November 26th, 2013
Hello My Darlings!
Titanic Fantasy Princess
I’m making all of the preparations for my visit to The Titanic! I will be there Thanksgiving! I am so very excited to see all of my friends & make new ones as well!
So many things to be thankful for every single second! I just love this time of year! The Titanic is decorated so beautifully with all of the Edwardian Christmas decorations, just like it would have been on Titanic.
This year at The Pigeon Forge Titanic, I have lots of things planned for you!
Make sure you’re there at 7:30 Thanksgiving night at Pigeon Forge Titanic, Free in the parking lot tons of things to see!
First you’ll see Titanic all aglow in twinkling lights, then a very special friend of mine who sings like an angel will share & sing some of our favorite Christmas music! Then you’ll have to wait & see how I will be arriving! A beautiful white carriage will bring me to Titanic, there I will greet all of my friends & hopefully you can come too!
Oh I really hope you will wear your Princess dresses too, or even your Tiaras! If enough of you come, I pinkie princess promise to make it SNOW just for you!
Hugs & Kisses… Hopes & Wishes,
The Titanic Fantasy Princess
November 14th, 2013
I’d like to share a story about a little girl and her dad at the Titanic Princess display in the Branson gift shop.
Princess Snow Globe available in the Titanic Gift Shop
A little girl, probably 5 or 6 years old, and her dad were standing in the Titanic gift shop and she was politely asking for something from the Princess display. He was trying to dissuade her, saying she had tons of Princess stuff at home, why not get a souvenir that shows the Titanic, like the snow globe? He picked up a Titanic snow globe and shook it, showing her what it does. The little girl looked at her dad and then the snow globe. And without looking away from her dad, she reached behind her and picked up a Princess snow globe from the display and held it up and shook it, looked at him, with a patient expression on her face and pointed at it, and said, “snow globe.” I couldn’t help it, a chuckle escaped my lips and he looked at me and smiled, knowing he was beat. I smiled back and said, “You’re doomed.” He chuckled and said, “I know.” I don’t know for sure, but I bet she got her Princess snow globe.
As a crew member I enjoy meeting and sharing the stories of Titanic with our guests.
Plus I invite you to come and visit us during the Christmas Season and you can meet our Titanic ‘Fantasy’ Princess.
Crew Member Rod
November 6th, 2013
Christmas at the Titanic
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and the Crew has out done themselves this year making our Museum, a Grand Victorian Christmas for the Ship of Dreams!
Titanic sank on April 15th, 1912, but let us dream about what she would have looked like at Christmas! Since they could not decorate we have for them, honoring their memories and retailing their stories.
Let’s all use our imaginations and think on happier times with family and friends. Look at Christmas through the eyes of a child.
I must say that when our guest comes around the corner and sees the Grand Stairs the look of amazement and delight is pure joy to watch. It is an enchanting time with fantasy princess and Christmas gifts.
Even if you have been naughty there is a lump of Titanic Coal in the gift shop for you, straight from the bottom of the ocean in a coin keepsake just for you or for that someone that you think is naughty!
I know you haven’t even eaten your Thanksgiving Turkey yet, but there is so much to be thankful for and Christmas is such a special time. Why not celebrates more than just one month! So come soak in the beauty and excitement at the Titanic Museum in Branson and Pigeon Forge.
October 31st, 2013
It is amazing the forms a hero can come in. For some, a hero can be the man who bravely rushes into danger to save an animal from a burning building. To others however, a hero is one that brings comfort and relief in times of strife. On the Titanic this was no different. In September we paid tribute to the men and women known around the world as first responders, those firefighters, paramedics and police officers who serve our communities by aiding those in distress and protecting our homes from danger. These men and women are obvious heroes to the community, representing bravery and strength throughout our country. There are however other individuals that can be considered heroes and this month at the Titanic we pay tribute to them.
On September 11, 2001 a man by the name of Father Mychal Judge rushed into the Twin Towers, determined to bring comfort to those in strife. Judge was a Catholic Priest who believed it his calling to bring comfort and absolution to those suffering in their final moments on that fateful day. Judge gave his life that day, as he traveled from person to person sharing faith and comfort with those that were hurting, he was hit in the head by debris and killed. It was never disputed that Friar Judge was a hero that day in the towers. Likewise, on the night the Titanic sank there was a group of gentlemen that sacrificed in a similar manner. Pastors, priests and seminary graduates who refused to take a seat in the lifeboat because they needed to comfort the stranded and trapped who were aboard.
