Bill, I promise I'll get my photos in for development soon. Still trying to get back into the routine of things now that I'm home. My brain is still kind of fuzzy from 12 hours of driving. Hopefully I will see signs of improvement later today. LOL
I have to say I crammed in a lot of "South Carolina Titanic" in my 31 hours in Florence. A great lunch, courtesy of Bill Wormstedt at Ruby Tuesday's, followed by an afternoon discussion at Phil's house--great photo gallery in his study--seeing some of his collection along with some books from Michael Standart's collection and White Star Line silver from Brian Hawley's collection, then a fabulous dinner at Michael's restaurant with a remarkable slide program presented by Kalman Tanito on the Carpathian crew's visit in Budapest just following the disaster where they held a friendly soccer match with Hungary's national team to benefit the Titanic families. Whew!
It was great to put faces finally to so many names: Michael Standart, Bill Wormstedt, Michael Tennaro, Kalmon, Brian Hawley, Alex Cheek, Brian Meister, Phil Gee, Kyrila Scully, Darren Honeycut and Leigh Dyer. It was a privelege to meet these folks, and I look forward to future occasions where I might get to hang out a little longer and get to know them all a little better.
My thanks to Phil for his hospitality and generosity.
It was great seeing Anne Manning and her family again. Also it was a treat getting to meet some of the ones I have never met before including Kyrila and Doug. I just wish I could have spent more time down there visiting. Thanks Phil for a great evening!
Just wanted to say thanks to everybody for coming and helping to make the 2003 South Carolina Titanic Dinner such a good time. I just put Kalman Tanito on a plane back to Budapest and now the house will seem very quiet after a week of constant goings and comings and Titanic talk--and Lucy C. Duff-G will miss all the extra hands rubbing and petting her. It was grand to see "Titanic friends" again and getting to see all the new photos of Rostron that Kalman brought was surely one of the highlights of the event. In the last few days Kalman and I have made some tentative plans to have another dinner next year in Budapest. This is advance warning so anyone that wants to join us can get their passports ready! Probably we'll try to do it in the early to mid-summer and will try to finalize details soon. Our hope is to have the dinner at the Gundel Restaurant, one of Budapest's finest, and also the place where Captain Rostron was treated to his honorary dinner in May of 1912. The event will be limited to about 35 attendees should that many decide to attend and maybe we can talk a bunch of our European friends to join us. More to follow--
And thanks again to all who went to the trouble to make it to little Florence, SC--it has been a great week.
Phil, I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for inviting me. You were a perfect, generous and kind host, just as warm as toast! And I enjoyed meeting all of you whom I haven't had the opportunity to personally email due to my ISP cutting out all the time! But I thoroughly enjoyed meeting all of you face to face, most of you for the first time. MT - always a pleasure to see you - my love to Tori! Michael S., thanks for being my table companion. I enjoyed our conversations. Brian M., I really appreciate the transportation and getting to know you and Phil G. Thanks for all your advice and kindnesses. Brian H., Doug, Darren - time was way too short! Didn't get to spend any time with Alex or Kalman as I would have liked to pick your brains and enjoy your company. Bill, thanks for your generosity also. And what a treat to meet the Gilnagh Girls and Leigh. The restaurant staff was fabulous, the service fantastic, the food hot and delicious - I can't rave enough about it. Kalman, your presentation was amazing! You did a fine job. Phillip, I had goosebumps when you made your presentation. WOW! I'll never forget it. (I'm sure I'm forgetting someone! Not intentionally - the memory comes and goes.) Thanks again, so much. You're all welcome here in West Palm Beach any time, or if you come to Orlando, let me know and I'll arrange to meet you at the Titanic Ship of Dreams exhibit.
Safely back in Europe again and still suffering from the effects of the jetlag, I would hereby like to thank Phil Gowan for his hospitality during my stay in the Deep South. Phil truly is the ultimate host, under whose guidance I had a chance to sample such culinary delights as grits, okra and country ham, just to mention a few . I will be eternally grateful for your hospitality and for arranging such great experiences as the PM hunt in Florence (Hey!).
For the Titanic dinner, I was pleased to bring a small souvenir from Hungary in the form of a presentation about the Carpathia-MTK football match of 1912, which probably contained new information for those of you present, especially the pictures of the game, Rostron’s reception in Budapest and the service on the Carpathia. On the receiving side, I truly enjoyed the Cassebeer letter that Phil read, which was a vivid and hitherto unpublished account of the disaster. Needless to say, the meal was excellent and the company fantastic: I was thrilled to meet the Gilnagh descendants and to talk with your former employees.
A special thanks to several of you who helped to make my stay unforgettable:
Brian Meister: for co-hosting the event and for the great tour of Columbia with Phil Gee (I only wish I had a chance to peruse your book collection — do not forget to send me the Swedish text for translation)
Brian Hawley and Alex Cheek: for your invaluable help with the slide presentation and the chat about the S.S. United States (I guess I surprised you by knowing something about other ships as well, not just the Titanic - let me know more about the S.S. United States book)
Michael Tennaro: for all the interesting book-related information (I will be sending you the Futrelle material soon)
Bill Wormstedt: for the great company (digital photos will be coming your way on Monday)
I only wish that I had the opportunity to talk more with all of you, but unfortunately the time was short... I would hereby like to apologize if you feel that I have somewhat neglected you, and promise that we will more than make up at the time of our next gathering.
George, I am so sorry you could not join us, for I was so much looking forward to seeing you again after 15 years. However, I hope that you received the Hungarian Titanic books that I sent you by mail from Florence, and look forward to your comments about them!
Phil, let’s get the ball rolling — the next get-together in Budapest at Rostron’s place?