This wonderful Starline three piece set of luggage came into Kalembar Dune the other day – and of course with all the retro nostalgia about town, I knew it had to be our next rave!
Made by the Baltimore Luggage company (a fairly well known manufacturer in the day) – this set features a “train case” along with two additional suitcases. The train case would be used for makeup/jewelry and other essentials, and was a forbear of the modern day carry on.
Could the travelers of yesteryear even IMAGINE the chaos of today’s voyagers? My last trip featured fellow travelers in all manner of garb, (really – did you just roll out of bed before showing your face in public?) many who were impatient, angry and frustrated. Courtesy? Huh.
Back in the day – you actually had a travelling suit, gloves and hat - likely in wool gabardine that performed admirably during the many houred journeys. The hat was a staple for both men and women, an accessory that I hope our fashion mavens will once again inspire us to include in our daily routines – it just adds SO much panache! (not to mention better service – a trick one of my colleagues taught me for our trans-Atlantic flights – try it – betcha 25 cents it works...)
And how about the luggage stickers that proclaimed where you’d been? The seasoned piece that had memoirs from all over the world inspired admiration from its colleagues – as if to say – I’ve been there, have you?
Back then, travelling itself was part of the marvel of the journey – not just an insane frenzy to arrive at the destination in the least amount of time. We dressed properly and our luggage was a big part of our outfits – an actual accessory, so to speak. It WAS considered a special occasion, and we were treated as honored guests by our crews. By the way – I am still impressed with the patience and courtesy of the flight crews – I don’t know how they do it!
My parents came by ship to the United States in their 20s (actually sailed past the Statue of Liberty – incredibly cool) and while their total stash was a mere $50 after paying for the ship’s tickets, they wore their very best on their grand adventure. They were just engaged, and my father, gentleman that he still is, gave my mother the 2nd class berth and he took a bunk in steerage. Mom had a black wool beret and grey tweed coat – serviceable and chic, and Dad had his everpresent chocolate brown fedora. While he spent most of the time studying, (boards, boards, boards) his favorite recollection of the journey was winning the ping pong tournament on ship. He speaks of it to this day with great pride! Check out the Jane Russell/Marilyn Monroe movie – “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” for laugh out loud shipboard antics and adventure in the 1950s...
So – ping-pong aside, I’d say the learning from all of this is simple... best foot forward mate, land, sea or air – you just never know!