Rev. John Harper - Baptist Minister Last Hero Aboard Titanic. Credit: Cedar Bay Entertainment
Reverend John Harper, in his final moments, swam from person to person in the 28 degree water, encouraging them to turn their lives over to Christ. Our own Captain Smith in Pigeon Forge recounts the story for guests that are often met with emotional responses. Father Thomas Byles stayed aboard the ship and led passengers in scripture and absolution as the ship sank ever further into the water. All of these men on board were heroes, perhaps not in the traditional sense but by bravely choosing to sacrifice their lives for the sake of comforting others, they deserve honor.
October is pastor appreciation month, and here at the Titanic museum we wish to honor the pastors, priests and chaplains that serve in our communities. We invite you to join us and travel through the museum as our guest. Come and learn the stories of our many heroes and help us by furthering the many stories of the passengers that made the Titanic the legend that it is today.
October 16th, 2013
Over the last four years, I have watched as our crew has been involved with the local community. I’ve watched from afar and have never really been involved in anything outside of the ship. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to dive in (so to speak) to the communities of Branson and Hollister. And recently, I received an opportunity to do so, and I’ve learned a valuable lesson.
Titanic crew at the Hollister Grape and Fall Festival
On Saturday, October 12th, 2013, my fellow officers Rod, Eric, Christopher, and I signed up to do the annual grape stomp at the Hollister Grape and Fall Festival. Never having competed in this event before, we were unsure of exactly how to prepare. We knew that we had to put together a routine to music and dance, all while stomping grapes to mush. The idea sounds exhilarating, and let me tell you: it was!
A couple of days before, we decided our music selections, thinking that we would tell Titanic’s story in two minutes to some modern music. The day before, we had a rough hour and a half rehearsal, considering what space we would have, and even how we would thrill the crowd. Upon discovering that we couldn’t wear any trousers, we decided upon some shorts we could wear. (They were quite short. Black boxer shorts!)
Anyway, finally, the day of the competition arrived and we were transported to Downing Street in Hollister, where the event would take place. We paced around, looking at the various shops and displays, all while in our uniforms. We had decided to keep our “shorts” a secret. People knew we were from the Titanic Museum Attraction, and were surprised to hear we were competing and even more surprised when we told them we were wearing our uniforms.
A record number of twelve teams were competing this year! I was thrilled to hear that, as I had heard that only five teams had competed last year. We were slated to go ninth.
As the teams went, I realized that no one really took it too seriously. Everyone was up there to have fun! Teams had even journeyed to Hollister from Colorado, and we cheered them on like we had known them our entire lives. Finally, it was our turn.
As we took the “stage”, everyone was anticipating our stomp. We turned our backs to the crowd, and removed our pants…
The roar of the crowd was staggering. I knew the reaction would go one of two ways, and this was definitely the better of the two. Stepping into the barrel of grapes was interesting. A cold mixture of half squished grape and vine greeted my bare feet. When the music began, the officers and I performed to the best of our ability, and when we saluted at the very end, the crowd cheered full on, laughing and clapping and whistling.
Youtube Video - Titanic Officers WIN Grape Stomp Hollister, MO
After having our feet hosed down, we put our slacks back on and waited for them to announce the winners of the competition, taking this time to watch the rest of the teams compete and cheer them on with the crowd. Finally, it was time to announce the winner.
After announcing second and third place winners, our name hadn’t been announced yet, and I felt anxious. Yes, it was a small competition, but we were proud of what we had done, and it had been a blast!
When they announced the first place team after a brief pause, it turned out that we, Team Titanic, were victorious! We had won the grape stomp competition for 2013. As the four of us wandered over to claim the “ugly monkey trophy”, a barrage of smart phones and cameras greeted us. It was a wonderful feeling.
But even as we were greeted by people who didn’t compete, other teams began to congratulate us as well.
Now, coming from a background of competitive sports, especially football, I know that other teams can say congratulations, but they don’t mean it.
However, these people were sincere about every word that they said, and I realized that this competition was never about winning at all. This was about coming together as a community and to have some fun along the way. Every person that competed didn’t really care about winning. We just wanted to come together and celebrate life for awhile.
It’s so important to be part of something. It’s important to come together as a community and to just show support of our friends and neighbors. No matter what, we can depend on each other. If we show support for the little things, we can support each other through the big things.
As Henrik Ibsen would say, “A community is like a ship; everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm.”
I think he was right.
October 9th, 2013
When I watch the leaves turn and fall, I think of how the leaf was green one day and the next changed. The weather is nice one day and the next cold especially here in Missouri. We just never know what tomorrow will hold for us. Within seconds our lives can change. Like the people on a ship of dreams, enjoying life one moment, then suddenly their lives are forever changed. Thank goodness for those with compassion to step in and help bring hope to a hopeless moment.
Thank goodness for Clara Barton! Who is Clara Barton?
