Last month I attended a wonderful Titanic party. It was held on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the grand liner. The hostess, Nicole, (she’s a fellow writer on Downtown YA) had dreamed of commemorating the anniversary for years. She loved everything about the glamorous and tragic ship.
I’m just as taken with history. Certain moments in time hold a mystery and an allure that is hard to beat. Before the party I didn’t know much about the Titanic. But as the anniversary drew near, I became fascinated by the history of the ship and the passengers. For the party the guests dressed in period Edwardian costumes. Nicole is not only a writer but an actor. Several of the guests were actors too. One of them came as the captain of the ship.
We enjoyed a leisurely meal of six courses from the actual menu on the Titanic. The meal began with oysters on the half shell, and moved on to the poached salmon, filet medallions, roast rack of lamb, and roast duck with apple puree. The dessert course of waldorf pudding, poached peaches, chartreuse jelly, chocolate éclairs and vanilla ice cream was a wonderful finale to an amazing meal.
The dinner spanned several hours so we had plenty of time for pleasant conversation. The ship was never far from the guests’ minds. Nicole put various facts about the Titanic in little frames around the table. This spurned even more historical conversation. Was it true two men dressed as women to board a lifeboat? Did a dog save one of the lifeboats from being destroyed by the Carpathian when it barked its head off? But I had bigger questions. And I just happened to be seated next to the person with the answers.
I turned to the captain curious what he had to say about that fateful night.
“How do you feel about the accident? You didn’t see the iceberg? Weren’t there warnings?
“I’m a very experienced seaman. Over 40 years in fact.”
“How did it happen? So many lives were lost.”
“I wasn’t on active duty when the ship hit the iceberg.”
“But you were the captain.”
“I’m not to blame. I was asleep when the calamity happened.”
History can be full of surprises.