Friday, March 9, 2012

Having the Final Word on the Titanic


For those interested in the sinking of that incredible ocean liner, and the upcoming centennial of the disaster, please check out my friend Jack's blog--it contains many details and first hand interviews of the sinking.  


  1. I remember when I was very young my grandmother used to talk about that apparently it must have been one of the most significant events other than WWl of that era. I don't even believe TV or telephones were around at that time so for so many people to have been so familiar with it must have been the conversation of families around the world.

  2. I'm guessing private telephones were available Mike, but it's likely only wealthy people could afford them.

    It's amazing what some people can remember.

    My wife had a neighbor lady who lived near her family before she and I met. They were neighbors for many years.

    Anyway, this lady was born in 1900 and lived into her nineties. I asked her about diferent things at the nursing home she was at---her mind was sharp and she could sit up and talk to you at 96 just like she was was younger.

    She told me about going to a train station in Pittsburgh to see her brother go off to an Army camp in 1918! He got back from France without having to fight because the war ended. She worked as a nurse and remembered the Spanish influenza epidemic and President Harding's funeral train going through town in the middle of the night in 1923. I guess I should have recorded her reflections but as she wasn't a family member I didn't think it right to ask.

  3. A fascinating blog thanks for pointing me in that direction Doug. I never actually realised how many oligarchs copped it on the Titanic, I wonder if Richard Branson could arrange a repeat performance? But I realise that is a tasteless comment for which I am half regretful. I sed to live in Lichfield, south Statffordshire where there is in the park the only statue of Edward John Smith captain of the Titanic. The statue had been commissioned by his birthplace of Hanley near Stoke-On-Trent in the English Potteries in north Staffordshire, but went the ship sank they didn't want it. Lichfield's Beacon Park needed a statue so they had it and he was therefore rehabilitated almost before the wreck settled into Davy Jones' Locker...interesting stuff Doug.

  4. Always glad to point out good stuff I find along the way here, AA.

    Funny you should mention the idea of sending Dickie Branson back in time for a bit of salt air and ice in the North Atlantic.

    It reminds me of the plot of a 1990's novel by the always-entertaining late American popular novelist, Jack Finney, who also wrote "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" He concocted a story in "From Time to Time" with a protagonist who goes back in time via a secret scientific project to save a certain VIP from dying on that ill-fated ship by going on board himself and thus perhaps sparring Europe and America from World War I. Anyway, it's a good novel and the premise is played out to the max.

    Interesting about Captain John Smith. By the accounts in books and films, he did his job well---the real catalyst of the whole voyage was the hubris of the liner's representative in trying to set a record, and the shoddy preparation for adequate lifeboats available to passengers in the second and steerage classes.

    Can't help thinking of Davy Jones Locker without the recent passing of the only British member of the synthetic television-based band, The Monkeys. I would guess British viewers like yourself saw the whole thing as Americanized bunkum.

    A lot of girls who watched that show used to swoon over the little lead singer guy in my elementary school, while we guys just liked the pseudo-Hard Day''s Night antics of the quartet. In any case, another part of 1960's pop culture sails away for some.

  5. I used to like the Monkees myself in a strange sort of way, although I must admit that Davy was the one I liked the least at the time. There was something annoying about his Manchester accent in California I think, he always irritated me anyway, reminded me too much of Herman's Hermit front man Peter Noone, but I liked the other Monkees.

  6. I think I can say like yourself all my friends of the time put Davy at the bottom of the list, just as the cliche was that most guys liked John Lennon more than Paul. (I wonder if the Lads ever decided which one was the Walrus? Well, no matter.)

    Peter Noone recently did a gig at a Native-American casino up in central Oregon, so he's still out there.

    I liked the Monkeys--they had some good songs and it was the critics that had the most trouble with them, at least in America. Their cool factor with older rockers went up fast I gather after the cult movie "Head" (1968) came out.

    One of the producers of their show, Bob Rafelson, went on to make 'Five Easy Pieces" with Jack Nicholson. Jack was also a co-writer on "Head" and appeared briefly in the film with Dennis Hopper.

  7. Ah, and here's the evidence:

    Good grief, even Frank Zappa was in the movie according to another clip! It's been a while since I saw this one obviously.

  8. Never saw this Doug and it was a most interesting time in history. As well thanks.

  9. Glad you liked it Jack. The late sixties were indeed interesting times, weren't they?