Red Cross at the Helm
Clara was born on Christmas Day, 1821. Her life a wonderful gift to us! From a young age was caring for others. She wrote a book called, “The Story of My Childhood” in 1907. At a time when few women worked outside the home Clara Barton was a wonderful example of how women’s role in the career world was changing. She had jobs as a Teacher, Patent Clerk and Nurse. But it was her compassion to help others that was her greatest accomplishment. Clara saw a need and purpose in life and found American Red Cross in Washington, D.C. on May 21, 1881. She gained support from others who believed in her cause.
Her humanitarian aid is a legendary hero thru our history. Clara Barton died on April 12, 1912 just a few days before Titanic Sank on April 15, 1912. But it was the organization that she started that helped those on Titanic.
In the New York Times Newspaper Published: June 3, 1912 stated that more than $130,000 dollars was raised for the relief of Titanic Survivors and the survivors of victims, in trusted to the Red Cross Emergency Relief Committee.
Families lost their breadwinner when the ship went down. Many families traveled with all of their belongings to a new life in the United States. For those families that lost everything they owned, The Red Cross gave the family $250 right away to help. But The Red Cross went a step further by helping the mothers complete nurse training so that they could get jobs when jobs for women was scarce, and set up a $5,000 trust fund for the children. Many of them would not made it without the help of The Red Cross. In times of need the Red Cross was there. The volunteers and the generous people that gave money, and time is still going on today.
From all of us here at the Titanic Museum in Branson, I just want to say thank you to all that have in the past, present, or future that has or will reach out to those that have suffered with compassion, time, money, and love. There is always a need and it is up to us to help!
– Crew Member Cheri
October 3rd, 2013
Titanic Crew Member - Christopher James
“In my eyes, our world is a lot like the Titanic. Here we are in different classes -some more well off than others. We live in a wealthy part of the world, and we have so much to be thankful for in the United States. While our life can be very cozy and joyous, we can easily distract ourselves from reality. The truth is that whatever we have on the ship with us doesn’t matter a bit when it’s all taking the plunge. What many of us don’t think about is that our ship is sinking! We are all going down, and we need to live life like we are on the Titanic.
I am fortunate enough to work inside my own reminder. Everyday at the Titanic Museum in Branson, Missouri, we hear the stories of passengers and crew members who showed the true nature of their hearts. Some took off with lifeboats without thinking of others. Some gave up their place on a lifeboat to save someone else. Some clung to the ones they loved so they would leave this life with the ones they cared for the most.
Everyday our personal ship is sinking a little further. I try to live my life so that those I love will know that they are important. I try to give hope to those who need it. Aware of the circumstances, I am willing to leave the luxury of my suite for the uncomfortably cold seats of the lifeboat. I trust that -unlike the White Star Line- the maker of this vessel has given us enough lifeboats for everyone.
In the knowledge that your world is dragging you down with it, what can you do today to ensure you will make it to safety with no regrets? How will you be remembered by those on board with you? I think it’s never too late to say “I love you” and never to early to find your lifeboat.”
Titanic Crew Member - Christopher James
August 17th, 2013
Titanic Honors Active Military, Veterans, First Responders, Police & Fire Fighters
During the month of August, Pigeon Forge and the surrounding area will be “Celebrating Freedom”. Honoring Active Military, Veterans, First Responders, Police, Fire Fighters by offering special discounts and heart felt thank yous to these brave men and women that keep us safe. The Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee will offer a special discount to these amazing individuals. Pigeon Forge will be offering a discount book to identify those of us that are participating in this event, which considering the grateful spirit of all in the Smoky’s the lucky heroes are sure to have a wonderful time. We at Titanic will be giving a $5.00 discount to these great people, THANK YOU!
Once more Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee was host to the loving nuptials, marriage ceremony, to Patrick and Christina McClelland and on August 3, 2013. Captain Ron officiated at the Grande Staircase and the wedding reception was held on the Third Floor of the Attraction. So much fun, so much love. By the way there were 12 Honeymoon couples on board the R.M.S. Titanic, 8 were in First Class, come to the museum to discover their fate. We have a feeling that our Honeymoon Couple will have a long and successful life and union.
Our sympathies to First Class Maid Lenora, who tirelessly but cheerfully toils in the Titanic Museum Attraction gift shop in Pigeon Forge. She lost her home due to a fire not too long ago. Her and her human family were not hurt, but unfortunately one of her two dear turtles succumbed to the effects of the smoke. Destruction by fire is so devestaating and we offer up all of our positive thoughts to Lenora at this time.
