Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

Cap'n's Cabaret #28: Hoppin' the Ocean with Lucky Lindy (and Lindy Hoppers!)

The Cabaret is taking flight!  Yes, folks, once again we're off into the wild blue yonder courtesy of Pan American Airlines, this time aboard the largest aircraft ever built, that incredible feat of engineering, the Martin M-130, better known as the China Clipper!  Yes, Pan Am today takes us on a fabulous journey aboard a flying yacht from San Fransisco off to beautiful Honolulu, Hawaii, with continuing service to Midway, Wake, Guam, and finally Shanghai, China!

And we are travelling with the stars today!  The luxurious conditions, grand state rooms, and roomy galley (at least by aerial standards) attract only the wealthy and famous!  And as we hop the Pacific we have a legend of the air known for his own trans-oceanic hop with us today.  Yes, Lucky Lindy himself, Charles Lindburgh, is on board! And he's not alone, for, interestingly enough, we have three of Whitey's Lindy Hoppers, Harlem's premier dancers, on board as well!  Frankie Manning, Norma Miller, and the man who invented the Lindy Hop, George Snoden!  George tells me how one day he did his famous splits move, and when asked what he called his dance, he said "the Lindy Hop!"  The name stuck and spread like the fame of the man it was named for!

Strangely, however, Lindy himself seems uncomfortable.  I mean here are some of the nation's great talents in dancing, travelling along with none other than the legendary Marx Brothers for a gig in Hawaii no less, and he's stiffer than an overstarched shirt!  Yes, folks, you heard me right: the Marx Brothers are here as well!  And you probably know Whitey's Lindy Hoppers from the Marx Brother's recent cinema hit A Day at the Races:   



 Whitey's Lindy Hoppers in "A Day at the Races" (Warning: not politically correct by todays standards, but ironically a major progressive leap by the standards of the time)


You must recall their aerial feats, which took dance to a whole new level!  I joined Lindy for a drink (tonight's signature cocktail, the Aviation, of course!) and he loudly complained to me about the "standards of this flight".  "But Mr. Lindburgh," I said, "There isn't a craft flying with better standards!"  "Then what's with all the negroes and Jews?!"  My agent, Mr. Ben Siegel, turned red as a fire hydrant when Lindy said this.  Lord I though he would murder him!  I know Ben is sometimes called "Bugsey", but honestly this was the first time I rreally understood why!  I tried to calm him; last thing we need is the murder of a national hero on our hands.! Luckily it was Groucho himself that defused the situation: "No kidding, Charles," Groucho said, "I'd hate to be seen on any flight that would  have me as a passenger!"  The laughter hadn't quite subsided when Lindy retired to his stateroom.


 Maybe a tad better accomodations than Coach on a 767, eh?


 Well, now that we've managed to alienate one of America's greatest aviation heroes, I guess it's time for another round.  I bought Groucho, Harpo, Chico, George, Frankie, and Norma each an Aviation Cocktail, and we talked music, dance, and shows until the stewards kicked us back to our stateooms for the night.

Lucky Lindy may not care much for the accomodations, but I think the China Clipper is still the best thing in the air!


Aviation Cocktail:

  • 2 oz gin
  • 1/4 oz maraschino liqueur
  • 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
  • dash of creme de violette
  • flamed lemon peel for garnish

Shake over ice, strain into a cocktail glass, garnish with lemon peel.


Good morning, folks!  We made it!  Hope your bunk beds were comfortable overnight!  And as planes get bigger the accomodations can only get better!  I await the giant flying wings of the future like Mr. bel Geddes predicts, but until then we will enjoy the stately China Clipper, the best thing in the air.  And now, three days in Honolulu on the beautiful tropical islands of the Hawaiian Territory!  Aloha!

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