Whom would you choose to be or emulate?

  • Thread starter Arthur Merchant
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Arthur Merchant

Arthur Merchant

Member
Some of the comments on the Reincarnation topic made me reflect on what Titanic passenger or crew I would have chosen to be if I was able. I am curious which people some of you on this forum feel an affinity for and your reasons for wishing to live as them or at least utilize them as role models.

The first names that come to mind for me are the Countess of Rothes, Lady Duff Gordon and Molly Brown. While I have never done drag, the notion of trying on some of those clothes is quite appealing (though my interest is somewhat cooled when I think of the scene in "Titanic" when Rose's mother is vicously tying Rose's corset into place). Also, in the case of the Countess and Molly, when it came down to a life or death situation, they took an active part in helping others through the ordeal. In my own life, I would like to achieve the balance of on the one hand, the Countess tactfully taking a leadership role while essentially working in partnership with the crewman in charge; and on the other, Molly Brown, when faced with the brutish Hichens, having the guts to intimidate him into submission and wrest control of the boat from him.

Despite the bad rep she got (and I plan on ringing in on the Duff Gordon topic), Lucille definitely pushed the boundries of the box she found herself born into. Despite the image of her that was pushed forward (starting with ANTR in the guise of Mrs. "Sir Richard") I think I would have liked her immensely with her sense of style and artistic circles. And as pointed out, she did in her own way, help women become more liberated through the fashions she designed.

While they are my first choices, I frankly would choose to be any First Class female whose name was not Allison, Strauss, Isham or Evans......
Actually, let me amend that by saying I would consider being Edith, if for nothing else but to finally know exactly why she didn't get on the boat.

On the crew side, I would most want to be stewards Hart or Pearcey who took the initiative to guide the no doubt scared steerage passengers to safety.

Arthur
 
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Randy Bryan Bigham

Member
Arthur,

It won't surprise you that I'm so quick to respond to your post on this very interesting subject.

And it won't surprise anyone else that I quite like the ladies of first class, one in particular whose name need not be mentioned.

For all my love of women's historic dress and the fashions of the Edwardian era in particular, I still think I'd have liked to have been some debonaire first class male (who survived of course) so that I could have had the opportunity to escort some of those gorgeous women into dinner or at least "make eyes" across the room with the likes of Miss Hays (the girl who looked after the Navratil kids). What a looker she was! "That man over there keeps looking at me," she'd whisper to her table companion in the a la carte restaurant, "Though he IS rather handsome."

I also think little Dorothy Gibson was a real cutie. I would like to have met her and discussed movies and costumes. "Oh, you'll LOVE the clothes I'm wearing in my next picture!" she'd brag.

And Edith Russell, though not too pretty, would have been a hoot to do the tango with! We could then sit in the lounge and dish on everybody's clothes! "Did you see what Mrs. So-and-So was wearing, Miss Russell?" I'd ask. "Yes, dear," she'd laugh,"What WAS she thinking?"

Meeting "Lucile" would have intimidated me in the extreme. I wonder how approachable she was? I think if I duded up real dapper she'd have noticed me. I'd go up and introduce myself and tell her how much I admired her and her work. Would she extend an immaculately gloved hand and smile at least a condescending smile? That would depend on whether she liked pushy young men, I guess. "I believe your instinct for color is unrivaled," I'd say with the air of the connoisseur I think I am. "Oh, but you're very kind," Her Ladyship would reply. Then popping out her lorgnette to observe me closer, she'd add, "And what did you say YOUR name was?"

The Countess of Rothes was very sexy. I think she'd have been a real charmer, not like that actress's snooty portrayal of her in the movie. Perhaps we'd exchange smiles in the lift on the way up to the promenade. If I was feeling especially bold, I'd offer to walk with her round the deck. She'd probably decline gently, saying "Oh, I'm waiting for my cousin. She'll be along shortly. But thank you so much. Perhaps tomorrow?"

And old buxom Molly Brown. What a chum she'd make. Full of wise-cracks and all the inside dirt on the royals. She'd be my favorite. "Ya know sonny," Molly would tell me over tea one day,"this ship's full of a bunch of old toads. But they're moneyed toads, just you remember that, and you're mighty lucky to be sharing breathing room with the likes of some of these big wigs!"

Of the guys in first class, I'd want to meet above all Harry Elkins Widener. That's a penetrating portrait of him in the Widener Library. I think he must have been very interesting. But I think he looks sad, too, like someone without a friend. I can't forget the look in his eyes in that picture. Was he really so striking in person? I'd have liked to have found out.

To meet Frank Millet would have been an honor. Or Paul Chevre. Also high on the list would be Henry B. Harris and Jaques Futrelle. I'm a tennis fan, so Norris Williams would have been great to know. He was definitely the best-looking guy on board.

The richies like Astor or Guggenheim or the Strauses don't interest me much. Nor do the regular folk from second or steerage class - except for Lawrence Beesley. He'd have been fun to talk to.

And of course I would have loved to shake hands with dear, bewhiskered Captain Smith. That was a great man. I think he's the kind of man you'd meet and come away knowing you've been in the presence of a very wise, very kind soul.

