To me, the month of April has always been reserved for all things Titanic. Some of my first memories of television are centered on specials about the doomed ship. In that time before the Titanic was discovered on the ocean floor, scientists shared their theories about how the ship sank and then came my favorite part, the survivors. I can remember sitting on the couch, fresh from my bath and dressed in a cotton gown with itchy lace trim, watching white haired seniors retell their stories over and over.
The idea of that ill-fated night was terrifying. Your entire fate could be decided based on your sex and your class. The panic, the screams, that last look at your husband or father as the lifeboat was lowered; it goes beyond James Cameron’s movie.
The Titanic was magical and mysterious back then. There was the beauty, the elegance, the terror, and the tragedy. The “ship of dreams” had become the ship of legend, looming just as large in myth as it had in life.
Did the band really play on as the ship sank? Did it split in two as some witnesses said? Why weren’t more people saved? Why didn’t more boats come to the rescue? Who was the ship that some of the survivors saw (so close they could see a man walkin
In my girlhood imagination, the Titanic rested at the bottom of the sea, in one piece, with everything and everyone preserved just as it was….That would be the magic of Titanic. The lasting image in my mind of a moment stopped in time, but yet surviving for decades.
Then came that September day in 1985 when the mystery was solved and the Titanic was found. The years have gone on and the survivors have passed away, the once grand ship decays in its watery grave, and all that is left is a handful of fading photographs and a few static filled sound bites. Scientific fact has chipped away at the myth.
The generations that follow will remember James Cameron, Rose and Jack, and the cloudy images of the rust covered boilers and port holes. They forget that at one time, the Titanic slept undisturbed and unfound, almost as elusive as Atlantis. They forget the stories coming from those that lived through it, more terrifying than any movie. For me, I will remember the legend, the myth, the mystery, and yes, the magic of Titanic.