REMEMBERING THE TITANIC

As many of you know, April 15 marks the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s legendary sinking.

It’s almost hard to believe.

Visions of this world famous disaster seem fresh in our minds – made all the more tragic by an award-winning film that brought it so vividly to life.

In commemoration of the Titanic’s epic tale, this month’s National Geographic magazine features a fascinating article, complete with poignant images that describe in detail its tragic demise.

I was particularly struck by the seemingly mundane, such as a gilded clock in seemingly perfect condition, sitting – luminously – in its final resting place atop a rusted old fireplace, deep in a watery grave.

Of course, that fireplace wasn’t always rusted, or old.

In its prime, this was a fireplace of stunning elegance, specifically designed to adorn a first class suite aboard the world’s most famous ship.

Imagine, if you will, hand carved mahogany paneling on the walls and columns, cut crystal chandeliers and tall, leaded glass windows – and everywhere, eerie signs of human life and a bygone era.

A microcosm of society was aboard that ship, represented by different classes and cultures. We’ve heard the stories, of course, of both heroes and the not so brave, and they continue to haunt us a century later.

What other treasures lie so deep in the ocean, lost to all eternity?

Titanic was a grand ship, indeed, the largest ever built.

Its first class cabins were among the finest ever seen – beautifully appointed with exquisite furnishings, carved teak and mahogany panels, glass and tile.

The formal dining room was equally elegant.

Ladies and gentlemen wore their finest clothes, and dined on superbly prepared meals served on exquisite china – some of it still preserved, intact, on the ocean floor.

The white-gloved service was flawless.

Everything spoke of pomp and elegance, reduced –as we all know – to a capsule of history frozen in time.

I’m fascinated by the grand rooms aboard the Titantic, exquisitely designed and decorated. Amazing as it may seem, much of the décor is still stunning to behold.

The so-called Turkish Bath is a case in point. Reserved exclusively for the first-class passengers, this is a room framed in durable teak and shimmering blue and green ceramic tiles – the colors of the ocean.

Yes, they still shimmer!

A full century later we’re still mesmerized, and it’s no wonder.