I remember eighth grade. Girls wore oversized airbrushed tees of Leo’s face. Tang won the “Heart of the Ocean” faux diamond necklace at junior high graduation. (Man, the useless facts I remember!) It was 1997, the year Titanic came out.
I wasn’t part of the gaggle of tweens who watched the movie multiple times – I knew and felt it to be epic, but I still feel unqualified to say it was our generation’s Gone with the Wind – but my family did buy the VHS tapes (from Costco).
To this day, I think we all remember that one shot with the elderly couple who chose to stay together through the sinking:
Apparently that’s not how it really went down. It is said that the elderly couple was inspired by the real-life Strauses, immigrants who, in one generation, became the wealthy owners of Macy*s. (Yes, that Macy*s. Is there any other?) Theirs was an amazing love story, and it was the wife Ida who chose to stay by the side of husband Isidor, whereas the film portrays the husband as the stronger backbone of the couple.
Hopping in and out of planes for the last couple of weeks (Ask me about how I directed Bill and me to the wrong airport!), my inner clock has been thrown off more than a few times, but reading one physical, printed book has kept me grounded a bit. June Hall McCash has unearthed the story of Ida and Isidor Straus, and chronicled it in an incredibly detailed recount: A Titanic Love Story.
The writing is a bit dry, but I suppose that’s what happens with historical nonfiction. (In elementary school I read A Night to Remember, another nonfiction account of the sinking of the Titanic, and oddly enough I loved it. I suppose my bar was set high with Titanic-related nonfiction, then, if a nonfiction book could capture my attention as a third grader.) Aside from the story of two actual people who really love(d) each other, the language of those olden day technologies keeps me reading through. I cannot imagine trying to gather information on a loved one if a crisis broke out overseas in the time of telegrams. The magnitude of such an event would have traveled slowly compared to now, so I don’t even know how we’d bear such slow-trickling news.
Today Titanic releases across the U.S. with a 3-D facelift, and I will not be attending. In a vain effort to appear like I’ve outgrown that phase of airbrushed-anything, I’m toting around my copy of Titanic Love Story like I only read informative stuff. – Okay really I just don’t want to shell out twennies for a movie I already seen befo’. Now go read a book!
My copy of A Titanic Love Story was gifted to me by Newman PR. Thank you!