Monday, March 26, 2012

Pursuing the creation of the “Ship of Dreams”

My journey is soon to get underway.  I am very excited for all of the experiences ahead, the interesting people to meet, but more importantly finding out why the fascination of the Titanic still lives on today with so many people.  I know it does for me, not only through the eyes of Margaret Brown but also for all of those people sailing on the “Ship of Dreams” that were looking forward to their future in America.   

The first portion of my journey will begin in Southampton, England as I set sail to two of the most critical sights where the creation of the Titanic began.
Our first stop will be in Liverpool where the headquarters of the White Star Line who commissioned the Titanic to be built by Harland and Wolff were originally located.   The majority of the crew who worked on the Titanic was from Liverpool as well as Bruce Ismay (the Chairman and Managing Director of the White Star Line), Captain Smith (captain of the Titanic) and the ship’s musicians.  This will be a great opportunity to experience part of the backbone of the ship and crew.  

Our next stop will be in Belfast, Northern Ireland where the Titanic evolved from a concept to a reality.  .  Beginning in 1909, 4,000 employees worked on the hull of the Titanic while thousands continued to work on the infrastructure and interior details, making it the largest object ever to be built at the time.  By the end of her completion, Titanic had become the most luxurious and elegant ship in the world and one that could not fail to impress.  Leaving from here I hope to capture the true effort and hard work it took to make this truly the “Ship of Dreams”. 

Perhaps by this time I hope to be closer to the fascination of the Titanic. 

While I am on this journey, back at The Molly Brown House Museum there will additional Titanic activities.  There will be a screening of The Unsinkable Molly Brown film at the Denver Film Center on April 3, 2012 that includes a lecture on the myth versus the reality of Margaret Brown. 

My next blog is how my chase will begin to find Molly. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Pursuing the Fascination of Titanic 100 years later

The Molly Brown House Museum has been open to the public since 1970, when a group of concerned citizens saved it from the threat of demolition. This dedicated group became the local non-profit Historic Denver, Inc.  After lovingly restoring the home to its Victorian opulence, Historic Denver, Inc. has continued to own and operate the museum for more than four decades.

For the past six years, I have had the opportunity and privilege to volunteer for the Molly Brown House Museum.  I am passionate about Margaret’s “Molly’s” legacy, experiences, and the strength and courage she exercised all of her life to make change and difference in a time when women were to be seen and not heard.   I have also had the honor to portray her character for the museum.  I know these are big shoes to fill, but I try to deliver the message as accurately as possible of her convictions, passions and what she did to help others as she felt this was her duty in life.    

Two names that are now virtually synonymous in history are that of Margaret “Molly” Brown and the Titanic. The fateful sinking of this famous luxury liner propelled Margaret Brown to international fame. As the 100th Anniversary of the April 14, 1912 sinking is approaching, the Molly Brown House Museum will be hosting many Titanic-related events to commemorate the tragedy. These events will coincide with national and international Titanic happenings.  

One major international event will be the Titanic Memorial Cruise that will retrace the course of that fatal voyage leaving from Southampton, England.  The cruise will stop to pay respect for those who perished with a memorial service at the exact moment 100 years later that tragic night of April 14, 1912.  I myself will be personally participating in this experience.   I have found this catastrophic event to be both fascinating and mysterious.  It still amazes me that this terrible tragedy has still impacted and touched so many lives even today, as it had changed Margaret Brown’s life forever. 

Even 100 years later the RMS Titanic still touches a deep chord in most people. It is an intensely powerful human drama of excessive wealth, pride, foolishness, reliance on technology and ultimately, an awful tragedy as over 1,500 souls drowned or slowly froze to death that dreadful night. Much of the mystique of the Titanic is tied up in the appalling loss of life on its maiden voyage of what was generally, and falsely believed to be an "unsinkable" ship.  Since the tragedy, no one has ever called any ship "unsinkable” and no vessel has ever been put to sea without more than enough lifeboats for every soul aboard.  Yet it is well known that even that is “no guarantee” of safety.  

This experience will become more of a reality when I will have the opportunity to portray Margaret Brown with other fellow female Titanic passengers at the Meet the Women of the Titanic at the Molly Brown House Museum on March 21, 2012.  Costumed interpreters will each be sharing their fateful experiences aboard the Titanic from that fateful night. Look for my blogs in the weeks to come when the fascination begins.   I will be providing you with my experiences as I “Chase Molly” on my journey.  I hope you too will continue your fascination of the Titanic and gain even more appreciation of the role that Margaret Brown played in her time, a woman of adventure and generosity to all of those survivors for the rest of her life. I know I will.