by Terri Bey
During my 54 years of life, I have developed many interests, several of which have become passions, such as Ludwig Van Beethoven and rock bands KISS, QUEEN, and the Beatles. I am also very passionate about opera and Thoroughbred racing, also. There is one dominant subject that has turned into an obsession for me almost my whole life. The subject is the story of the RMS Titanic.
How did this magnificent ship and her tragic story come into my life? It started when I was in about the first grade. One of my teachers had a children's magazine with a photo of a sinking ship surrounded by icebergs on the cover. I looked on what I called the "butt" or "rear end" of the ship and it read, "Titanic" and below it, "Liverpool." Yes. I was 6 years old, and had no idea that the proper name of that part of the ship was called, "the stern," so give a little break. I opened up the magazine and read the main article and read the story about the "unsinkable" Titanic going down on her maiden voyage. At that point,I started to become interested. I was wondering how a ship that was considered "unsinkable" could have sunk?
What also helped to continue my interest in the Titanic was the fact that my father remembered the disaster as a child. When I was born in 1967, my mother was 48 and my dad was 63, so throughout school, when I saw kids with their parents in their 20s and 30s, I knew I had parents who were obviously way older. Of course, the advantage I had was having parents who lived through many historical events, such as WW1, WW2, the 1918 Flu Epidemic, and of course, the sinking of the RMS Titanic. I thought it was awesome having a different perspective on historical events by being related to people who lived through them.
Anyway, my father, a May birth, was nearly 8 years old when the Titanic disaster occurred. When I went to bed, the story of the Titanic would be a favorite bedtime story. My dad would tell me the story of the Titanic repeatedly. My mother, born 7 years after the disaster, did know a bit about the disaster through old newspapers, etc. She told me about how the Titanic "was trying to break a record, and that is why she crashed into the iceberg." Of course, from reading works from TItanic researchers, many of us Titanic enthusiasts know that is not correct. Both of my parents hated Captain Stanley Lord of the Leyland Liner, the S.S. Californian, for not helping the sinking Titanic. My father went as far as calling him a "murderer."
As I got older, I also saw the classic 1958 film, "A Night to Remember" on television several times and on VHS Tape. I also read the 1955 book, written by Walter Lord,upon which the film was made. I would watch every sort of documentary that came on television shown about the Titanic. My dad even took to see "Raise the Titanic" (1980). The news of September 1, 1985 was so amazing. I could not believe it when my father told me that the Titanic was found. Seeing actual photos of the wreck of the Titanic turned me into a Titanic Enthusiast for life.
I do admit that there were periods of my life when my interest in the Titanic took a back seat, such as going to high school, and seriously studying the violin, and having other experiences as an adult. If my readers what to know, in 1997, I did see "Titanic" (1997) twice in the movies but, my interest in the story of the grand liner and her passengers had never left my mind. It was in recent years that I started becoming a die-hard Titanic enthusiast again. Besides being a member and an Admin of the Titanic Book Club, I am a member of several other Titanic-related groups, and own several Titanic-related books. I even own a block of deckwood from the RMS Olympic and two slivers of the Titanic, one sliver is from the Hull and the other is from the Third Class Bollard.
This is the story of how I became a TItanic Enthusiast.
The book that helped to start my love for the Titanic, Walter Lord's 1995 book "A Night to Remember.
The sobering reality that the RMS Titanic is doomed. From the film that started it all for me, "A Nght to Remember" (1958) based upon the 1955 Walter Lord book of the same name.