Sometime near the end of 1985 or early 1986, I drove over to Fort Mason to visit the Liberty Ship, Jeremiah O’Brien. She was tied up at there back then and having recently learned about the ship, I had already visited her on previous occasions. Fort Mason didn’t have as much activity back then as today, (although nothing compares to the activity there during World War Two) so I parked in the parking lot and headed toward the Liberty Ship. It was a chilly day and I remember that I was wearing a red jacket with the words ‘San Francisco’ on it that I bought earlier that year in Fisherman’s Wharf. As I approached the ship I saw a number of 1940’s cars parked around the pier the Jeremiah O’Brien was docked at and a group of people in clothing from that period standing around or boarding the ship. I’m sure that the Jeremiah O’Brien charged a fee back then but as I mixed in with the crowd and headed up the gangplank nobody said any thing to me. When I got on board, it was obvious that a scene from some movie being produced was about to be filmed. By talking to some of the crew I learned that it was going to be a miniseries called ‘Crossings’, set during World War Two and starring Cheryl Ladd of ‘Charlie’s Angels’ fame. That was all I needed to hear to decide to hang around. Soon, there she was only a few feet from me walking toward the starboard aft side of the ship for the filming of the burial at sea episode of the miniseries. I moved up a ladder to watch the filming, and since Cheryl was facing my direction during the filming I’m sure that she saw me, or at least I hope so. A number of scenes were filmed around or aboard the Jeremiah O’Brien and here are some then and nows from the movie. Keep in mind that while they were filming these scenes I was always hovering around nearby trying to look cool for Cheryl Ladd.
The first scene I watched them shoot was a burial at sea. I’m standing about where I was watching that scene long ago; it was filmed just past the lifeboat where the garbage cans are. The Jeremiah O’Brien is now located in Fisherman’s Wharf.
The bodies were laid to rest on the side she was docked at in the show so the crane cameras could capture this scene. That’s costars Cheryl Ladd and Lee Horsley in the center.
This scene was right up where I was at during the burial scene so I had to move back out of the way. Cheryl and Lee move down the ladder from second to first deck.
They headed to their romantic encounter through this passage.
It’s been a trying day watching sailors buried at sea so even though Lee Horsley is married to Jane Seymour in the film, and Cheryl Ladd is married to Christopher Plummer, they go to Horsley’s cabin and….. “get involved”.
Lee and Cheryl “get involved” a lot while aboard ship like here in a hammock on the starboard aft side. It didn’t seem to bother the crew much.
Back over at Fort Mason, this was the scene that they had just finished filming when I showed up of the ship arriving at port.
The Jeremiah O’Brien’s name was changed to Dorchester for the film. Here she is today at Pier 45.
A time for, “Gosh, we shouldn’t have done that!” goodbyes. That’s the Van Ness Pier on the far right.
The inevitable goodbye kiss and tearful parting:
“Why are you crying, my dear?”
“I’m thinking about that cute guy in the red San Francisco jacket I saw on the ship. I may never see him again!”
And she never did!
Cheryl drives away, but it’s only half way through the miniseries so they’ll be seeing each other again.
Lee Horsley looks back tenderly at Cheryl Ladd, and Cheryl looks back thinking, “I wish that guy I had to kiss would get out of the way so I can see if that fellow in the red jacket is getting off the ship.”