By Owens Pomeroy <>

     Growing up in Baltimore, especially during those hot, Summer Months, ment only one thing to a young couple, either on a first date, or "going steady", and that was those fantastic Moonlight Crusises down the Chesapeake Bay on the Bay Belle. The Belle left ftom Pirer 6 every evening at 7 pm, and continued down the bay until reaching 7 Point Knoll, where it turned around and journed back.

     The Cruise had live music to dance by. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday it was Joe Dowling and his Orchestra. On Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, Bob Craig was the featured Band. And on Sunday, the Bands alternated. One week Joe, the other week, Bob. I knew the drummer, George "Shorty" Rapp, of the Bob Craig outfit, and he ususally slipped me a couple of free tickets to the moonlight Cruise. (A coupe of times I took my mouth piece from my trumpet along, and Bob let me sit in for a couple of tunes. Boy! Did that feel great!).

     The middle deck was the Snack Bar with tables along each side and a Dance Floor, that was usually packed with teens and young Adults swinging to the Big Band tunes made famous by Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw and slow dancing to the ballads of Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey. Their was usually someone on the boat who had a Birthday, and the Band played "Happy Birthday" to him or her and had the couple lead the next dance.

     The upper deck was the most piopular one, as it was dimly lit and many young lovers did some "sparkin'" on that top deck. You had to have a coat or sweater, even on the warmest nights as those breezes up there could really be cool. The Boat past Ft McHenry, and on the way down, no matter what tune was beig played, the Band stopped and played the Star Spangled Banner as we past it. It was usually daylight on the way down and you could get a good view of the Fort. On the way back, the entire Fort was lit up, with a spotlight on the Flag. What an awsome and inspiring sight that was!

     The trip took about 4 hours, and around 10:30 the Band would play the final tune for dancing. Joe usually played "I'll See You In My Dreams," or "Good Night, Sweetheart," and Bob played "Good Night, Sweet Dreams," or "We'll Meet Again," and when we heard those tunes we knew the last dance was beginning, and our Moonlight Adventure was drawing to a close. Ah, such pleasant memories of a Baltimore remembered so well.

Owens Pomeroy
Baltimore, MD

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