Stories contained herein were published by and for Mooremack Employees Ashore and Afloat.


Captain Harris in the Movies

Recent issues of the "Saturday Evening Post" carried a serialized autobiography of Gary Cooper in which he said:

"I was ordered to return, not to Hollywood, but to New York, to make a picture with Claudette Colbert called 'His Woman.' This was August of 1931. New York was bogged down in layers of heat and humidity. Yet compared to our studios in Astoria, the outside air had the tang of a crisp winter day. The heat would have been more bearable if we hadn’t been forced to look at what was soundproofing. The stages were huge, echoing caverns, originally designed for silent pictures. To reduce the echo, our sets were encased in blankets — woolen blankets, cotton blankets, ragged quilts, old rugs — anything that might catch a sound wave and smother it. There were hundreds of them hanging everywhere. Below the hanging blankets were dozens of huge studio lamps, pouring out heat. The mere sight of such a set — lights, heat and suffocating blankets — was enough to remove all make-up with an outpouring sweat.

Captain Jim Harris

"I am not what actors call 'an easy study.'  I have to work hard to prepare myself for every scene — so hard that sometimes I have exhausted myself before getting in front of the camera.  Working on 'His Woman,' I found that the only way I could keep going was to stretch out on a pile of old scenery or anything that was handy and take a nap between takes.  It worked so well that it’s still my habit.  When I have got myself in character, and have worked over a scene until it’s fixed in my mind, I no longer stew around while awaiting the director’s call.  I just go to sleep."

Eagle-eyed Captain Jim Harris from his new home in Weir Cove, Cape Rosier, Maine, caught this excerpt and sent these pictures to THE NEWS with the following comments:

"'His Woman' was taken in the studio and on the Commercial Guide tied up at the foot of 69th Street, Brooklyn, and on the Guide in Gravesend Bay. At this time I was on the lay-up fleet and on days off used to go down to make a day’s pay to keep the home fires burning.

"Captain Hartstead was Master.  Big Petersen was Mate, have forgotten the Second Mate. He is with the baby, some of the boys will remember his name. Sam Johnson, now Pilot at Panama, was then Mate, you see him going on the hatch with Claudette next to him.  The old colored fellow with his back to the camera was some character and liked by all.  When he says it was hot he said something.  We used to go up to the Owls Head at 69th St. and Third Ave., to get a beer and cool off."


Captain Watkins Log

 Captain L. D. Watkins

"It seems that we are on the move again, but not too far. My wife and I have decided after much study that we want to live in a trailer. So, we bought, and settled in a lovely Trailer Park in the outskirts of Miami.

"Will you please notify all concerned that my new address is as follows:  Miami Heights Trailer Park Lot K9, 3450 NW 79th Street, Miami, Fla.

"We have been in our trailer for just over a month now, and we like the life better each day. You meet many interesting people from all over the country, and the trailer parks here and in California are really miniature Paradises, beautifully landscaped with lovely swimming pools.  Please tell any Mooremackite who comes down this way to be sure and give us a call on the phone; our number is PLaza 9-6938.  We will be delighted to show them Miami.

Sincerely, (Capt.) L. D. Watkins." 



Fred Heess:  Progress Report on New Passenger Ships

 Mooremack at Ingalls: Lemons, Pardee, Campbell, Sykes, Ann Wilson

Although but 7,000 tons of the 20,000 tons of steel required have been delivered to the shipyard, good progress has been made.  Some 2,500 tons of steel have been fabricated and inner bottom sub-assemblies totalling 500 tons per vessel have been completed and are ready for the July 6 keel laying. This constitutes practically the entire inner bottom for both vessels.  With proper steel deliveries, work should progress rapidly once the keels are laid. The Pascagoula Field Office was officially opened on May 7th with the assignment of Mr. John Campbell to that office as Hull Inspector. Joe Sykes and Bill Lemons joined Mr. Campbell on June 11 to assist with the inspection. X-ray specialist, Mr. Pardee, has also been assigned to X-ray the welding to ensure getting the best possible job.  We feel this is a step forward in ship inspection as it may disclose defects that can not possibly be seen with the naked eye.

Mrs. Ann G. Wilson takes care of the secretarial work in the office.

The new office is located in the newly completed headhouse of Way No. 10. The first of our vessels will be built on No. 10 Way which will put the bow directly over our office.


