Greetings, readers. It’s hard to believe that the great unsinkable Titanic sank 100 years ago tomorrow on her maiden voyage. I’ve always had a special fascination with Titanic. And yes, there’s my morbidity shining through again. Perhaps fascination is the wrong word, so I shall try to explain.
I have seen many films depicting the events dealing with the ship’s final hours. My favorite was called The Titanic, with George C. Scott as Captain Smith. It was a CBS made-for-TV movie shown over two nights. Very well done. But what isn’t well done that George C. Scott stars in?
As far as the particulars of the accident, several things are universal in the storytelling. Point number one was that the Titanic was thrown into reverse. If the ship was simply turned at the first instant of the iceberg’s spotting, the incident never takes place and the Titanic has a long and illustrious 30 year career. Point number two, from my understanding about the way the ship was constructed, if it had hit the iceberg head-on, perhaps only one or two compartments would have flooded and the ship could have limped to New York harbor. That would have been a minor inconvenience, but the Titanic would not have sunk. Point number three, and to me the biggest boo-boo of them all, when the wireless operator took the message that icebergs were spotted in the area, he should have stopped what he was doing and taken that message directly to the captain, and made certain he saw it. If this had been done, Captain Smith slows the Titanic, the ship has extra time to pass the iceberg, and everyone laughs at it as they go by. The Titanic crosses the Atlantic hundreds of times. I think you now get my point.
Yes, I’ve pondered all the ins and outs of the Titanic tragedy, all the things that could have happened but didn’t, should have happened but didn’t, oh, if only I had a time machine. For the survivors, they were truly blessed to be at the right place at the right time, and I suppose at the right age. Remember women and children were allowed to board lifeboats first.
Having seen most of the Titanic documentaries, where underwater submersibles dive down to the depths to find Titanic and come across eerie shadows of the great ship that was, it is humbling to see the mighty ship, a twisted wreck on the bottom of the Atlantic. Now filled with barnacles and bacteria growing out of every open port-hole, the remains of the great vessel is 10 to 20 years away from collapsing in on itself due to her steel being weakened.
Over the years, much memorabilia has been retrieved from the site. I’m going out on a limb here to say that I think that is wrong. I know I will probably peeve off some Titanic buffs, but remember we are talking about a gravesite here. I’ve now said my piece.
With Friday the 13th and the morning the Titanic went down soon behind us, my blog entries will go back to normal for a while. They will consist of me writing about my kitty cat, my books, the goings-on in State College, but don’t worry, when there is something which makes the news or something I’m reminded of, that ignites my passion and fury, you will all know about it. Until soon.