I was just 9 years old when I was first introduced to Titanic in 1993. My teacher had us read a short story in our English book that was just based on the sinking alone. Afterwards, we had to write an essay on what we had read about. I remember going into detail on how the story of Titanic seemed surreal. I had written in the essay about the ship breaking apart and perhaps the steel and rivets used to build the ship were too weak to endure the impact of the collision with the iceberg. Furthermore, Titanic’s bow was obviously giving into the weight of pressure as the North Atlantic filled its bow which leads to the Titanic breaking apart.
As a result of reading that short story about Titanic, I remember going home that night and telling my parents that I wanted to be an Oceanographer or a Marine Biologist just so I can dive to Titanic. I have constantly been enthralled with the ocean and I always felt at home yet terrified when it came to dealing with water. As I got older and I had to put together family tree’s when I was in junior high (2 years later). I discovered that my great great grandmother held a third class ticket. She was supposed to board the Titanic in Queenstown Ireland…fortunately…she missed the boat. Learning this only grew my interest in Titanic.
In 1997 when directorcame out with the most updated version of the story of Titanic, I was reluctant to go see it. Every news channel seemed to have interviews with the remaining survivors and all had said that Cameron’s version was the closes telling of what happened that night than other previously done work. And hearing the survivors who saw it say that…I personally didn’t think I would be able to handle watching the film. But my inquisitiveness, however, would get the best of me, and I went to go see the movie. Out of all the pervious movies made about Titanic, I was right this one bothered me the most, and yes I will be willing to admit I cried. Not because of the Jack and Rose storyline…as much as I like and respect , I had no interest in what their story was about, it was about the disaster itself. When the scenes finally were shown about the collision with the Iceberg all the way to the sinking, I once again got that surreal feeling again.
Because I was so interested in Titanic at an early age…I tried to learn, collect and see everything involving Titanic. I had no idea why, but I was so spellbound by this ship. To this very day I am and I have no idea why. When I talk about the ship, I am given looks with the phrase “how do you know that” All my information I learned is from the internet, reading books and just collecting different information from varies documentaries over the years. Honestly I am about 90% positive that eventually I will join the Titanic Historical Society.
The story of Titanic finally hit home when The Titanic Traveling Exhibit came to the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland. I remember walking around the exhibit looking at the artifacts and feeling overwhelmed with sadness. At one point I had found myself in a replica of the third class hall way with a small group of people…very small group there had to have been maybe 5 of us. In the area of the hall that was made up to look like a third class cabin was a character actor. He was long and thing with a thick what sounded to be either Irish or Scottish accent, (sorry I don’t want to offend anyone I am not good with dialects). He wore an orange turtle neck sweater with checkered pants that were in the pattern of Black, white and dark brown squares. He went into talking about the 3rd class and after everyone had left, I still continued to talk with him. He told me that the third class held parties and how everyone mingled with one another. I remember him telling me that on the night of the sinking, that some of the third class passengers stuck together to find a way out to the life boats. I remember him telling me that the gates in third class were locked.
This character actor was very knowledgeable as to what may have happened in third class….this got me to thinking… “What could have happened if my great great grandmother did get on the ship?” “Where would I be?” “Would she have survived the disaster?” Even as we talk about it 100 years later, the “official” story of Titanic will never be fully known as to what happened that night. I know as long as I live I will always be captivated by Titianc. The preservation of Titanic should be remembering all those who lost their lives because of hedonistic arrogance. In the end, it is that very emotion that truly doomed Titanic.