Keel-Laying Inaugurates Mooremack's $313,000,000 Shipbuilding Program

Construction of the first of two ultra-luxurious ships got under way on July 6th in Pascagoula, Miss., at the Ingalls shipyards, when Admiral Robert C. Lee joined the first keel plates. As Admiral Lee pointed out, the ceremony marked the beginning of construction not only of the two passenger liners to ply to South America, but also inaugurated a $313,000,000 new-ships’ program by Mooremack, largest ever undertaken by an America-flag shipping company. In addition to the new passenger ships, each to cost about $25,000,000, Mooremack is building over the next several years 31 new cargo vessels, some of which are being designed so that they can use the St. Lawrence Seaway and navigate the Great Lakes.

Clarence G. Morse, Chairman of the Federal Maritime Board and principal speaker at the ceremony, stressed that the keel laying was "one of real significance."  Mooremack is proud that the keel-laying, in the words of Mr. Morse, was "the cornerstone of a vast ship replacement program for the entire Merchant Marine, valued at some $1,500,000,000 over the next decade."

Besides Mr. Morse, Thomas E. Stakem, Jr., also a member of the Maritime Board, and the Under Secretary of Commerce for Transportation, Louis S. Rothschild, participated in the ceremony.  In addition to Admiral Lee, Emmet J. McCormack, chairman of the board and co-founder of Moore-McCormack, and William T. Moore, president, represented the company.  Master of ceremonies was Monroe B. Lanier, president of Ingalls Shipbuilding Corporation, builder of the new ships.

The keel-laying was a modern version of an age-old ceremony.  A heavy steel plate was set down by crane on the keel blocks.  Then an innerbottom assembly section, weighing about 50 tons, was lowered into position and joined to the keel plate.

The innerbottom design in effect gives the ship a double bottom thus providing additional protection. Space between the two bottoms is six feet, three inches and is used for storage of fuel oil.

After the first innerbottom assembly section had been fixed in position, other sections were lowered, one after another, and by the end of the day practically the entire doublebottom structure of the ship was in place.

In his remarks, Admiral Lee commented that he thought it was worthy of mention "That this is the first time, I believe, since the Merchant Marine Act of 1936 became a law that American flag ships for essential trade routes are being privately financed, not by a government loan.”


Mooremack Cruise Makes Passengers Sing

Polly Braden, Woman's Page Editor, "Bradenton Herald," Bradenton, Florida, wrote recently about a local traveler who enjoyed her Mooremack cruise.  She said:

Traveler Blanche Hendrickson acquired a deep tan during her 38-day South American cruise. We hear Blanche turned to lyrics writing during the trip, composing a number that was adopted by ship passengers as their 'cruise song.'  Sailing from New York on the Brazil, Blanche was the only Southerner aboard with the exception of the captain, who hailed from Virginia. State Night exercises gave Blanche opportunity to plug Manatee County in true Chamber of Commerce fashion. As the ship neared port, Mrs. Hendrickson was awarded a special gift, accompanied by a list of passenger signatures, recognizing her as the 'friendliest passenger.'  In Rio, Blanche was entertained by Col. and Mrs. Thomas Wood, son-in-law and daughter of the Carl Ackleys of Bradenton. Colonel Wood is on duty with the U. S. Military Commission there. She was also guest of Ambassador and Mrs. Dempsey McIntosch, whom she knew in Bronxville, at Montevideo.  Other points included in her itinerary were Santos, São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Bahia and Trinidad.  She docked in New York and flew home."

The song by Mrs. Hendrickson reads like this:


(Tune of Miami Beach Rumba)

Lyrics by B. Hendrickson

 We started out to go to Rio

Soon we reached its cliff-bound shores

We wandered thru the streets of Rio

Flung our dough in many stores.


Down where the furs are cheaper.

Down where the jewels are mined,

We hocked our shirts and dug still deeper

As real bargains we would find.


Tho they pick us up at customs,

Tho they tax each coat and ring,

All our dolls and all our perfumes,

We have had a joyous fling.


B.A.'s richest treasures

Filled our trunks and left us broke,

Yet we loved its many pleasures,

Sure we’re mighty lucky folk.

Originally done by a group of dancers in nutria coats and Brasilian Jewelry, carrying native dressed dolls and perfume, while one woman sang the lyrics. Then everyone joined in.




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