For some strange reason I awoke this AM with the name NORMANDIE in my head and began a mental odyssey of a cold and windy day in February 1942. It was quite personal because the husband of my old Aunt Rose was the chief engineer of that incredible former French great lady, his name was George Clow. He left his home, his mom and sisters in Glascow, Scotland at age 14 to join the Royal Navy in the 1800’s to see the world ! Which he truly did until he retired at age 75, hash marks on his uniform clear up to his elbows ! He looked quite heroic with a chest full of medals. His tanned leathery face with laughing green eyes and rugged chiseled profile, mouth full of gold and ivory teeth, cut an impressive figure of a man not quite 5′ 6″, not to mention those colorful tattoos that wiggled ! A lovable pixie was he ! Times he would be gone for 2 years, but oh, the ecstasy as he returned laden with gifts for all, from darkest Africa to the mysterious Orient. He enthralled us with the tales of his adventures with that heavy Scottish brogue he never did lose. By the time I was 12 he had traveled the entire world nine times, sending cards from each port including Fiji and the Pitcairn Isles ! It was the 9th day of the month that this noble ship, rechristened the Lafayette, met her fate, sinking on the 10th, the death of an era and tragedy beyond belief ! We watched that NY harbor blaze from the Heights cliffs above HOBOKEN for hours, believing it was sabotage ! Today I still wonder why no one has ever attempted to tell the whole story of her life and death ! Aren’t you curious ? I am ! Sincerely, Claire B.