Wednesday, July 07, 2010

And The Fax That's Hali

Back around 1956, I read Walter Lord’s then-definitive account of the Titanic’s sinking, “A Night to Remember.” I call it “then-definitive” only because new discoveries have helped refine the information. Still, the book was good enough to be made into what is probably the best movie account about two years later.

Halifax: A quiet maritime outpost, a wireless station, sand, water, windy and winter storms. Lonely place, dots and dashes from ships at sea fill the small shack as the Morse operator translates them on his typewriter to regular print to be sent onward. It was the last point of land, the communication point for ships.

That’s what I thought. Then I visited this no-place port when I took my first New England-Canada cruise. I guess it’s not 1912 any more.

Actually, it never was. Halifax is, and was, a bustling port with an ice-free harbor year-round. Far from being a lonely outpost with a wireless shack and a radio antenna, it’s about as modern as a place can be. Always was, before and after it blew up in the biggest explosion we ever made before the atomic bomb business in the ‘40s.

That was the munitions ship thing; took most of the city with it. You really have to make sure you agree who is going to occupy which part of the channel, especially when you can blow the city to kingdom come. Anyway, after the pieces came down and the dust settled, they rebuilt a very handsome city.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

And then...u woke up!

July 07, 2010 9:37 PM  

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