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Essays on Issues, Ideas and Reflections on the Times. Published now and
then. Opinions pro or con are welcome.

Things to Do While Aboard Ship

North Miami Beach, FL 08-19-2005
A.H. Schectman

I don’t know where the popular notion came from, that hectic lives can be healed by taking leisurely cruises while relaxing on beach chairs in bathing suits or sitting around a tiny table while drinking exotic mixtures with little umbrellas on them.  My idea of cruising is to take advantage of “time at sea” to sketch left profiles of passengers who will provide me with “interesting conversation”. There is simply no time nor am I robust enough to sketch after a day or half a day in port seeing the sights and being brought to markets where the designers of such trips just know we need to go there to buy up things made in China just for those of us who are looking for “authentic” mementoes of our visit to foreign shores.

Carol and I just sent out the sketches I made of nine fellow passengers.  We argued a bit about the need for mailing tubes or some kind of flat, padded envelope. I know from experience that rolling up the sketch and protecting it in a tube is the way to go.  One tube with two sketches went to Texas.  Others went to England, Canada and Venice, Florida; while one went to Framingham, Massachusetts. It was a bit of work hampered by Carol’s injury when her arm was caught in an elevator door when we were trying to get down to breakfast in the Hotel next to Copenhagen’s airport. We have seen two doctors who have worked to repair the damage our first-aid could not really handle in the necessity to get home on our scheduled flight.

In other cruises I brought along fixative to keep the pencil sketches from being smeared and let the sketchees take them home any way they could.  I never thought I would have the time to do as many as I did, but weather that prevented us from going into port in Gdansk gave me the time and opportunity to do as many portraits as I did.  I was pleased with the result and hope the recipients were too.  This time I brought the sketches home to spray with fixative and then we rolled them up and sent out five mailing tubes with, I hope, the correct addresses.

The pictures I took of the sitter holding the sketch to compare the real profile with the one that was drawn came out well.  I also asked for their e-mail addresses and will send this copy of THINKING ALLOWED to them as well as you to notify them to expect them to receive their pictures as soon as the U.S. Mail gets around to it.

Think about it.  No one really sees his or her left profile – but I can help.




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