Newport Gilded Age Tour


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On Sunday morning little 2 year old Rob Sopin placed white roses at the grave of Miss Hays- for Michel Navratil who always wanted to do this act of remembrance himself. His brother would have been just about Little Robert's age.
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St. Mary's Cemetery in Portsmouth is a lovely spot-about 18 attended the short ceremony where the Navratil story was retold, and Michel's wishes to visit his father's grave, place flowers over the wreck of Titanic, meet Margaret Starbuck, and place flowers on the grave of Miss Hays. All of his wishes were realized on this day.
 
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Looking at this marker on her grave brought to mind the lyric "Even though it be a cross that raiseth me" from Nearer My God to Thee- truly a brave and selfless lady.
 
Dec 12, 1999
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Wonderful pictures, Shell. The entire convention was spectacular but one of the most memorable events for me occurred at St. Mary's Cemetery in Portsmouth on that beautiful Sunday early afternoon.

The memorial tribute to Margaret Hays Easton was touching. During our time there, I often thought how much Peggy and John Starbuck would have loved to have joined us. To those who may not be familiar, Peggy was Margaret's daughter. She passed away just a few years ago, and her husband John shortly thereafter, but not without leaving behind treasured memories of a wonderful couple. They attended as many Titanic functions as they could. Peggy was always so pleased and proud that her mother's legacy was being preserved by Titanic researchers. She also was extremely thrilled to have been able to meet Michel Navratil on two occasions in her later years. The tears flowed in New York in 1987 when the two were first introduced, and later in 1996 when Michel Navratil came sailing into New York following the arrival of the Island Breeze after the Titanic expedition. Peggy and John were at the pier to welcome Michel back - and they had a lovely lunch and spent much of the afternoon together.

I thought back to those special days and of the kind people who made it all possible. I am sure Peggy would have been grateful that so many came to pay tribute to her mother, and Michel truly honored to have had one of his last requests fulfilled.

Peggy told us one time that she wanted to place a cross over her mother's grave as well. The church cemetery officials wouldn't allow that for some strange reason. She added that she wanted to inscribe the words "Nearer My God to Thee" on her mother's cross had it been allowed. The hymn was played at her mother's funeral in 1956.

A beautiful tribute indeed to a brave woman - and to her family and those whose lives she touched so many years ago.

Mike
 
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Always lovely to see our Swedish friend Claes-Goran Wetterholm who came the farthest-and Jack Eaton and Charles Haas who had just returned from BTS. Jack makes quite a cucumber sandwich- a little -known fact is that he is a gourmet cook! The tea which showcased these perfect little culinary tidbits came before the Newport Passenger lecture. It was so much fun to do- I think it may now be a regular event.
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Barbara was the main attraction and holds the audience spellbound on Saturday night. She loves to chat and is not a bit shy with a microphone to the glee of her rapt admirers!
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Amazing the accomplishments of after going through his ordeal- Davis Cup two years running-1913 and 1914. This is one of his Tennis Hall of Fame tributes.
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The Vanderbilt Breakers is high Gilded Age at its finest. This is the grand atrium entry, all colors of marble on the walls and a huge fireplace big enough to stand in-below a detail of the ceiling. To think they only stayed here about 60 days a year!
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The acorn was the symbol for strength and these motifs are found all over the house and carved here in the ceiling and a favorite Vanderbilt motif.
 
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