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Titanic Guest Blog - Crew Member Rod

Thursday, 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

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

Authors and Legends

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Authors have populated our Titanic Museum Attraction this past week and are still here.  The public has been so pleased buying books, asking questions from these experts, enjoying the knowledge they possess and are so anxious to share.

First Class Maid Jaynee

First Class Maid Jaynee

Lee Meredith, Author of 1912 Facts About Titanic, is a must for those that want and need the straight information about the ship R.M.S. Titanic, including her sister ships.  One can not go wrong, these facts are faultless, Mr. Meredith puts forth the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  I use his book countless times to answer so many questions.  He also has a book that concentrates primarily on the passenger and crew manifest.

Ken Rossignol is offering two of his books, Titanic 1912 and The Titanic and The Lusitania.  A charming man, with a Panama Hat, personable to speak with, with a lifetime of history and tales to add to his Titanic story.

Bruce Caplan, a personal favorite of mine, he offers a personally edited copy of the first Titanic book published after the tragedy occurred in 1912, Sinking of the Titanic.  This book will reveal surprising details that so many people, including myself, were not aware of until enlightened by the book offered by Bruce.  If not for Bruce, this amazing information would be forever lost.  His book has actual commentary by those that survived the Titanic.  Love that.  He has an audio format if you would like to listen while driving.

Now, the Legend, Helen Benziger. Great-Granddaughter of the famous, First Class passenger, Margaret Brown.  Known to most of us as The “Unsinkable Molly” Brown.  Although Helen has not written this book, Molly Brown, Unraveling the Myth.  She whole heartedly sanctions this said book written by Kristen Iversen.  Helen with her warm personality, wit, charm, humor, and kind, giving ways is a delight to the public that clamor to see her every year.  She will speak and teach all that wait in line to meet her and have her sign their copy of the Iverson book.  Always with her, trusted companion, Brojan, her working dog, an unusual breed of French Sheep Dog, a huge animal with fur as soft as a mink, Brojan is a handsome Beauceron.  You would never know that Helen has anything troubling her, but she is a champion and has needed some assistence with balance, Brojan is there to assist her up if need be, but he’s a working dog and absolute LOVER!  We respect him when he’s working but we as a crew love him and Helen lets us play with him a bit. Molly and Carter, our King Charles Mascots, have HUGE crushes!  He speaks french you know?

April 1 -7 Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge will host 12 authors    who will share their knowledge with our guests. Our museums have one of the most extensive libraries on Titanic literature in the world.  CD’s are also available.

Tomorrow I am off to Pigeon Forge, to participate in the Knoxville Dancing with the Stars on Friday.  Tell you all about it next week.

First Class Maid Jaynee

The “Heart of the Ocean”

Friday, July 20th, 2012

In James Cameron’s movie, “The Titanic”, the story of the R.M.S. Titanic was revealed through the stories of two iconic figures, Rose and Jack. Although a product of Historical Fiction, these two unforgettable characters brought millions into the fascinating true story of “Titanic“. Part of the story included an amazing piece of jewelry, “Le Courer de la Mere” -  Heart of the Ocean.  An immense, heart shaped blue diamond pendant that was given to “Rose” from her fiancee, “Cal”, during the course of this amazing movie.  This heart shaped necklace symbolized undying love and inspired the theme song of the movie, “My Heart Will Go One”, immortalized by the singing acumen of Celine Dion.  At our museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee we have recreated this luscious piece of jewelry art in sapphire and diamonds, it’s on display currently in the Movie Gallery, a gallery dedicated to the James Cameron Oscar film, the “Titanic”.

Ida Straus - White Pearl Choker Necklace

Ida Straus - White Pearl Choker Necklace

In our modern age, for most, when people think about Titanic, Rose, Jack, and The Heart of the Ocean necklace come immediately to mind.  Although fictitious, we owe a great debt to James Cameron and his genius for creating such a fantastic love story.

