Seven Seas Magazine - September 1932
Front Cover, September 1932 Issue of The Seven Seas Magazine, Published by the North German Lloyd. Cover Drawing "The Tyrol" by Frank Lieberman. GGA Image ID # 128d9d9102
The Seven Seas, Vol. 9, No. 7 for September 1932. Photographs Included: Fest in Burgenland; Party in Cornwall; Pantry Shop in Nuremberg, Germany; Dawn in Venice; Oysters in Marseille; Tender Approaches the Ss Bremen with Passengers Watching from the Promenade Deck. Articles Include Frontispiece, Florence, Transatlantica, Pottery Shop, Polyglot Children by Sidney A. Clark, Harvest in Morocco, a Day in Moscow by Josephine Herbst, Artist as Guide, by John Mosher, And, Broadway Looks at Berlin by Doug Brinkley.
Remembrance of Things Passed
I ASKED MY STEWARD what it was I couldn't hear, and he said it was probably the other passengers, they have all gone to Jerusalem. But why didn't you wake me up? I asked him.
Now I shall miss the Holy Land. Not if you really want to go, he said, for there are two others who also wouldn't get up when they were called and are now at the purser's renting a car from Cook's.
So I told him to ask if I might share the automobile with them, and it turned out to be the Townley's, who was taciturn and unobtrusive, and who would make it seem for me an almost solitary drive, which was just what I felt like taking.
And pretty soon I was at the gangplank where the tender was waiting to whisk us ashore. I looked up at the gray-green hills against the morning sky and saw a straightforward red-and-white city climbing halfway up the slope, and in between a glittering harbor filled with rusty freighters that swayed in the lazy swell.
I remembered Haifa (for this was Haifa) as one of the ports you read about in books by men who get jobs on tramp steamers; and even now that I have seen it, I can tell you hardly more than I have already, for my mind was not on it.
For, as the Townley's and I got into the brand new Buick that Cook's had provided I was mentally peering out past the city into the countryside of Palestine, whose immediate proximity had awakened my memory of hymns and Bible stories—of all the things that once had made this region seem so real.
And as we wound along the new macadam highway that slid like a snake ever higher into the rocky hills, I began to feel, quite faintly, of course, the same queer apprehension that children used to observe on Sunday.
But soon that sentimental fear had fled, for these hills and their resulting valleys bore no resemblance to the landscape I had so piously pictured in the distant past. The slopes had a wild and barren beauty.
They were incredibly rocky, and yet almost all of them bore signs of cultivation. But instead of clearing away the rocks, as they would have done in Connecticut, these people of Palestine had terraced whole hillsides, so that the effect was as though the terraced vineyards of the Rhine had here been carved out of solid stone.
It was overwhelming even to contemplate the labor that had gone into this undertaking, but I recalled that there had been plenty of time to get it done, for it must have been begun way back in Biblical times and was still going on.
It was a drive of several hours from Haifa to Jerusalem, and all the way, with minimal variation, the scenery was the same: savage hills tamed with terraces and softened with fig trees; broad winding valleys green with grass; goats clambering on the hillsides and cattle grazing down below.
It was a drive of such dramatic monotony that over the crest of the last high hill the sudden sight of Jerusalem, so different, so silver-and-golden, so dazzling in the sunlight, brought a burst of surprise and pleasure even from the Townley's, who had been silent all the way.
This was how I had imagined it to be. And when we finally entered the city all the many traces of modernity seemed to melt away, leaving the streets and the people on the streets pretty much, I decided, the way they must have looked in the days of King David.
But a little way out from the center of the city, where we were going to spend the night, there stood a structure of such a size and newness that I couldn't erase it from my field of vision.
This was our hotel, and it was called the King David ; and when I say that it was more enjoyable than anything I had ever before encountered, no matter how elegant, that every room from lounge to bar to bath was palatial with an Egypt-modernistic magnificence, and that it was operated and impeccably staffed with Swiss and a retinue of white-robed Arabs, you will get some notion of how startlingly, after so much ascetic scenery, it came as a climax to our long drive inland from the sea . . .
And even now, when I look back upon Jerusalem and remember to the Townley's'astonishment, I am unable to decide whether it was more divine than deluxe.
Tug Guides the SS Bremen into the Norddeutcher Lloyd Pier in New York Harbor. GGA Image ID # 128db5643f
Advertisement by the German Tourist Information Office - Fall Season in Germany. GGA Image ID # 128dbc2707