Any favorite moments from past Titanic Artifact exhibitions

John Clifford

John Clifford

Member
Tarn, Jason, it is incredible what you experienced during the previous Toronto Exhibit.

Tarn: I wonder what those two paid guides would have said if you had ridiculed some thing or event that either of them was devoted to.

For example, if one of those guides were to mention visiting, and being affected while at, the Midland (Ontario) Martyrs Shrine and you said something about finding it weird visiting places to see where people were brutally executed.
I am sure their response to you would be one of anger and revulsion. Too bad they could not respect your feelings.

We'll have to see how long this current Exhibit runs.
The Tropicana Hotel Exhibit was mentioned last year, so I would not be surprised to hear that it is still open in 2008, though I, for one, would check, with the Center, first.
If that person from Halifax had done so he might have known it had closed early.

Regarding a permanent exhibit: it is too bad that arrangements were never made with museums in Belfast, Southampton, and New York.

I could not accept the idea that the Exhibit could be housed in a location like Las Vegas, which is extremely isolated from the story.

I think that, in the next 5 years, a decision about negotiating a permanent home for the artifacts will have to be made.
Once the centennial remembrance is over, I think it will be harder to secure such a location.
 
T

Tarn Stephanos

Member
Hi John

I did have some frustrating moments with the Toronto 99' Canadian staff- but the one Titanic buff-Jason Tiller-is actually the one that gave me hope- his genuine passion for the story of the Titanic made up for the flaws in the rest of the floor staff....

That one female floor staffer ridiculing America to my face (on a daily basis) was very insulting- granted I'm pretty liberal, so agree that there are some things in the states that could be improved- but the way she did it was just rude.

I wouldn't put down Canada, certainly not to the face of a Canadian, because # 1 it would be VERY rude, plus I really like Canada.
My grandmother was from Nova Scotia, so I have Canadian blood.
I just chalked it up to running into a couple bad apples...

One possible cause of the problem was that SFX/RMS Titanic inc did not hire the floor staff (although I worked there, I was an SFX employee)- and if memory serves, the woman who hired the floor staff hired her daughter, and several of her daughter's friends....So right away it was a recipie for disaster...Looking back I would have suggested SFX hire Jason on for that full exhibit, as we needed someone like him....

As for a permanent Titanic Artifact museum- years ago George Tulloch had the idea of having a Titanic Artifact museum on a water craft that could travel from port to port. Nice idea, but it would never have worked- I have worked on Boston Harbor in a variety of capacities for years, and in most cities, the only place a large 'exhibit ship' could tie up would be in a part of a harbor that is largely inaccessible to the general public.....

George was also hoping for a museum in Titanic's birthplace, Belfast- it sounds good, but I wonder if the poor economy and low levels of tourism would work against the success of a museum in that city...

New york has the problem of having too MANY museums,so there would be to much to compete against..
so I'm not sure a Titanic artifact museum would work there either..


Possible locations I would suggest are Southampton England, Boston MA or Chicago Il.

Southampton of course being the departure point for Titanic. Boston was where the Big Piece arrived in 1998, and the whole waterfront in South Boston is being developed- a Titanic Artifact museum would fit in perfectly.
A Titanic Artifact museum would also fit in Chicago especially well, as every Titanic exhibit held in the midwest drew in tens of thousands of people.....
I have a hunch the artifacts will not be housed in their own museum, but the collection will be eventually sold as a whole to a preexisting museum.Lets hope if that happens, everything doesn't wind up in storage...
 
T

Tarn Stephanos

Member
One opportunity RMS Titanic Inc let slip through their fingers in recent years was the chance to acquire the Nomadic. Had they purchased the Nomadic, it would have been the greatest Titanic artifact acquired since the recovery of the 'Big Piece'- and if they ever have a harborside Titanic Artifact Museum, imagine having a fully restored Nomadic moored nearby...
They missed their chance...
 
John Clifford

John Clifford

Member
Tarn, I think RMSTI could have also benefited, "big time", if they had retrieved that big piece in the summer of 1997. Could you imagine the response if people knew that an actual part of the Titanic was on display, in the weeks following the release of James Cameron's film?? I think the turnout would have been much greater, if not "ten-fold".

I can only wonder why that did not happen? They knew where it was, and were able to successfully retrieve it when they went back.
This "what could have been" scenario may have been considered, in my own opinion, when the decision was made to oust George Tulloch.
 
John Clifford

John Clifford

Member
Tarn, if you and others wrote a book about your experiences at the Exhibits, it would be quite an "eye-opener", especially if it could be part of some collaborative effort which details other stories in similar situations, like when the Treasures of King Tut returned to the Los Angeles County Art Museum two years ago.
For Example: Could you imagine reading an excerpt about hearing a visitor comment that the Egyptian hieroglyphics displayed, in LA, were translated as "Please turn off all cell phones and two way pagers" and "No smoking or flash photography allowed inside the Exhibit area".
That was my humorous comment, which the Guides enjoyed hearing.
Wink
Smile
Grin


In the meantime, imagine what people would say if you detailed some of the things you encountered in Toronto and other places.
Just remember to rephrase/use the famous "Dragnet" qualifier: "The stories you are about to read are true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent".