Beautiful jewelry on board the R.M.S. Titanic was far from fictions. Eleanor Widener, Philadelphia socialite, and First Class Passenger was known for her extensive jewelry collection and in fact was the owner of a strand of pearls that in the year of 1912 was valued at $750,000.00.  The elite of the world was on board that ill-fated liner and with them were some of the most extravagant jewelry collections the world had ever seen.

Lucille Carter, Margaret Tobin Brown, Dorothy Gibson, Madeleine Astor, Helene Baxter, Genevieve Cassabeere,  These women, and more were decked out to the nines with their best, after all this was to be a trip across the North Atlantic to be remembered.  Little did they know, just how remembered.

Constance Willard - Guardian Angel Necklace

Constance Willard - Guardian Angel Necklace

Three years ago my Mother passed away.  After two years of unimaginable suffering she succumbed.  My Mother, in my estimation, was like these incredible women on Titanic.  Her taste in style, and jewelry was unsurpassed.  So when she died, I knew she would want to give me a lovely gift for my birthday.  I bought myself, in her memory, a ruby pendant and matching ring.  However, I needed an appropriate chain, I found, Jewelry Television. They  are the largest purveyor of gemstones in the world, and their jewelry is amazing for the discount savings one receives when shopping on their network.  For you see, they are a television based shopping channel.  So when I discovered them I was thrilled and jumped at the chance to purchase my appropriate gold chain for pennies on the dollar!

Long story short I discovered this network was located in of all places, Knoxville, Tennessee, a mere 60 minutes away from our Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.  The second largest employer in Knoxville, I jumped at the chance to go and investigate.

In keeping with the memory of all those fantastic ladies in First Class on board Titanic, our owner, Mary Kellogg-Joslyn and our gift shop buyer and designer, Officer Lois Warner along with their designers made a connection  with Jewelry Television and we are now offering a beautiful line of jewelry, representing the  ladies of first class aboard the R.M.S. Titanic.

Marian Thayer - Emerald Necklace

Marian Thayer - Emerald Necklace

We aired our first collection in January, returned in April, and guess what, we will be back this July 28 and 29.  There are few things that I take more pleasure in then appearing as the Titanic Museum Attractions spokesperson, offering this fantastic line of jewelry.  Thanks to Officer Lois & Jewelry Television designers we showcase some of the most unique designs inspired by Madeleine Astor, Margaret Brown, Lady, Lucy Duff Gordon, Ida Straus…..oh yes we represent many.  What a kick I get when visitors come to the museums in both locations donning their marvelous purchases from the Jewelry Television. One lady appeared in Branson, wearing the entire Madeleine Astor ensemble!

These incredible women are remembered through the jewelry, brooches, rings, pendants, earrings, beautiful items and amazing prices, thanks to Officer Lois and Jewelry Television.  When I appear I’m usually paired with show host, Jennifer Miller, a vibrant, up to the gauge fashionista that revels in modeling the jewelry.  As a good maidservant I don the duds upon her and reveal secrets and stories associated with the ladies on board that magical ship, R.M.S. Titanic.  We even have a line of jewelry dedicated to a ladies maid aboard the ship, Nellie Bessette, it’s the “Guardian Collection”.  Although Nellie was about to leave the employ of First Class Passenger, Mrs. White, Nellie made sure the very difficult woman was protected and got her onto a lifeboat, putting her own life at risk

The stories are fascinating and I do my best to treat each woman represented with the utmost respect.  Please tune in to Jewelry Television on your cable network, July 28 and 29, or log on to JTV.com, you can watch it live through your computer.  I JUST LOVE THIS PART OF MY JOB!  I should pay you to watch I love it so much.

The jewelry deals are the best, and what a keepsake if you love Titanic.

Stay tuned, First Class Maid Jaynee

Nice Moments

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

In both Titanic Museum locations, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, and Branson, Missouri we are experiencing record crowds for Spring Break.  It is apparent with the advent of the warm winter, we are primed for a HOT Spring and HOTTER summer season.  People are ready to play despite hard economic forecasts, this maid cheers all of you on with your apparent resolve for Good Times Ahead!  with these good times come, “nice moments”.

