A Memorable Visit to the Titanic Museum!
by Rachelle Siegrist
We celebrated Wes’ birthday with a mini vacation aboard the Titanic this past week, or at least it felt that way. Being an admirer of the Gilded Age, I’ve always been interested in the Titanic, moreover Wes even built a model of it while growing up. So imagine our delight when friends Fred and Barb took us to the Titanic Museum this past week! After a fascinating introduction to some of the ship’s history and seeing small intricate models of the mammoth ship, we began our journey in third class, where merely two toilets were shared by the entire third class, whose faire paid for the entire voyage!
Later we found ourselves ascending the Grand staircase, and were astonished to learn that the most expensive component to the stunning work of art was indeed the linoleum flooring! I couldn’t believe what I was hearing and thought to myself . . . “Our kitchen floor is priceless . . . Ha Ha!” Reaching the first class section we felt as if we had really gone up in the world, as the splendidly replicated rooms were full of grandeur, truly making us feel as if we were really on board that fateful night!
Upon entering the music room, the air was filled with delightful sounds streaming from a 100-plus year old Steinway grand piano, and we later learned that there were five Steinway pianos aboard Titanic, which now rest at the bottom of the ocean along with other artifacts. I couldn’t have been more delighted when the entertaining and friendly docent named Bill, asked if I wanted to play it! “I would absolutely love to!” I replied, as I sat down at the gorgeous piano. Of course I started off with the Downton Abbey suite, which I am currently learning to play and committing to memory, delighted to have been given such opportunity!
Two of the gorgeous State Rooms
Bill told us of how the Titanic band had sacrificed their own lives by continuing to comfortingly play, filling the cold, dark night air with the peaceful sounds of songs such as “Nearer my God to Thee”, until they too went down with the ship. Then he graciously serenaded Wes with Happy Birthday on his violin, playing a stunningly beautiful version of it! After applauding and thanking Bill, we headed toward the bridge where we got a glimpse of what the captain would’ve seen while steering this floating city that night!
Leaving the warmth of the bridge, we were given the chance to feel an iceberg and place our hands into the torturous 28 degree water, and it was immediately decided by all, that we wouldn’t have lasted long enough to even realize what was happening in that unbelievably frigid water! It took Wes nearly 15 minutes afterward to bring life back to my frozen hand! We then tried walking up the steep incline of the ship’s deck as it would’ve been going down, and sat in a life boat while peering at a large image of the Titanic off in the distance, giving a real sense of the terror of that historical night! At the end of our trip we learned that both Barb and I had survived, but alas Wes and Fred did not make it, according to the name cards we were given at the beginning of the tour. What a splendid time we had and I highly recommend a visit if you too are fascinated with the story of the Titanic, and don’t miss a visit with Bill in the music room, as that was my favorite part!
*Since unfortunately no photography was allowed inside the museum, I found these wonderful photos in the Public Domain to share with you showcasing the interior of the Titanic
~ Fresh off the Easels ~
I finished my miniature painting of a Cougar this past, which we very much enjoyed watching at the zoo while in Texas this past fall. I’m also currently working on several commissions, as well as a miniature painting of a beautiful Boykin Spaniel named Colt for the upcoming Southeastern Wildlife Expo in Charleston, SC.
Wes finished his miniature painting of a Mountain Bluebird we observed and photographed during a visit our West.
Until next time . . .