MY FAMILY were on the Klipfontein on her maiden voyage in December 1939 — Mother, Pop, Alan (age 6), I (age 5), and Mary Jean (a baby in arms). It was on the Klipfontein that I began to learn to swim — in our tiny Second Class pool.
It was a six-week voyage from Long Beach, California, to Rangoon, Burma, where my parents were to begin their missionary service as war loomed over Asia and the whole world. (We survived the war, eventually returning to the U.S. as refugees.)
A six-week voyage from California to Burma. Imagine it! In just a few years it seems possible that I will be able to make a similar journey by SpacePlane in only a couple of hours. (Potential SpacePlane tourists are already making down payments of $250,000. I’ll have to find a sponsor.)
I’ll be writing about all kinds of strides in transportation, both on Earth and outward to the universe, in my next book, a future history titled FUTURE CHRONICLES, to publish 10 September 2018. I hope you’ll snap up a copy to read when it appears in print and for Kindle.
A postscript about the sad ending of the Klipfontein, a Dutch ship that did service as an American troop ship during World War II, courtesy of the Dutch government. In January 1953, the Klipfontein struck a foreign object off the coast of Mozambique and sank in three hours. All aboard were saved by the ocean liner Bloemfontein Castle.
Bishkek, The Kyrgyz Republic
14 April 2017