Titanics Rose Petal Tribute ands on Sunday April 1st

Titanic's Rose Petal Tribute ands on Sunday April 1st

The children that come to our museums provide me with many of these “nice moments”.  Yesterday, we were very busy, I spent most of my day presiding over our Memorial Room, encouraging participation in our Rose Petal Tribute.  On April 1st we ship all these millions of rose petals to the United States Coast Guard International Ice Patrol for placement in the Atlantic Ocean at the Titanic Site on April 15th, the 100th Anniversary of R.M.S. Titanic.

At one point I had told my group our goal with the rose petals and stepped out of the gallery for just a brief moment, I turned and noticed a young lad of about 8 on the step looking into the rose petal display, he was reaching in and shot me a guilty, furtive, glance and quicky removed his little hand.  I immediately encouraged him to be sure to select his own special rose petal, that was what we wanted him to do, I told him that by choosing one of the rose petals and placing it in the adjacent show case his rose petal would be cast in history with all the other millions of rose petals his would be special because it had been selected by him, his rose petal would be sending a private message of remembrance for all the people that were aboard R.M.S. Titanic 100 years ago and that the next time he would see his rose petal it would be on television floating on the mighty Atlantic.  His name was Patrick, and he now had a purpose, he selected his special rose petal and placed it in the big case.  His Mother and sister arrived in the room about this time and were ready to scold because he had wandered away from them, I assured them Patrick was helping me, and I encouraged him to help me tell his family about what he had done,  At first he was shy, but then he became more involved,  For a good 45 minutes I had a little helper with our guests, Patrick would point to a group he thought I might have missed informing of our rose petal mission, And at just the riht time, Patrick would help me let others know about our Rose Petal Tribute.  His Mother and sister were very proud of Patrick and I made sure the crew in the gift shop awarded him with a crew button.  His sister ended up purchasing a First Class Maid Doll, Patrick a Captain Bear, both were signed by me which is such an honor, and we did pictures outside of the museum…..nice moments.

First Class Maid Jaynee with her Jaynee Doll

First Class Maid Jaynee with her Jaynee Doll

Speaking of dolls, I met a little blonde doll yesterday in the Memorial Room, around the age of 8, her name, Jaynee!  Spelled just like mine.  I was talking to Jaynee’s Mum about the Titanic Rose Petal Tribute, when she asked if I were the lady named Jaynee on the web site, I said yes I was, and she introduced me to her little Jaynee.  Named after her mother Jeanie, she wanted something unique, and so named her Jaynee.  Well we became fast friends, they both left, and after about an hour, here they come back with a First Class Maid Jaynee Doll, how appropriate for this ittle girl, I of course signed my name, First Class Maid Jaynee, and they both were kind enough to say this had been the highlight of their day, I know it had been mine……nice moment.

The Maids Dolls were a big hit yesterday, I looked a lot like my namesake, she wears her black hair in a curly pony tail on the top of her head, and due to the wet weather my hair looked exactly like it, lots of recognition.  Maybe my doll is not quite so lovely as our beautiful Rose doll or our outstanding Molly Brown doll, but she’s cute and comforting and if I sign my name to her she will clean your house top to bottom…..maybe.

EXCITEMENT!!!!! Helen Benziger arrives in town this week for special appearences at the museum, she is the great granddaughter of our beloved Margaret Tobin Brown, aka The Unsinkable Molly Brown, come peruse her gallery.  And….ONLY 4 and a half weeks till the amazing tribute ceremony, A Nght To Remember at both locations, Branson and Pigeon Forge, more to come on that.

First Class Maid Jaynee

Give the Gift of Knowledge..Buy a Book!

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

Holiday shopping has officially begun and shoppers all over the country are in a race to get it all done before the big day or days.  Electronics are always big and clothing is a usual, big ticket items like cars for the most part have been on hold on most shopper’s lists, economy is still playing a big part in most purchasing power according to stats on Black Friday and Cyber Monday reports.  Just buy a book.