Are there any literary agents on the List??
Anyone ready to present "Exhibit Experiences", by Tarn Stephanos & Company??
 
T

Tarn Stephanos

Member
Hi John
Even though the Big Piece was raised and brought to Boston in Aug 1998, the wave of interest created in the wake of the 1997 Cameron Titanic movie was still VERY high, so I don't think we missed out on the Titanic mania..

The first attempt to raise the Big Piece took place in 1996, but it was sadly dropped-but the 1998 expedition was successful in recovering the great artifact, and bringing it to Boston.

As for why they didn't go in 1997- Well, I don't know- A Titanic expedition is VERY expensive, and i assume it had to do with raising the $$$$.
Having an expedition every year is just too costly...

There are a few people on ET who were on expedition 98', perhaps they could answer your question as to why the Big Piece was not recovered in 1997.
 
T

Tarn Stephanos

Member
Hi John...
I don't think I was on the project long enough to write anything of interest, I was only there from Summer 1998-Spring 2000, so my experiences just scratched the surface-It was 5 Titanic exhibits-which in the grand scheme of things wasn't a large number.... Compare that with the original RMSTI staff prior to the 99' takeover, who were there since the late 80s, or SFX's Mark Lach and Tom Zaller, who have been at it over 8 years, nonstop..Plus they dove the wreck in 2000, so no doubt have very interesting stories to tell, much more interesting than anything I have to say..
I just got a taste of the experience-for which i'm very gratefull-they lived it for 8 years...

I'd be keen to read something by Ed Sypek, who set up the exhibits during my tenure-I worked under Ed, and I though I haven't seen him for years,I still have the highest admiration for the man...
If I ever fulfill my greatest dream-to dive on the wreck and see her in person, I may then write a book- but may have to withhold a few details involving the power shift within RMSTI, and my opinions thereof, lest i be sued! As we all know the Titanic world can be a political minefield.
But if I do dive the wreck, I'll strive to write a book along the theme that dreams can come true, if one is determined and persistant..

It was an interesting time though, as I had the chance to work with the newly-arrived Big piece, and sound Titanic's whistles.
I was working at Toronto 99' when the takeover within RMS Titanic inc took place, and George Tulloch was deposed, and Arnie Gellar took the reigns....
Things changed after that, and once Ed and George were gone, the Titanic exhibit was at times a lonely place....

What did I do once I left Dallas 00', my last titanic exhibit? I returned to Boston, and gave Boston Harbor tours and narrated whale watches. In 2000, Boston was home for the 'Tall ships 2000' extravaganza- here is a picture of me doing my narrating gig on the MV 'Nantascot', for Massachusetts bay lines, in the late summer of 2000, the same month the Titanic 2000 expedition was underway......

Tousim
 
T

Tarn Stephanos

Member
More exhibit photos...
here is the Big Piece, St. Paul 99', showing a closeup of the two C Deck watercloset portholes...


Stpaul1



Here are some snaps from the 2000 Titanic exhibit in Chicago, at the Museum of Science & Industry...

Fresh from treatment at 'Concervation Solutions Inc' in VA, the Big Piece (or rather the C deck section thereof-the D deck section went to Dallas) was on display in Chicago.


Chicagobigpiece



At one point I stood on the shred of deck plating on the C deck section of the Big Piece & peered out a porthole. The pic of me looking out the porthole didn't come out- the room was too dark, but I accidently snapped this photo of my feet standing on titanic's deck.

Onbigpiuece



Here is a glimpse in the 'Titanic model room' in Chicago

Chicagomaodel



In this glimpse we can see some of the recovered money, and the recovered safe....

Chicagomony



Two wonderful people, and good friends of George Tulloch were Liverpudlians Ted and Sue Walker. Ted is an amazing artist, and has done a number of stellar paintings of the Titanic (a couple of which you can see in print form behind Ted). VERY nice people....


Sueted


Here is a glimpse of a recovered spitoon...


Spitoon


a gem at the Chicago exhibit was the recovered arched top of one of the 1st class smoking room windows...


Smokingroom




Here is a mystery item- it's a pulley- from what part of Titanic did this artifact originate?

