Bill Miller turns 74
On Tuesday, I turn 74! Not an especially amazing age (especially since a friend here in town is 107 and she is still going strong), but a number for me to perhaps stop, pause, take time for appreciation.
From that little boy, of a most loving & nurturing & supportive family, and who played with toy boats on his grandmother’s kitchen table (and even who placed white cotton in the little smokestacks to suggest steam & therefore activity) all those decades ago, it all just sort of began.
And watching the Hudson River & all those ships back in the golden 1950s … with Grandmother Miller & my brother George
And my very first visit to a ship — my other grandparents were sailing on the Queen of Bermuda & it was actually my birthday, May 3rd 1953, and I turned five
Now, having traveled on hundreds of ships to hundreds, maybe thousands of places (over 125 countries to date and itineraries from the Arctic to the Amazon), then writing books (over 115 of them), belonging to maritime groups & societies, researching & collecting, and altogether meeting so many people, often very interesting people & some becoming lifelong friends.
So yes, a pause this week especially: Seated in a favorite chair at home, a cup of coffee & maybe a book at hand and a big smile. Yes, I made it this far — and maybe, well, still more, maybe even lots more, to come.
And a heartfelt thank you to you and for all of you — friends, shipmates, helpers, those friendly faces along the promenade decks.
PS: Miss Marnell was my Hoboken High School English teacher. She was strict, feared, a bit of a terror in a simple black dress, but she loved travel and especially travel by ship. She knew of my interest and, back in July 1964, during summer vacation from school, she sent me a postcard from the SS Orsova and from faraway Fiji. A post card especially to “me” from the formidable Miss Marnell — well, that ignited something. I wanted to be a teacher & that traveler just like her! And just about the same time, I wrote a letter to the great maritime historian & author Frank Braynard and told him I too liked ships and could I come to work with him one day. His reply was wonderfully encouraging — plus I had a “real” reply (in my hands) from the very busy, legendary Mr Braynard. Yes, I had all his books in my then small library. A few years later (1968), I actually met him — and we even had lunch together — and then, hark, I began working with him (in 1977) and soon thereafter we even wrote books together, as co-authors.
So yes, I have been so, so lucky!
Again, thank you to all …