Just some thoughts and ideas going around in my head while trying to figure out where I am and where everyone else is going.

Monday, April 2, 2012

One Hundred Years

A few weeks ago when I saw the trailer saying that they were releasing the 3D version of James Cameron’s movie Titanic, I couldn’t really understand why. I mean I know that it was one of the biggest box office draws in the history of all film and cinema, but I never liked it.

At least I’ve never liked the first part of movie where the hero from steerage was able to wine and dine and romance with a passenger from First Class. I mean in real life in those days he’d have as much chance of that happening as I would have as a black man eating at the captain’s table every night, it wouldn’t happen. But then I realized it is the 100th anniversary of the tragedy and so of course Cameron and the movies studios are going to cash in….again. Can you say Ca-ching? But I can’t blame the director for trying and probably succeeding when there are people like me around.

I remember the year before Titanic came out originally; even I got caught up in the hype and went to Atlantic City where the man who had recently discovered the wreck was appearing at the convention center and exhibiting artifacts from the ship. He was raising money for the preservation of wreckage site and the materials that he had brought up. I bought a piece of coal from him that was brought up from one of the bunkers of the ship for $10. When I think about it, it probably cost the White Star Line, the owners of the Titanic, about $10 a ton for coal back then, but what are you going to do, that what as all I could afford. I saw it on QVC a few years later being sold for $25 a piece, I wonder what I could get for it now? 1912 must have been a hell of a year, the sinking of the Titanic and the death of Robert Falcon Scott or Scott of the Antarctic as I grew up knowing him as.

You must be wondering by now what any of this has to do with the video above; absolutely damn nothing other than...

In the movie South Pacific, this song is usually the furthest part of the film that I can get to without tearing up and changing the channel. You see the woman singing reminds me of my paternal grandmother, except my grandmother was a little lighter skinned with even more Chinese shaped eyes. It seems her mother was a working girl in the classic sense of the title and Mr. Chin was a client of hers, if Chin was even his real name. But Granny had the same height and shape and moved like this woman. She even wore the same hair style all the years that I knew her. I doubt that she ever sang like this woman but it’s been over 30 years since I’ve seen her. I’ve lost or worn out of everything that she ever gave to me and all I have now beyond the memories is the realization that the year that my little piece of coal went down with the Titanic was same year that she was born.

So all this just to say Happy Birthday Granny Muriel! One hundred years.

Coal from the Titanic


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