Historian’s birthday cruise aboard QMII recounted for audience

OXFORD – At the most recent meeting of the Oxford Historical Society, Sept. 22, Vicky House described the fabulous voyage she and Oxford’s beloved historian, Charlotte Stafford went on in the spring. Vicky also took that opportunity to thank everyone for all their well wishes and cards sent to Charlotte at Wilson Memorial and gave an update on her recovery since her stroke in August.

During Charlotte’s hospital stay, she received 300 get well cards, enjoying every one. Illustrating how unaltered her mind was by the stroke, she was aware of exactly how many of each card design she received, such as cats or teapots (two of her favorite things). Apparently a funny one of a scantily clad man caused such a stir that the nurses wanted to keep it for good morale. The wall in her room had so many cards on it that the hospital staff jokingly called it “the Hallmark Factory.” Despite some paralysis caused by the stroke, Charlotte never lost her humor, sticking her tongue out at one of the doctors to show she was gaining muscle strength.

Now, back at home Charlotte has been doing really well, amazing the doctors. Her right arm and right leg are getting stronger daily and her speech has advanced from small phrases to whole sentences. House explained that Charlotte wanted to be there at the Depot-Museum that night to help tell the story of their transatlantic voyage but she still needed more time to recuperate.

The QM2 Transatlantic Luxury Voyage

Vicky House presented photos and told the remarkable story of their unique, once-in-a-lifetime travel experience, sailing aboard the legendary Cunard RMS Queen Mary 2 to Southampton, England, and back. (6-days each way.) The expression “The journey is more important than the destination” was never more apt. It was Charlotte’s 90th, a mile-stone birthday on April 14, and the QM2 ocean voyage was her dream wish-come-true. From Vicky’s description, being on the grandest, most magnificent ocean liner ever built, it sounded like it was beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. It was like stepping back into The Golden Age of Ocean Travel (but environmentally friendly). The QM2, part of the Cunard line and their flagship, includes the Queen Victoria 2 (her sister ship) and the Queen Elizabeth 2. Vicky did her best to describe all aspects of the memorable trip, from the luxurious “Cunard White Star Service” that saw to all their wants and needs, to personal details about Oxford’s Historian that made this birthday trip so very special.

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