The would-be car thief zoomed down the beach block and came to an apparent "dead" end, (the boardwalk), but he wasn't ready to surrender. He envisioned a bold escape, floored the accelerator and climbed the narrow ramp onto the boards. At such a high speed, the perpetrator wove through shocked pedestrians but could not execute the sharp perpendicular turn. The car smashed through the suddenly less than sanitary public facilities...leaving the unsuspecting victim inside, less than alive.
The poor fellow was caught with his pants down and never saw this unlikely tragedy coming. However, even under more common circumstances, few of us will ever know when or how we die...we just know, we will. Ben Franklin said it best, "The only things certain in life are death and taxes."
|IN ADDITION TO THE HUNDRED DOLLAR BILL, FRANKLIN APPEARED ON THE U.S. HALF DOLLAR FROM 1948-1963.|
We eventually all pay the grim reaper. It's ironic that some people call the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the grim reaper and call "Tax Day," (April 15th), the day of reckoning, (the annual, income tax submission deadline).
|SINCE 1917,THE MAIN IRS OFFICE HAS BEEN AT 1111 CONSTITUTION AVENUE, IN WASHINGTON D.C. THEY ESTABLISHED APRIL 15th AS TAX DAY, IN 1955 .|
Interestingly, on April 15th this year, we observe the hundredth anniversary of the ill-fated Titanic. While most of us have a general knowledge of the tremendous loss of life caused by this colossal seafaring disaster, few of us are aware of one of its great heroes. This man's cool head under impossible circumstances, cheated death by saving lives but in so doing, left his reputation, to some, in doubt.
|THE NAME TITANIC MEANS, A GIANT DEITY OR THING OF GREAT SIZE, STRENGTH OR POWER. WE'RE ALL FAMILIAR WITH THE UNSINKABLE SHIP'S "AFTER" PICTURES...ABOVE IS A "BEFORE" SHOT.|
|WILLIAM MURDOCH, (FEBRUARY 28, 1873 - APRIL 15, 1912), WAS FROM A PROMINENT, NAUTICAL FAMILY. HE HAD PROVEN HIS OWN VALUE AS A NAVAL OFFICER LONG BEFORE BEING ASSIGNED BY WHITE STAR LINES, TO THE TITANIC.|
When the direness of the situation became obvious, (before the age of standardized safety drills...which gained importance because of this catastrophe), passengers were largely left to their own devices. In some instances, a mob mentality took over with a mad rush for the lifeboats. The crew tried to organize these launchings but they were overwhelmed by the sheer number of selfish people. Therefore, little could be done to prevent partially filled lifeboats from abandoning the ship.
William Murdoch left the bridge and went to the starboard side of the doomed vessel. He maintained a high degree of order and was responsible for the safe evacuation of ten lifeboats with women and children. Some reports included him ordering his men to take babies, from mothers who refused to leave without their husbands, (some of the children were thrown down to the hands of people, in lowered lifeboats).
The controversy surrounding Murdoch has to do with fighting off panicking men trying to save them self. The fictionalized account of this in the 1997 movie, "TITANIC," was met with criticism by a nephew of Murdoch. He felt that the film's portrayal, damaged his uncle's heroic actions, because to stem the tide of riotous men, he shot and killed two of them.
The reality was, in the name of protecting the sanctity of, "women and children first," Murdoch fired warning shots. This action saved precious seconds as his crew saved more passengers. When the horde charged forward again, Murdoch bought some more time by shooting into the crowd. More lives were saved by this rash decision. But Murdoch felt despondent. Despite his motives being just, he was overwhelmed by guilt and moments later, committed suicide.
The movie's producer, James Cameron later apologized to the Murdoch family for depicting him taking a bribe. Instead, eyewitness accounts from survivors contradict that idea and acknowledge that he worked diligently until the end. Therefore, Cameron also endowed William Murdoch's hometown school district, (Dalbeattie Scotland), in his honor.
Over 1,500 souls that night were lost in the North Atlantic. But William Murdoch's unyielding devotion to his duty saved nearly 75% of the survivors from the grim reaper.
Like the gentleman in the toilet on the Atlantic City boardwalk, I'm certain that few guests (and crew), on the Titanic could have predicted their infamous demise. But if you are one of the few people today who haven't filed your taxes yet, you're in luck because this year, Tax Day has been extended to April 18th. So save yourself from the grim reaper, or at least a lot of aggravation, and git'r done.