and, to an extent, those who may be called old, all passionately eager to try their newly acquired talents with samba, tango and rumba.  The result—the South American finds himself dancing the dances of his homeland as much as the fox-trot or the jitterbug, and with new, eager companions anxious for help and criticism.  The Latin American, says Mr. Conway, is an enthusiast for his native dances and is as eager to teach them to his North American partner as he is to learn the North American steps.  This makes for a happy combination, with the North American becoming a booster for the Latin rhythms and the Latin American for fox-trot and jitterbug.

The North American's liking for the Brazilian Samba grows rapidly during the traveler's stay ashore at the cruise stops in Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, Santos and São Paulo, Mr. Conway finds.  The delicately balanced sway of the dancers in this beautiful dance appeals to the North American immediately.  To the older folk who remember back to the days of the Vernon Castles and even before, the samba recalls the two step and maxixe.  The dance is extremely simple, depending more upon the dancer's balance of body than anything else.  Once it is mastered, generally a quick process, the North American wants more and more to dance the samba.  In Mr. Conway's opinion, this dance is destined to sweep the United States.  Already it is here, and its principal sponsors are the returned travelers.

Mr. Conway finds that dancing rates with mastery of Spanish and Portuguese languages and with photography as the most popular hobbies of passengers aboard ship.  On some trips he and Miss Lynn give as many as 18 half-hour lessons daily, mainly to married couples.

"My wife told me to be sure to learn the tango," says a business man on a long-promised vacation to Rio, or, "I've always loved the rumba but never could find anyone at home who knew enough about it," says a lawyer on his way to Buenos Aires on a business trip.  "A fellow student from Brazil taught me some samba and I want to master it," says a student.

"It's not so much the kids as the middle aged or older people who take lessons," said Mr. Conway.  "The graceful qualities of the Latin dances appeal to them.  They are not strenuous at all when danced properly, and many older people who were frightened off the dance floor by fast steps of their sons and daughters find they can come back now with the graceful, beautiful dances of the southern nations."

And what of the conga and the conga line, so popular a few years ago?  Mr. Conway shrugs.

"Just gone," he says.  "I don't know why, but it has disappeared and very seldom does anyone inquire about it."

     

Nice Gesture

("The Mooremack News," April 1949)

(Courtesy of Vincent Fiorenza)

An attractive gesture on the part of a group of eight Brasilian citizens travelling northbound recently aboard the liner Uruguay is worth recounting here.  The passengers felt so pleased about the service rendered them during their voyage, they drafted the following statement which they presented to Captain Spaulding, the Uruguay’s master:

"The Brasilians who travel on the S.S. Uruguay with the purpose of cooperating in the 'Good Neighbor' policy, want to express their hearty thanks to all the crew of the ship, and to their fellow passengers of other American countries.

"They are glad to say that they have found in the Uruguay a marvelous example of all the wonders that modern techniques have worked to bring beauty to the human existence.

"On the threshold of the great North America they are happy to behold the daybreak of a New World, corresponding to the far call of the Campanela:

"PUO NOVA PROGENIE CANTO NOVELLO FARE."

 

 

 

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