I was not on this earth in 1933
When the ferry boat in San Francisco burned.
I am told it was called the Peralta...
That it was beautiful.
I did not exist,
When Mr. Alexander Peabody
Purchased the burned out hull of this ferry
And then had it
Towed from the San Francisco Bay
To the Lake Washington shipyard.
I was not there...
When the hull was transformed into
Nor was I there in1935 when
Her beautiful streamlined design made its maiden voyage
From Seattle to Bremerton on what was then called the
Puget Sound Navigation Co.
This very prestigious Company
Was owned by a prominent and
Well respected man...
By the name of,
Mr. Alexander Peabody.
A man who was grounded in truth
And was rich in integrity and honor!!
I wish I had been there,
I wish I had ridden the Kalakala,
Back In her glory days...
In Americas glory days.
Sadly, I did not.
I did not touch her,
I have never laid eyes on her.
Her pictures are beautiful!
Her stories are grand!
I wish I had been there…
Writers say she was stupendous!
Sleek and smooth with an Art Deco flair.
She had hosted
Couples had danced to the music of
Joe Bowden and the Flying Bird Orchestra
Red velvet chairs were available for
Those who wanted to rest, reflect or chat for a bit.
It all sounds so luxurious for a ferry…but then
She wasn’t just any ferry.
She was the Kalakala!
I wish I had been there,
I never rode her,
But I wish I had.
News articles state that
In 1951 our Kalakala was sold to the Washington
State Ferry system and that she served WSF until the year of 1967...
Then she was auctioned off.
She was still able to navigate the waters…
But to save money,
The new owner towed her to Alaska...
Where she was
Forgotten by those she had served.
How sad I feel to know this.....
How sad that she didn’t have
A place to call home...
6 million people were carried across
Our gorgeous Puget Sound....
6 million Americans...
Did they fight for her?
I have questions not yet answered.
I was not there….
Sometimes in my thoughts I am grateful.
Grateful that I had no part in the mistake of 1967
When the Washington State Ferry System
And watched as she left Seattle on her
Long journey to Alaska.
I was not there...
If I had been...
I would have advocated
For her to have a permanent home
A place along the water where
My, how beautiful she would have looked!
Did we fight for her?
Did you know?
When she arrived in Dutch Harbor Alaska
She was converted to a crab processing vessel
And stripped of her beauty?
She was sold after the conversion
And was then used for both the processing
Of crab and then
Just two years later she was sold again….
6 years later….
2 years after….
4 years later sold again to the City of
I have never ridden her...
Nor have I seen her,
But my heart is heavy over the loss of her.
Mr. Alexander Peabody had a dream,
It became our dream and was our truth!
Both...a dream and a truth
Neglected and abused.
It was a fast and easy fix
For those involved
A fix that caused,
A total of 9subsequent owner’s grief.
I wasn't there....
Perhaps I shouldn’t judge....but
I am you know.
Rather than be sent to auction,
She should have been placed at our
Dock and been polished and shined.
She should have had a permanent place in Seattle...
Her history and glory in full view.
I would have enjoyed seeing her…
Many would have.
My heart cries for those who felt the dream
Who wanted to preserve America’s truth?
Their losses are insurmountable... They paid the
Price of trying to rectify the 1967 blunder.
There truly are those who are blind to the depth
Of her significance to us as Americans....
They shrug their shoulders....
Smirk, roll their eyes,
And head to the bank.
They fight for money and power...
And for what?
A speck of time!
I wasn’t there......
But I am sad and
As you can tell
Perhaps a bit bitter...
That those before us
Were too clouded by their own interests...
To see her significance in 1967 and what
Her presence on our docks would have
Represented for the lives of all Americans
Past, present and future.
I was not there….
But in 1998
The Kalakala was brought back to us,
I wish I had been aware.
There must have been such a
Hub of excitement…good, bad
It matters not….
The Kalakala was home
And many were thrilled.
I was not there,
But I read that
Her new owner was
Captivated by her beautiful lines and
He saw through her decay and corrosion,
And found her beauty…
And the dream in her was revived!
I was not aware….
Of his efforts or time spent,
I did not know of the Kalakala at this place in time,
I did not know her owner.
I was not there…I wish I had been.
I would have helped in any way possible.
After having built the Kalakala
Getting volunteers to aid in the restoration of
Her past beauty…and
After having fundraising tours
The tours were shutdown
By the City of Seattle
And the Coast Guard due to the need of a second
Fire escape off the bow.
Without the tours….
There was a lack of funding and no substantial
Donations coming in, thus
The Kalakala owner has no recourse but
To file chapter 7
I have a question…..
Why couldn’t a fire escape been added to the bow?
Had I been there….I would have asked
I am sure someone must have….
I would like to know the answer…
Was it a worthy explanation?
Knowing would make me feel
Better or would it?
I read that after losing our Kalakala
By way of chapter 7,
A court trustee was appointed
To oversee the liquidation of the Kalakala Foundation.
Who was this trustee?
I have questions….
I am enamored by the Kalakala story
I wasn’t there in her glory days.
I wish I had been.
I heard there was an
Auction in 2003
Two bids came in but the bidders couldn’t come up with
Without the financial means….
Why did they bid?
Just another question.
Bidder became the new owner!
I am sure that once again
There was much excitement and anticipation
Another opportunity was here…
We had a
New owner full of wonderful ideas and beautiful visions!
A new captain,
Hopeful for the emergence of truth and a beautiful end to a difficult story.
He was greeted with resistance
Year after year was filled with legalities…
The list goes on!
Day after day,
He worked trying to save the truth
Of this beautiful vessel,
So much was lost …but his
So much was at stake!
Year after difficult year
The struggle ensued…But like a lion in a locked cage,
He had nowhere to turn.
Lived on through his vision and perseverance
For 10 years
And then once again
Was lost to another owner.
I was around…..
I saw the pictures….
I saw her demise…
I saw her disappear.
Sadly I arrived on the scene
In her saddest days.
There is only one place left for her
And that is within our spirit.
She represented all that America was and should be.
She was truth.
From this day
I can proudly say…
I know the Kalakala,
Her symbolic meaning
And of her journey
On a path in time.
A time when
Family values, integrity
Were our moral compass.
We lost the Kalakala
But we still have a dream……
It lives on in our hearts
And resides in our souls.
We must continue the battle
To keep the truth alive!
“Never can the innate power of a work be hidden or locked away.
A work of art can be forgotten by time; it can be forbidden and rejected
But the elemental will always prevail over the ephemeral.” Stefan Zweig