Randy
 
Arthur Merchant

Arthur Merchant

Member
Randy:

Thanks for bringing up the literary and artistic set. I have said to myself on more than one occasion, that I would love to share a table with the Harris' and Futrelles. While my knowledge of writing and the arts might not be in their league, I just sense that they would cheerfully help expand my knowledge without making me feel dumb or inadequate. Jacques might even give me pointers to help along my tentative attempts at writing prose.

And, yes, I too have been quite taken by the picture of Harry Elkins Widener. Having begun diving more forcefully into books of a more substantial nature than the Stephen King novels I poured through in high school and college, it would be wonderful to get referrals from Harry himself. I wonder if he would have recommended the latest Futrelle mystery. Who knows; he might.

:)
Arthur
 
A

Allison Lane

Guest
Okay... nice topic. :) I wouldn't want to be my favorite people; rather, I wish very dearly that I could have known them, if only fleetingly. I am a hopeless admirer of the officers and wireless operators, as well as Captain Rostron and Thomas Andrews.

I'm not really sure why I singled them out to admire. I remember being seven or eight years old and reading one of Ballard's books in my school library; years later I would specifically remember the names of Harold Bride and Charles Lightoller as my two favorite figures in the disaster. Now I love all of them equally. :) Lightoller seems like he was a fun person, what with all the pranks he said he pulled; same goes for Murdoch. Moody had a sense of humor, too, or at least I think so. Having seen all those pictures of Harold Bride I just wish I could see one of him smiling. Rostron I just flat-out *admire*. Plus he strikes me as a born storyteller, what with his article in Scribner's Monthly, and his audio interview I was just listening to. (I've also decided that if I ever get married, I want to marry someone from Boxhall's neck of the woods, just for the accent. :))

I dunno... I just highly admire and respect them, and wish I could have talked to them. (Sometimes it gives me chills to know that I was actually alive at the same time as Harold Cottam, even if it was only for a year or less--he died in 1984, didn't he?)


-Allison L.
 
Tracy Smith

Tracy Smith

Member
Yes, Cottam died in 1984....I was 26 then and remember reading about it in the newspaper.

Like you, I wouldn't want to *be* any of the people involved in the Titanic tragedy. I would have liked to have known Molly Brown, JJ Astor, Lowe, Lightoller, Lawrence Beesley, Michel Navratil, and especially Stanley Lord.

I think Molly Brown would have fit right into 2001 with little or no trouble.

I would have liked to have asked Astor about his science fiction novel...and seen what he would have thought of our space program today.

Lowe, because he was known as a "hard case".

Lightoller for the adventuresome spirit.

Beesley, to see what he would have thought about all the interest in Titanic today.

Navratil, to find out why he felt he had to kidnap his children.

And I'd like to get to have known Stanley Lord, and known the real man behind all the negative publicity. Allison, in the same way you get "chills" at the thought of having shared the Earth with Cottam for a short time, I've considered the same thing about Lord. He died in 1962, when I was four years old.

I'm interested in hearing whom others would have liked to have known.
 
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James Armstrong

Guest
There is a mobile cellphone company in the UK called 1-2-1 or one-to-one, you get the meaning. One of their original advertising campains was for certain modern day personalities to chose a figure from history who they would most like to have a conversation with. This section has the same sort of feel about it
Happy


If I had to narrow it down to one person I guess my choice would have to be Rostron. I have always been taken with his reported quote of "When day broke, I saw the ice I had steamed through during the night. I shuddered, and could only think that some other hand than mine was on that helm during the night."

I imagine he would be of similar character to the captain of the British Airways 747 that flew into a cloud of volcanic dust over Indonesia in 1982. This man calmly reported to all on board that all four engines had ceased to function but everyone could be re-assured that the cockpit crew were doing their "upmost" to rectify the situation. And of course they were able to do enough to save the day. The impact of what took place didn't really manifest until sometime later.

As an aside, the 747 incident, rather like the last of the Titanic did not produce any mass panic from those on board.

James Armstrong
 
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Karen Sweigart

Guest
There are a few people who interest me. Archibald Gracie comes to mind as someone who is worthy of admiration. I also would have liked to meet the Strauss'. Having just fallen in love and gotten married I can understand the 'stand by your man attitude' of Mrs. Strauss. In all honesty, I don't see that I'd handle it differently. Karen
 
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Elaine R Barnes

Guest
Anyone from Third class gets my vote. Most were leaving their native countries, couldn't speak English, sold all their goods for a ticket to the "Land of the Free"... Yes, First class passengers were sophisticated, rich and beautiful, but most were on their way home from a pleasure trip.
Elaine
 
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J

Jim Kalafus

Member
Randy; You might have had some fun with Second and Third Class! My table, at the Final Dinner Party
would have included some from either, as well as First Class. To the group you've assembled, I'd like to add a few. William Harbeck and Henriette Yrois might be an interesting addition to the table (and, since we are talking time travel, where anything is possible) why don't we throw in the actual Mrs Harbeck at the next table for some added fun? Mr and Mrs LaRoche, in one way the most unique couple aboard the ship , would be most welcome. Samuel Ward Stanton is a natural for any ship lover, as are members of the H.&W. team. From Third Class, Austin Van Billiard would be worthwhile, as would Leslie Williams and David Bowen (but, then, I'm a boxing fan) and Charles Shorney. I'd also like to add Mrs Ella White(hurt ankle permitting) just to see if the apparent intelligence that came through her Senate Testimony (surely the angriest of any) was really there, and Dr. Alice Leader. Finally, Mrs Candee, the author, and Miss Evans, just so that I can finally see what she looks like, and the cryptic "Mr. Lingrey" because of the interesting circumstances which put him aboard the Titanic.
 