Pully copy1
 
T

Tarn Stephanos

Member
One regret I have about my time at the exhibits was that I lived and breathed the exhibits 24/7-
I didn't allow myself to unwind or have fun on my off hours. On my time off, when I should have been out exploring or getting some local nookie, I was researching Titanic- well, I was a bit of a workaholic, so in the end all of my memories of St. Paul, Toronto, Chicago & Dallas were exhibit memories.I was either at the exhibit, or at the suite reasearching Titanic. I either read or did research online- which on some levels was a bit pathetic, now that i think about it...As a single guy living in a different city every 4 months, I should have out there meeting people or 'sowing my oats', but not me, I spent every free moment reading the Titanic inquiries or thinking of ways to improve the exhibits..just call me a Titanic nerd..
Four of the female volunteers at the St. Paul exhibit asked me out on dates- but at the time, as I was their manager, it didn't seem appropriate, so I declined- but a couple of them were hot, to put it mildly...
But then again I did have a nasty breakup with my x-girlfriend in Boston, which could be why 100% of my time on the road was spent on Titanic, and I avoided opportunities to meet single women.
I loved the exhibits- not much outside the exhibits could compare-but then again i really didn't explore those cities to see what I was missing...but a nasty breakup can take the fun out of meeting people...
But by Dallas 00' I did let my hair down a bit- Gordon Krause was able to break me out of my shell and get me to hit a few twisted nightspots..
 
T

Tarn Stephanos

Member
A year after I left the Dallas 2000' Titanic exhibit, I visited Paris France. Whoever claimed the French are rude must have never visited Paris- I found the Parisians to be friendly and hip.

My visit to Paris was late June 2001-I would never have dreamed a calamity like 9/11 was 2 months away...

Being a Titanic buff, of course I had to visit the Nomadic.

Nomadic



As a lifelong fan of the rock band the Doors, and chief writer for all of the 1990s for the Doors appreciation fanzine "The Doors Collectors Magazine", I had to visit Jim Morrison's grave. It was the 30th anniversary of his death, and I was in fact traveling with a group of the magazine staff. Tens of thousands of Doors fans converged by Jim's grave at Pere lachaise cemetary in Paris, including Doors keyboardest Ray Manzarek, and the late Doors manager Danny Sugarman. There is a really groovy Doors themed bar on one side of the cemetary, that plays only Doors music, and has its walls covered in photos of Jim Morrison and the Doors.

Interestingly, the woman who sat next to me on the plane was dating a man who was in the boiler room scenes in James Cameron's Titanic film, and she had been an extra during the sinking scene.....Small world!

It was quite moving to find Morrison's grave...


Paris2



Passs





Most of my time in Paris was retracing the various spots Jim Morrison visited when he lived-and died in paris in 1971. I even made it inside the apartment building where Jim lived & died.

It was in Paris I acquired an audio tape with half a dozen super rare uncirculated Doors studio outtakes that a select few hardcore doors collectors kept only in a small inner circle- a friend and I who loathed the hoarding of the music decided to dub away, and let all fans have access- no money exchanged hands, just recordings, with the vow to dub for others.
My editor, who was a rare Doors show collector, concidered me a pariah at that point-he argued by releasing those songs I 'deflated their trade value'. My argument was that the music should be heard, not hoarded. I know the view of the Doors band members was that they didn't mind the collecting of shows and studio recordings, provided they were traded, not sold.

On the bright side because those rare outtakes (such as the 'studio take of 'The Celebration of the Lizard') were now in everyones hands, the Doors officially decided to include these outakes (and other unreleased takes) on the 40th anniversary reissues of their 6 albums.
My friend Bob would be thrilled- sadly he died 2 years back and didn't live to see the official release of these songs- he and I were despised by some Doors fans for leaking these songs, and heralded by others....

I'm not involved with the Doors fan message boards or community anymore- too political, too much infighting- I prefer the world of Titanic- which is free from politics and infighting...right? ; )
 
Jason D. Tiller

Jason D. Tiller

Staff member
Moderator
Member
quote:

but the one Titanic buff-Jason Tiller-is actually the one that gave me hope- his genuine passion for the story of the Titanic made up for the flaws in the rest of the floor staff....

quote:

Looking back I would have suggested SFX hire Jason on for that full exhibit, as we needed someone like him....

Much appreciated, Tarn; thank you.​
 
T

Tarn Stephanos

Member
Anyone see the classic sci fi film 'Logan's Run'?
I always thought the robot 'Box' would make an interesting floor guide...Of course he'd wind up freezing people...
 
John Clifford

John Clifford

Member
quote:

Anyone see the classic sci fi film 'Logan's Run'?
Yes.
Could one solution to the issue of the previous guides be to put them on "The Carousel"??
Wink

You can add the people who might still ask a Cameron-film question, thinking that Rose & Jack were true passengers.​
 
T

Tarn Stephanos

Member
I have no idea where to post this, so ill put it here....
Anyone read about the 1957 Plymouth Belvedere that was buried in Oklahoma City in a time capsule? It was buried in 1957, exhumed this week- and it was not exactly in running order- the concrete crypt that held it filled with water, and the car was caked with mud and rust- I'd love to see it restored- if not, then put in a museum...
 
M

Mindy Deckard

Member
Favorite Titanic Exhibition moment...please, feel free to see the "Titanic Las Vegas" post that I made a few minutes ago.

That will give anyone a good laugh.

Tarn, I heard about that. Amazing...makes you think "what if"
 
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