Well, dear readers, I must say today has been one of the most interesting days aboard TITANIC, yet. For me, it was first class all day long. It began with an early morning trip to the gymnasium, where I rode a stationary bicycle for miles, and never got anywhere. Although I felt as if I had, after getting off. At any rate, I wasn't the only second class passenger with an invitation to taste some of the grandeur of the upper class, as I recognized that nice science teacher, Mr. Beesley, from cabin D56, who was cycling with a friend.
|The "cooling room" of the|
After that, it was off to the Turkish Baths, where stewardess, Maud Slocombe, had a regimen all set up and waiting for me. One goes through various stages of hot to cold, wet to dry, and even an entirely different room set aside for the sole purpose of cooling off. A place decorated with tiled walls and Moorish accents… an experience I will not soon forget. I had no idea one could feel so refreshed in so many places! All of which helped me to feel a little more in place when it came time for tea with the Strausses. And what a pleasant surprise that was.
I suppose I was expecting talk of business, fashions, or maybe even some detailed account of Civil War battles, which I have heard Mr. Strauss (who had personal experience in that war), is apt to share with the slightest invitation. Instead, I found myself in the company of a very literary gathering of friends who ranged from avid readers, to writers of academic, and even popular fiction. Obviously, they had all been acquainted with each other for some time, because they were very casual and comfortable with each other. I could write an entire article on each one, but here's a mention of the most prominent…
|Helen Churchill Candee|
First of all there was Jacques Futrelle, author of that highly popular detective series revolving around "The Thinking Machine," and his lovely wife, Lily May Peel, who is also a novelist in her own right. After those, came Helen Churchill Candee, a writer who also does reporting for various newspapers. In fact, everyone of the guests at the Strauss's table, today, were either currently involved in some kind of newspaper work, or had been. It occurred to me, then, what an excellent hostess Ida Strauss is, to invite people who have so much in common, they are immediately on familiar terms with one another.
|"Archie," President Taft's Military Aide, |
who was much harder to spot, out
However the real highlight of the gathering was when I realized one of the two gentlemen who had accompanied Helen Churchill Candee, was none other than the renowned artist Francis Davis Millet (everyone called him, Frank), who had been a war correspondent in every major clash around the world since the Spanish American War. There he was sitting across from me, accompanied by his good friend friend, "Archie," who was no longer in journalism, but turned out to be that illusive military aide to President Taft I had been trying to track down ever since Southampton.
All of which made for not only a lovely afternoon, but a gold mine of information for my column to send off this evening to the NEW YORK WORLD. The fact that I was even invited to join a small shipboard writer's group they had formed called, "Our Coterie", made it a day I will never forget. I actually did forget my role as reporter, for awhile, and came away feeling I had made some very wonderful new friends, instead. And so I have.
But it's back to reporting tomorrow, dear readers, because I will be taking you to the opposite end of shipboard festivities. And I have heard that what goes on down in third class steerage, is some of the liveliest entertainment of all. So, until then… blessings!
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