A Cruise to Remember

 And a Mini Reunion


Ralph Harpuder


When I was a refugee child living in Hongkew, Shanghai, who would have believed then that sixty years later I was sailing with a Freisinger School classmate on a luxury cruise ship through the Panama Canal.

Such was the case late in November 2005 when Gary (Gertie) Naftanial, residing in Coral Springs, Florida, and myself together with our spouses spent ten days at sea, enjoying sumptuous food and luxury we never experienced during our years in the Shanghai Ghetto. Except for the luscious buffet, fancy interiors, and spectacular entertainment, the cruise also reminded us of our formative years when we spent many days with our parents on troop ships and ocean liners immigrating to Shanghai and later to Israel and the United States.

Reminiscence of our days in Shanghai continued when Ruth Baruch) Spiegler and her husband, Marcel, invited us to their beautiful home in Boca Raton, Florida for dinner. After a fabulous old fashioned  meal, Ruth took a large box out from her closet containing Shanghai memorabilia that brought back many memories of our childhood while our spouses patiently listened on. 

As for yours truly and my wife, Yvonne it was back to Los Angeles the next day, and again back to reality.