CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

Community News Network

April 13, 2012

Son recalls his mother's anguish over those not rescued

(Continued)

Mary worked as a nurse's aide caring for casualties streaming in from a front a mere 20 miles off. Again, she endured the cries of the dying.

Mary Lines had recovered from what her son describes as a nervous breakdown in 1920 when she married Sargent Holbrook Wellman, an American soldier she'd met in France. They settled in Massachusetts in 1923.

The Wellmans had three children, then grandchildren. The family retained Mary's flashlight along with a reservation ticket for a Titanic deck chair, keepsakes of a calamity.

Looking back on his mother's brush with history, Bradford Wellman said, "I don't think it's changed my life." His mother was a cheerful person. And knowing what she survived made him "more respectful" of both her and his grandmother.

Unafraid of the sea, Wellman said he's made several trips to Antarctica aboard cruise ships, adding: "I've seen a lot of icebergs."

Yet, he's never seen the Titanic movies. Nor would he join a sea excursion to the site of the wreck off the coast of Newfoundland.

Museums and articles about the Titanic do draw his attention. Asked why the story endures, he citeed some of his reading.

"The sinking was a disillusionment, a tragedy of the newly engineered mechanical world," he says. People had marveled as one incredible invention followed another, electric engines and lights, automobiles, moving pictures, telephones, ships with massive propellers shrinking the seas.

"Suddenly, one of these great wonders engineered by mankind was flawed," he says.

Less flawed were the men who stood to one side and allowed mostly women and children to access the lifeboats — "and the wives who decided to stay with their husbands."

He tells his mother's story with the ease of someone who has shared the same tale many times before. But there is a reason he hasn't seen the movies.

Wellman recalls visiting a Titanic museum in London and pausing over an engagement ring recovered from the wreck. Passing the various exhibits he'd been fine, but now at the end he stared at that ring, a symbol of loss, of interrupted dreams, of all the cruel memories his mother had carried in her heart.

And he began to weep.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 28, 2014

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 1.33.11 PM.png VIDEO: High-dive accident caught on tape

    A woman at a water park in Idaho leaped off a 22-foot high dive platform, then tried to pull herself back up with frightening results. Fortunately, she escaped with only a cut to her finger.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • CATS-DOGS281.jpg Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.-and all over the world

    We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo