OK – I know, it’s been Titanic Fest for the past few days….so this will be my final post on the subject (for this year….or unless something else good comes up.
Anyway, the inspiration for this comes from me taking James to see it on the big screen.
What caught me was all the smoking going on in the movies – and how tobacco played a pivotal part in many scenes -
Rose Smoking with the cigarette holder and Cal taking it away (showing his dominance)
Jack smoking when Rose runs by to kill herself
Jack bumming a smoke (and taking two) after saving Rose
Jack saying he would teach Rose to chew tobacco and spit (the first time Jack meets Rose’s Mom)
Rose taking the cigarette from the Irishman right before she does the “Toe Stand”. (this picture is over her drinking a pint right before that).
The list goes on and on…..so how about a REAL smoking story from Titanic, from newspaper Chicago Inter Ocean – Sunday 21 April 1912
New York, April 20—Among the many hundreds of heroic souls who went bravely and quietly to their end were fifty happy-go-lucky youngsters shipped as bellboys or messengers to serve the first cabin passengers. James Humphries, a quartermaster, who commanded lifeboat No. 11, told a little story today that shows how these fifty lads met death.
Humphries said the boys were called to their regular posts in the main cabin entry and taken in charge by their captain, a steward. They were ordered to remain in the cabin and not get in the way. Through-out the first hour of confusion and terror these lads sat quietly on their benches in various parts of the first cabin.
Then, just toward the end, when the order was passed around that the ship was going down and every man was free to save himself if he kept away from the lifeboats in which the women were taken, the bellboys scattered to all parts of the ship.
Humphries said he saw numbers of them smoking cigarettes and joking with the passengers. They seemed to think that their violation of the rule against smoking while on duty was a sufficient breach of discipline.
Not one of them attempted to enter a lifeboat.
Not one of them was saved.