Ask anyone who works on the Titanic how they view their job, and words like “wonderful,” “amazing,” and “honored” overflow. These are not the words of the employees who labored on the 1912 ship, but the voices of employees who work at the Titanic Pigeon Forge Museum of Tennessee.
‘First Officer’ Ron Green hails from London; in a beautiful accent he tells a family of museum visitors about the dogs who sailed on Titanic. He catches both children’s and parent’s attention as he gives details about a dog named Frou-Frou. The family is visiting the first exhibit room of the attraction; every question they ask, Green can answer. He tells the incredible survival story of passenger Rosa Abbott. “When you learn about the people of Titanic, it’s as if you know them,” he explains. “How do we pay tribute? We’re honored to tell the story.” Green explains he “loves, loves, loves” his job at the museum. Visiting with “people from all walks of life,” he loves best to tell stories about Titanic’s people, also from all walks of life.
Employee Misty Green is clad in the dress of a First Class Maid. Standing on the re-creation of the Grand Staircase, she explains how the real staircase was built, and of future exhibits in the museum. She loves her job. “You learn something new every day,” she says excitedly. “It’s been a dream to work here. And, if we don’t tell the passenger’s stories we can’t keep them alive.” Her favorite museum area to work is “with kids. I love educating them. Some of them already know a lot about Titanic.”
Lori Rodriguez is also a ‘First Class Maid,’ and she can be found in the gift shop or in any one of the museum rooms. She takes her position seriously: she can recite trivia, give facts, and tell of life aboard Titanic. She is excited that this year, “I’m the same age as (famous survivor) Margaret Brown!” Rodriguez loves dressing as a First Class Maid (“There were 23 of them aboard” she cites) and, most of all, loves her employers, Owner John Joslyn and his wife, General Manager Mary Kellogg-Joslyn. “They do special, little things for people,” Rodriguez explains, like the time a boy with a life-threatening disease visited. “Mary allowed him to select anything he wanted from the gift shop, for free.” Kellogg-Joslyn has also jumped in to assist employees, including small chores like dusting, despite her title. “She’s just that way,” says Rodriguez. Besides “working for the greatest people ever,” Rodriguez loves the history and educating the public.
A gentleman who acts as Captain Smith wanders through the museum. At one point he stands near a life-size photograph of the real Captain Smith. Visitors look up from a display case and do a double take. “Good day,” says the ‘Captain’ in a pleasant baritone. Not only does he portray Smith, he has been to the actual Titanic on a dive. “Can you imagine?” ‘First Class Maid’ Lori Rodriguez asked. “He can tell you so much about both the history and seeing it in real life.”
The employees of Titanic Pigeon Forge are as enamored with Titanic as the people who board her to visit daily. They do not just rattle off trivia and facts, but are interested in the history of the world’s most famous ship and tragedy at sea. “It’s truly an honor to be part of this,” First Officer Ron Green says. Then he wanders off to a new group of visitors to continue the voyage.