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Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Titanic: Just a little piece of history between my Mammaw and me

I was four weeks old when Mama went back to work. She left me in the care of my Mammaw Elmore and my Papaw retired when I was one year. Every work day from 5:30 a.m until 4:00 p.m. until I went to school I was at my Mammaw's and Papaw's house. I learned how people lived without t.v. through no intentions of my own. The youngest child of four and a child of technology I was rarely bored. During the summer I stayed outside. I have a vague memory of them letting me sit on a  pillow cushion and playing in the dirt with a spade Daddy had made while they gardened. When I was older I would dig and attempt to dissect worms, ride my bike, and use my incredible imagination I must have inherited from my Mammaw. Every afternoon they read the paper, every afternoon she cooked fried potatoes in lard, horticulture beans, and cornbread. In the summer there would often be green onions and other goodies from one of their monstrous gardens. There I learned about life, how to treat people, stories from the Bible, and so much more.

When the other grandkids (mostly grown and ready to start families by the time I was born) were younger my Mammaw bought a chalkboard. At the top the ABCs were painted in print and in cursive, both upper and lower case letters. It was there where my passion for education started. My Mammaw loved history and algebra. I got the history gene, definitely not the algebra one. During breaks from the garden and in the winter time as she sowed on her quilt pieces we would play school. Of course I was always the teacher. It was this manner I learned to count, write, and gained a massive amount of history lessons. One of my favorite historical stories she told was of the Titantic. She was not even two years old when this monumental catastrophe happened. I have often wondered how quick they got the news as there were no regular newspapers, t.v.s, and very few telephones. This is one of the many stories I'd have her to repeat often. "The only reason that ship sank is because people said 'Not even God could sink it.'" She always added that part. She told of a little boy who knew he was doomed to perish in the icy waters below climbing the mast of the ship and singing a hymn. This was probably just one of the many legends passed down with Titanic tales but her point was made clearly. This young man seemed to be a born again Christian and knew where he was going. He sang to comfort all those whose fate had come before them. She said he was a poor boy and most of the passengers on the ship were rich and didn't care about what happened to the few poor people that was on that ship. 

Around 1985 the wreckage was relocated and talks of using modern equipment to bring up the ship were abound. That was usually the main story on the news. For some reason I didn't talk to her or don't remember talking about that with her. I guess I thought I'd know her answer, the same as mine. Leave it be and let is stay at the bottom of the sea as a reminder that God should not be tested. Now they have memorabilia and recreations of the Titanic that "travels" around our great nation but as far as I am concerned, as horrid as a tragedy it was, it was a great lesson in life.   

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