LEXINGTON, Ky (10/8/13)—It was April 10, 1912 when my two sons Rossmore, Eugene and I decided to board the Titanic. We were sailing from Southampton and traveling to Providence, Rhode Island where their father was. I had decided a year ago to divorce Stanton, who is a former English middleweight boxing champion and had moved to England to get away. My sons are homesick so I have decided to take them back to Providence. We boarded Titanic as third class. I am 35 years old, Rosa Mary Hunt.
Today as I walked up to the Lexington Center to enter the Titanic Exhibit, I was handed a ‘White Star Line Boarding Pass.’ The pass granted me permission to come aboard the White Star Line’s R.M.S Titanic and also gave me an identity that I would find out at the end of the exhibit if I survived that dreadful day.
After getting my picture taken in front of the ‘Grand Staircase’ I time traveled back to the day that Titanic was being built. There were pictures of the ship construction, the blueprints and the finished ship, the Titanic.
“The story of the Titanic is told from the beginning, from the perspective of the passengers and the crew members, it’s more than just about the ship, it’s about those who sailed on it that night,” Krista Greathouse Exhibition Coordinator said.
Upbeat music played, the temperature was warm, and I saw up close and personal artifacts that had been recovered from the sunken ship years later. Currency that had been in leather cases were saved, and there was different forms of currencies based on what bank the passengers used or what state they were from. My favorite artifact recovered was a champagne bottle, still half full.
“The cork must have been a good one, it was found that way on the ocean floor” Greathouse said, “everything that has been found is in its original condition, and nothing has been restored.”
My ticket said I was a third class passenger, so as I stepped into the hallway of where the third class bedroom was, I was instantly intrigued. A third class ticket in 1912 was $40, which is equivalent to $900 today. The third class rooms had two bunk beds that accommodated sometimes four strangers who could possibly speak different languages.
“The Titanic was commendable, the third class passengers had treatment that normally a second class passenger would receive,” Greathouse said, “the third class patrons were getting accommodations that they usually weren’t used to.”
The mood, temperature and music changed, because just a few days after the Titanic patrons boarded, an iceberg was hit. You find yourself going into panic mode, your heart begins to race and goose bumps form on your body, because you realize what exactly has happened.
“Once they saw the iceberg they had about 37 seconds before they hit,” Greathouse said. “Many people say that if they would’ve hit the iceberg straight on it could’ve survived the hit, but that is something we will never know.”
A replica of the iceberg sits inside the exhibit and you can feel the chilling 32 degrees, which is 4 degrees warmer than the water that the passengers were submerged in that night. Most of the passengers on the Titanic didn’t die from drowning, but hypothermia.
At the end of the exhibit I searched the wall to find out my fate.1,523 lives were lost due to the devastating accident, however, Rosa Mary Hunt was one of the 705 passengers that were saved that day.
Although The Titanic sunk 101 years ago, the story still impacts us all. This exhibit shows that we are all invested in the history of Titanic, and that even if we weren’t on the ship that clear April day that we are still a passenger as the years go on and artifacts are recovered.
The Titanic Exhibit is located at the Lexington Center at 430 West Vine Street. Now through January 26, 2014 you can experience the Titanic yourself. It is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $9 for children. For more information call (859) 233-4567.
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