Finally, Goodbye to a friend, a dear friend to both museums in Branson, Missouri and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee has left us for a new life in Australia! That’s right, you know who it is, First Class Maid Virginia, some of you internet friends know her as “Rebelene”. After many months of struggle, First Class Maid Virginia and her two children are pioneering to a new country very much like the immigrants that were aboard Titanic, only they winged their way to the “land down under”. Excellent choice! Good luck my friend, you are so lucky to be finally home.
First Class Maid, Jaynee
August 10th, 2013
Wallace Hartley's Titanic Violin
Wallace Hartley, leader of the R.M.S. Titanic’s Orchestra, his violin has moved from the Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, to the Titanic Museum Attraction in Branson, Missouri. The violin was escorted here by one of my favorite crew member, Officer Ron Green, his presentation at the unveiling of the violin was heart felt and very moving, as was Officer Tommy and our Captain David. It is obvious that the crew members were overwhelmed with awe at the unveiling of the infamous violin that Wallace played the last music that so many would hear that miserable night of April 14th going into the 15th. Standing beside him, his true blue mates, his orchestra members, playing their musical instruments. Finally jumping overboard, Wallace was a good swimmer according to his Mother, his violin in it’s valise, strapped in front, Wallace and the guys tried to make it to lifeboats…to no avail. Twenty Eight degree water, Thirty One Degree air temperature, how could they survive? He was picked up 10 days later, frozen, holding his valise, with the precious violin, the violin was inscribed, a message from his fiancee, Maria. You see she had given Wallace the violin and when they sent his body and goods back home to England, Wallace Hartley’s Father returned the violin to Maria, that’s all of Wallace she would ever have, she never married.
The violin was passed down, donated to various organizations, like the Salvation Army, it produced no more music after Titanic’s last serenade, but people knew that it was Wallace Hartley’s violin, the man and his musical mates that gave their lives performing on their precious instruments till the….end.
Eric Green opened our ceremony this morning playing on his violin, “Nearer My God To Thee”. Very touching.
News media and V.I.P.’s have been pooring in all day to see the precious artifact, interviewing our Curator, Paul Burns; Collector, Craig Sopin; Owner, Mary Kellogg-Joslyn; Designer, Bob Fleming; First Class Maid Jamie and Officer Ron, with our little musician Eric lending an aura of realism up in the Memorial Room where the violin is displayed.
I am working the Train Station today, informing the masses what they have in store, most are very impressed, they realize that more then likely they will never have another opportunity to see this artifact again. Lucky Day for visitors in Missouri. The violin is here till August 15th, 2013.
The bravery of these men does not surprise me. As a dancer, a performer, for most of my life, before Titanic, most of my career was spent with fellow band memebers, musicians, and I can tell you that: “The Show Must Go On!” Performers credo. Everytime the world is in crisis, musicians and performers gather to raise money for those in need, help in any way, like Wallace and the boys helping passengers forget for a moment their impending doom.
First Class Maid Jaynee
July 26th, 2013
The Titanic Museum Attraction in Branson, Missouri and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, are presently very busy due to the influx of Summer visitors, families, and thanks to the rains in Branson, we are very busy in the Ozarks, after all, we all know when it rains, it pours guests in the museums.
After the sinking of the R.M.S. Titanic, women and children suddenly found themselves without Husbands and Fathers, orphans and widows were the majority of survivors when the rescue ship Carpathia picked up those grieving, and so sad souls.
We here at the Titanic Museum Attraction in Branson, Missouri have suffered losses among our crew members, Fathers and Mothers, miscarriages, and of course, Husbands. Crew member Mary Kauffman lost her Walter a few years ago, leaving her a widow. This last week, my dear friend, crew member Kelli Riley, lost her husband. They are both extremely young to suffer such an ordeal and although I did not personally know Joey he was considered Branson’s Funny Man, A Court Jester among his peers, and a very talented musician. Kelli Riley is one of our dog handlers, but her main career is a performer and dancer and has performed with her husband Joey for many years. Several months ago I wrote a blog dedicated to Kelli. “Angels Among Us”. She is that, and she proved her devotion to Joey, fighting for his life, till neither one could fight another moment. Kelli was Joey’s angel and she will meet her Court Jester in Paradise one day I am sure of it.
Joey and Kelli Riley
The Entertainers had a Memorial Service for Joey at Clay Cooper Theatre across the street from our Museum in Branson. I assumed I would be asked to attend by our Management Team, I was not, I will not assume anything again. As a representative of the Titanic this surprised me, I will not be surprised again.
I would also like to acknowledge that we lost a former crew member this month as well, Danielle Cramer. A larger then life, force to be reckoned with that charmed our guests in the gift shop, children adored Danielle,and she is now gone as well. My condolences to all of her family, to Joey Riley’s family, and to my Dear Angel of a Pal, Kelli Riley.
First Class Maid Jaynee