Posted by: Jina Bacarr | April 13, 2012

TITANIC RHAPSODY Weekend Day 1: April 13, 2012 Friday Titanic: Ship of Dreams

 

 

Here’s a glimpse of my Titanic blog for today at Jolyn’s Blog–read the entire post HERE.

TITANIC RHAPSODY Weekend with Jina Bacarr and Jolyn Palliata

 Day 1: April 13, 2012 Friday   

 Titanic: Ship of Dreams

 I remember the city of Belfast when it was filled with strife and the “Troubles,” a time when my da convinced the local authorities he was an American tourist and not the man they were looking for by pointing to his Made in the USA sneakers. And when my beautiful mum went to buy some lace and minutes after she left the shop, the street was blown up.

Another time we found ourselves stuck at a checkpoint behind a horse and wagon, and later on we feasted on the best breaded chicken dinner I’ve ever had.

This was Ireland on a cloudy day when the air was heavy with the smell of the earth fresh from the rain, when the blanket of green covering the land was so bright it made your eyes hurt. And when the wildflowers I picked made me think of sweet kisses from the handsome lad who’d winked at me.

Belfast was where the Titanic was born.

Let’s go back to 1907 and a time when Katie O’Reilly, the heroine in my novel, Titanic Rhapsody, was fourteen years old and living with her da and mum and her older sister, Mary Dolores, near Queenstown in Southern Ireland. She was filled with curiosity and yearned for a better life, which often got her into trouble with the local sisters at the Catholic school.

While Katie was discovering that a poor Irish girl had as much of a chance to better herself as a prize pig did of escaping the butcher, up in Belfast an enterprising gentleman named Lord William James Pirrie had grand plans to help Irish girls like Katie find their dreams.

Now mind you, this was a time when more than a million people a year emigrated from Europe to the United States. Before the great steamers made the crossing, the steerage or third class passengers had to bring their own food and spent the week-long journey in cramped, unsanitary quarters. Those lucky enough to get a breath of fresh air on the upper deck shared it with chickens in poultry coops.

You can be sure when the emigrants arrived in America, they wrote to the folks back home: “Smelly, dirty trip on the ________ Line. Get a ticket on another ship.”

But what if the emigrants raved about the crossing? Good, hot food at every meal that included oatmeal and currant buns. Clean cabins with running water and nary a chicken feather in sight. Can you imagine the stampede to book passage on that ship?

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Click here to read the rest of my Titanic post at Jolyn’s Blog.

Make a comment on Jolyn’s blog to enter a drawing to win a copy of

TITANIC RHAPSODY!

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