Saturday, April 14, 2012

100 Years

100 years ago today the Titanic hit an iceberg.  And then a little less than 3 hours later she broke into two pieces and sunk to the bottom of the ocean.  So many things contributed to that ship going down.  From ignored ice warnings, to pressure to beat speed records.  Complete and unshakable faith in the new and modern construction of the ship leading to arrogance of its "unsinkable"-ness.  A lost pair of binoculars for the crow's nest.  A perfectly calm night which meant no tell-tale signs of waves frothy and breaking against the base of an iceberg.  Trying desperately to turn the ship at the last second to avoid a head-on collision...which instead lead to the death gash in the side of the ship.  Tragically, if the Titanic had continued on directly into the iceberg, she most likely wouldn't have sunk....or at least hung around long enough for other ships (the Carpathia specifically) to come to the rescue in time.
I've been a Titanic buff for over 20 years.  My love of history started manifesting itself in high school and one of the first subjects that wrapped hold around me was the story of the Titanic.  I borrowed three books from the local library one day and read them voraciously, even taking them with me to a family Easter egg hunt.  My mother was suspicious.  "Why are you reading that?" she would ask.  "Are you sure you don't have to write a report on the Titanic?"  So baffled was she that I was reading a non-fiction history book for fun, she worried that I was working on a research paper but didn't want to tell her for fear of parental pressure.  I did indeed end up writing a research paper on the Titanic...but not until college.  When Bryan introduced me to the world wide web and told me that I could look up anything I wanted, my first search was for Titanic sites.  If you come to my house today you will find at least nine books relating to the Titanic on my book shelves...and that doesn't count the many that I've borrowed and returned to the library.  A few years ago when the traveling Titanic artifact exhibit came through Salt Lake City, not only did I go, but also bought replicas of the 1st class Titanic china which I proudly display in my china hutch in the kitchen.  So, yes.  You could say I'm a little obsessed.

When the big James Cameron "Titanic" blockbuster movie was originally announced, I had mixed feelings.  I'd seen other made-for-TV movies...all or which were decidedly cheesy and not entirely factual.  I was a little worried this would be more of the same.  And yet I followed closely all updates of movie production and had high hopes.  Could they do it justice?  Would they get the details right?  (Because trust me, I would notice!)  The hype, along with my expectations, were rising and I had worries that I would be disappointed.  But amazingly enough, the movie met and even exceeded those expectations!  I was beyond thrilled that James Cameron had taken such pains to immerse himself so fully into Titanic...even going down 2 and 1/2 miles below the ocean to view her for himself and using some of the footage from that trip in the movie.  And I fully admit that I sobbed.  The movie brought it all to life for me.

So today, I took Brandon to see "Titanic" in theaters in 3D format especially to commemorate this 100th anniversary.  The date has been on my calendar for months...and has been on my mind all week long.  So I thought that seeing the movie on this particular day, at least for me, would be very appropriate.  The fascination surrounding the Titanic that started for me, all those many years ago...the sinking, it's discovery by Robert Ballard in 1985, the continued updates on the deteriorating conditions of the ruins...the essence of the Titanic...apparently still has me in a very firm grip.


Jon Woodbury said...

I didn't realize you were such a Titanic buff. I am too! I remember being absolutely fascinated by the mystery of trying to find it. I remember just watching in amazement as Ballard explored the wreckage in the TV special. I've always had an affinity for it. Thanks for sharing yours.

Melissa@thebblog said...

ah yes, I am looking forward to seeing the moving again. maybe I'll take mom since Scott has no interest. and yes, I fully expect to cry. again.