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Today in My History

2000: Making a Difference
2001: Taste of Yesteryear
2002:  Nobody Mentioned the Zebra
2003:  Flights of Fancy and Hyperbole
2004:  Forgive Us Our Debts
2005:  Do I Have This Right?

2006:  Wake Up and Smell the Coffee
2007: Passages 
2008:  Sunday In the Park with Brianna
2009:  Easters of Yore
2010:  Qi and Qat
2011:  Oh God

Bitter Hack
Updated: 4/12

Books Read in 2012
 Updated: 4/12
"Then Again"

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13 April 2012

First, I have a question for bloggers out there.  This Journal is hosted by Yahoo and the guestbook is through Echo.  I have just been notified that Echo is going to shut down in October, so I need to find a new guestbook.  Does anybody have any suggestions?

It has been an unbelievably mellow day around here.  NOBODY barked this morning.  The older 2 dogs slept until nearly 9 before waking for breakfast, and even then, Polly didn't bark, but just waited quietly.  The dogs slept all day and again, nobody barked at all (the rain may have been part of it).  Polly barked a couple of times when the mailman arrived, but the others didn't.  As I write this it is 10:30 p.m. and still nobody has barked.  I can hardly believe it.   Whatever magic spell they are under, may it last!!!

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100 years ago today, the RMS Titanic was blissfully sailing along in the North Atlantic, unaware that disaster awaited just a few miles ahead.  Those who are into such things are reveling in a wave of new Titanic-mania, especially with the re-release of the James Cameron film, now in 3-D (which critics say doesn't add a thing to the original movie, and may, in fact, lessen its impact).

Here in Davis, Steve Isaacson, the co-founder of the Davis Musical Theater Company (DMTC), has been planning for this anniversary for 6 months...and perhaps longer.  DMTC opened its new theater six years ago with a huge production of Titanic: the Musical.  It was a tremendous undertaking for a community theater and included the famous "winch" which allowed the set on stage to give the impression of the ship actually sinking.

Addendum from Steve, when I asked him when exactly he decided to do the show on this date:  March 19, 2006, 6:15 pm during the strike if the set, at the closing show of Titanic the last time we did it. We had such a wonderful time that it was a natural for the 100th anniversary, and it worked out perfectly. I shorted my own rehearsal period by 2 weeks to hit this date!

Now, six years later, DMTC is recreating the moment, and has chosen to open its recreation of Titanic: the Musical on the anniversary of the night the ship hit the iceburg.

This is to be a huge event, with a catered dinner held in tents outside the theater, featuring the foods that would have been served that night.  For those who can afford the ticket to the dinner, it will truly be a "night to remember."

(We, being too cheap to spring for $100 per person for dinner, will be seeing the show tonight (Friday), the day before the big event.)

I don't really have a big interest in the Titanic, except that I kind of got dragged into it back in the 1980s, when Gilbert was alive.  He was a huge Titanic afficionado.  He was so fascinated by the tragedy that he spent months building a model of the ship that was about 2 feet long, which he finished shortly before his death (his niece has the model now).  I heard a lot about the ship during the building.  I even got to glue some of the seats on the desk during the building time.

Gilbert died just shortly after the discovery of the wreckage of the ship.  I remember how excited he was to see the National Geographic special where the cameras examined as much of the ship as they could.  I have often wondered, during the past 25 years how he would have felt about the recovery of items from the ship and putting them on display.  I wonder if he would have preferred to have them all rest in piece, or if he would have been excited to see them.

I kind of always feel like it's my "duty" to watch things that come along about the Titanic ... like PBS's show, hosted by Dancing with the Stars judge Len Goodman, which followed up on stories about the victims and the survivors.   The show itself was interesting, but even more interesting to me was discovering that as a young man Goodman was a welder in shipyards in England, and going to dance lessons at night.  I watch them for Gilbert who can't watch them any more (heck, for all I know he's rubbing elbows or whatever else the spirits have with the victims--and, by now, the survivors of the tragedy).

I recently discovered that our mutual friend, Ann, is also a Titanic enthusiast who belongs to the Titanic Historical Society, where you can purchase a 100th anniversary bumper sticker for $2, a 100th anniversary miniature music box which plays 18 notes of Liebestraum from its 2-3/4 x 1-1/2 acrylic case for only $20.  There is a memorial desk diary, and a limited edition book,

It's probably too late to sign up for the Titanic Centennial Memorial Weekend in Springfield, Massachusetts, where, for $235 (each plus hotel fees) you can spend time in the bar (perhaps a good idea), visit the "magnificent Titanic buffet, overflowing with something special to delight everyone," and listen to featured speakers working for the company that built the Titanic, among other things the next two days. You can also visit the Titanic museum.

If you don't want to head to Massachusetts, you can, instead purchase a "fine art print" of the ship for $85.

Just looking down the front page of this web site at the stuff for sale, there are lots more books (including the story of the band and the story of the captain who went down with the ship and a book called "Polar, the Titanic Bear"), White Star Line napkins, stationery, luggage tags, playing cards, memorial pins, a remembrance bracelet, an "exquisite reproduction" of the passenger list, a CD of the "Titanic Story in Song," a poster of White Star Lines ships, a keychain with a model of the ship on it, reprints of historic newspapers, ship plans, the "Titanic Owner's Manual" (in case you want to build your own magnificent ocean liner), Royal Crown china in the Titanic pattern (one dinner plate $150), Maritime History DVD, misc. mementos, Titanic jewelry...and those are just on the front page, without going to the "store."

Oh it was sad, it was sad, it was sad when the great ship went down, but it is apparently still a goldmine of income for somebody!

It appears that the magic spell is over...Polly has rediscovered her voice.   Owell...it was nice while it lasted!



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Got these for postcards today:  top left is from New South Wales in Australia
to right is Dorothy's house in Liberty, Kansas
Bottom left is a card from Kathy's husband, now in London
Bottom right is an Amish barn-raising, sent from "Amish Country"



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