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Randy Bryan Bigham

Member
Jim,

Bring your group on up. They sound like a lot of fun. We'll have a big bash! I observe no class distinctions! I'd barely qualify for steerage these days myself!

Randy
 
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Jim Kalafus

Member
Randy: I know how it is! I'm travelling without my valet this year and had to let the dragoman go entirely! But, I'll save a spot for you at the dinner party anyway. Hate to tell you this, but the only seat still open is next to John Ross. Jim
 
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Nathan Heddle

Guest
I agree with Randy, Harry Widener seems like such an interesting character. Quite obviously very intelligent, but maybe a little social akward. The younger shyer son. It is all very sad. The fact that his mother loved him very much, is also very touching.

On the other hand Jack Thayer intrigues me immensly. The entire Thayer family does. He led such an exciting ship life. Having full first class access, and then in the end, on board to almost the last, seeing everything that happened, and then surviving on the upturned boat with lightholler and maybe seeing captain smith swim up and then away again. All so thrilling.

It'd also be nice to find out what really happened in september 1945. suicide, hmmmm.

R. Norris Williams was cool as well. Quite a sportsman, and very articulate and intelligent. he went to Harvard as well.

that's all. Some of the more interesting characters on board.

nathan
 
Michael H. Standart

Michael H. Standart

Member
FWIW, I wouldn't choose to be any of these people. The lifeboats were not much fun, but far better then that surprise swimcall at 2:20 in the morning which 2/3rds of the people participated in.

I wouldn't mind being a telepath (If such really exist) and going back in time to read the minds of such as Captain Smith, his officers, the e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-vil Fu Man-Ismay (Was he really evil? I don't think so, but opinions vary) and of course, Captain Lord and his merry band. No more controversies. We would KNOW what they saw and thought.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
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John Morris

Guest
First I'd like to meet the oficers, particularly Lightholler, Boxhall, Lowe, and Moody. Also with the crew I would like to meet with Stewardess Annie Robinson and Steward Henry Etches to know what it was like for them. And the three stewardesess to know why they didn't survive.

In first class, since Robert Daniels was born in Richmond, Va (where I live) I would certainly meet with him, also Norris Williams, Clarence Moore, Frances Millet, and Archie b***. Socializing with the bigwigs Thayers, Wideners, Carters, Ryerson's (if they made apperances), Astor's and Guggenheim would be nice. Molly Brown would be great, especially after all the stiffness of the bigwigs (admitt it, they were all very proper) and John and Nellie Snyder because they look so happy in their photo. Meeting Dorothy Gibson and the Harris's would be nice because I'm into theatre and movies (especially silent ones). I also would have met up with the children Lucile and William Carter, Jack Thayer, Harry Widener, Ruth Taussig, and the little Allison kiddies.

In second class Mrs. Corbett would be nice to find out why she never got into a boat (adding to that Miss Isham for first class). Ruth and Marion Becker would be nice(especially Marion since nothing is known about her) Richard as well. And basically everyone else. The nice thing about this class is that they aren't above you in social status and thus it would be easier making conversation with them.

Third Class, THE GOODWINS!!! Marion Meanwell, no real reason I just have a habit of picking out people and suddenly becoming interested simply because of name or looks. I'd also talk to various people to see what they think about going to America.

On the Carpathia, definately Captian Rostron, definately the stewards and stewardesess (you never hear what it was like for them). The same goes with second and third class passengers as well as the cooks.

On dry land, being with President Taft and Helen Taft would be interesting to see what the news was like for them. Helen especially because I've heard she was one of the most brilliant First Ladies ever. Many other heads-of-states as well, such as King George, the French ruler, and Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands.

John Morris
 
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Allison Lane

Guest
Tracy--
That's what I thought, about Cottam. (Gee, that makes me feel really young. :)) I also agree with you on just about everyone else--I think it's neat that Astor wrote a science fiction novel, plus I would like to meet Lord as well as Ismay, just to see what they were really like. Lowe and Lightoller? Most definitely!

Michael--
True, I wouldn't want to be anyone on the Titanic either. I'd rather be myself and have the chance to meet them. :) How about just being a fly on the wall of the bridges of the Titanic, Carpathia and Californian? That'd be mighty fascinating but then we wouldn't get to argue with each other anymore because there'd be nothing to argue about--we'd know everything!

-Allison L.
 
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