What other gift can transport you to foreign lands, romantic liaisons, cloak and dagger adventures, or comedic exploits.  A book can; and at the Titanic Museum Attraction in Branson, Missouri we have hundreds to choose from, all about the Titanic of course.

The most famous sea disaster in the world we boast the largest selection of Titanic tomes in probably the country.  Although Titanic based the scope of angles about Titanic and her fateful night of unbelievable tragedy is impressive to say the least.    For instance we have so many categories of Titanic information to choose from.

Titanic Books

Titanic Books

Coffee Table books with amazing illustrations and photographs like Ghosts of the Abyss by Donald Lynch and Ken Marschall.  This book is loaded with pictures of Titanic in her final resting place, with incredible photographs of her interiors along with comparisons of what she used to look like and what has happened to her after moldering in the briny depths.  Deep analysis of the wreck and comparisons with her tragedy and the September 11th incident which occurred the year the book was published.

My personal favorite, Survivors story books like Titanic Survivor: Violet Jessop by Violet Jessop.  The only Titanic Crew Member that put her memories to paper her book is a bittersweet personal tale of a young woman’s adventures on the high seas.  A mix of fact and factual memoir, Violet tells us about her childhood in Argentina, moving to London after her Fathers untimely sickness and death, and following in her Mothers footsteps as a Stewardess on board many ocean liners including White Star Line.  Violet was on board all three of the White Star Disasters, Olympic, Titanic, and in World War I, the Britannic.

Then we have fictional books concerning Titanic.  Books with a premise not unlike the fictional tale of Rose and Jack from James Cameron’s screenplay The Titanic.  Whereby authors use the factual backdrop of the Titanic Tragedy and interweave a fictional story that marries into the R. M.S. Titanic of 1912.  Books like Titanic: Relative Fate by V.C. King.  An almost science fictional tale of a modern sister ship of the original Titanic that eerily begins to repeat the cycle of the original disaster.

Another book takes an interesting twist by using the subject of an actual family on board the Titanic.  The LaRoche family, which traveled in second class and the author, creates a partially fictional story of the life and times of this particular family.  The interest in this particular tale is that Joseph LaRoche was the only man of color on board the Titanic, hailing from the island of Haiti.  He was traveling with his wife and two children.  Which brings me to a unique commentary about our gift shop at The Titanic Museum, book signings by the authors of these books.  Titanic affords the opportunity to authors to come and meet and greet their perspective readers which we did so last weekend with the author of the before mentioned book, Ms. W. Mae Kent.  The title of her work is Titanic: The Untold Story and she claims that fifty percent of her book is based on truth and received permission from the LaRoche family to write and publish her book.  She was inundated with interest due to the fact we have just entered two LaRoche boarding passes into the mix with our passengers honored at the Titanic Museum.

Two authors are regulars at our museum as well, Bruce Caplan editor of Logan Marshalls, The Sinking of the Titanic and Lee Merideth author of 1912: Facts About Titanic.  And does Lee have the facts, if you want straight and solid information concerning The Titanic Tale read his books.

We are proud to offer an opportunity for authors to have book signings in our gift shop, not only is it a great way for them to sell their books, but I think it gives our museum a metropolitan panache that no other attraction, theatre, or even book store entertains in this area.

The books are boundless here at the museum, I’ve only mention a few, the children’s books are so educational and of course we have the classic children’s story, Polar, the Titanic Bear, written by Margaretta “Daisy” Spedden who was a first class passenger on board R.M.S. Titanic who tells the story of their trip aboard the ship through the eyes of her six year old boy’s stuffed polar bear.

Goodness too much to report.  You must come see.  It’s a regular library of Titanic literature.  For an economic, transporting experience, buy books this Holiday Season, and save a spot on your reading list for one of our selections.

Thanks and happy reading, First Class Maid Jaynee
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