My father was a merchant marine captain. Not just an ordinary merchant marine captain, mind you, but rather the youngest captain in the history of the Argentine merchant marine. Many of you may have read an earlier post about how my mother and father met aboard The Corrientes (if you haven't and a want to, click here). My father was passionate about the sea. It was his life. If he could have spent his life at sea sailing, he would have been the happiest man alive.
Okay, not the best picture (don't you hate it when they get you with your eyes closed?) but
look at the photo in the background (yes, Evita was first lady at the time)
My father ran our household as if it were a ship and we were his crew. I remember when he tried to teach us children morse code (because you never know when you may be stuck in the middle of nowhere and have to use morse code, right?). He made a little morse code machine out of household wires and knob that would transmit signals and we spent days on our dining room table learning all the letters and codes. Can't say I've had an opportunity yet to show off my talents in this area, but the childhood memory of us sitting at the dining room table pretending to be radio operators on a ship and sending messages back and forth is something I treasure.
Time in our household was also signaled by an 8-Day Wind Ship's Bell Clock. For you all who lived in otherwise normal households and may not be familiar with this clock, it is a clock based on the traditional ship's 8-bell watch cycle, ringing every half hour to signal the changing of the bridge's watch or guard.
Like many sea captains, my father loved to tell us real life stories about the high seas, which us, as young children, listened to with big, wide eyes. I cannot remember how old I was when I first heard about "The Night to Remember" -- the tragic story about the Titanic -- but it was a story that made such an impact on us all that to this day, my siblings and I still get goosebumps when we hear anything about it. In fact, just this Easter Sunday, my youngest sister mentioned the Titanic in conversation, and before we knew it, we were all huddled around the computer watching the latest footage on James Cameron's deep-sea exploration to the sunken vessel.
Everything about the RMS Titanic, from the mystique of its amazing luxury, its wealthy and not so wealthy passenger list, its opulent cabins and interiors, to the unfortunate events leading up to its tragic sinking and the deaths of so many people, has always moved me. I have watched every movie about the Titanic countless of times and every time, I sit there hoping that THIS time, THIS time, the ending will be different. What if the Titanic had heeded the iceberg warnings? What if the iceberg accident would have ripped 4 rather than 5 of the water tight compartments (she could have survived with 4 compartments being breached)? What if the radio operator of the SS Californian (which was only a few miles away from the Titanic) had not gone to bed and had received the distress signals from the Titanic? What if there had been enough lifeboats aboard the Titanic to accommodate all of its passengers (rather than half the required number)?
Can someone please come up with a version of the Titanic where Leonardo DiCaprio lives and the Titanic sails in triumphantly to the port of New York!!!!!!!
So it will come as no surprise to you that as the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic on April 14, 1912 nears (tomorrow, in fact!), I wanted to write a post in its honor and what was such a unforgettable moment in history.
The RMS Titanic in all its glory sets sail on its maiden and last voyage on April 10, 1912
Titanic Capt. Edward Smith shown here aboard the Titanic with his dog, Ben. Janice Servais, researcher for the Titanic Museum Attraction in Branson, Mo., which opened a tribute of its own to the dogs of the Titanic last year, says the museum has only ever been able to verify 10 dogs, all kenneled by first class passengers, with only three surviving. Some people refused to leave their canine companions who were not allowed on the lifeboats.
James Cameron's epic love tale Titanic in 1997, the role that made Kate Winslet a global sensation. I LOVE THAT HAT!!!
The decadence of the time!
Titanic's grand staircase was meticulously recreated for the movie (inset)
I wonder what it must have been like to have been on the Titanic
Some of the real people aboard the Titanic. Kathy Bates portrayed the wealthy socialite from Hannibal, Mo., who not only survived the Titanic's sinking but helped others board lifeboats, eventually becoming known as the "The Unsinkable Molly Brown."
An Edwardian Diamond ring, one of the few articles that survived the wreckage.
The Titanic today as it lies at the bottom of the ocean floor (photos by National Geographic).
RMS Titanic, 1912-2012.
To my father who loved the sea.