Monday, January 11, 2010

The Unsinkable Molly Brown's

Gutsy and kind-the world would have us believe this is a rare combination, that these people aren’t completely trustworthy. I ask you, who is? Show me a perfect person and I’ll kiss a gecko! I don’t expect I’ll ever have to do this. I’m terrified of them. And I’ve yet to see perfection, not in life, people or love. But despite this, we can accomplish more than we realize.

Case in point: Molly Brown. Born Margaret Tobin in Hannibal Missouri in 1867, she was taught progressive views by her parents. At age 13 she worked in a factory and volunteered in soup kitchens encountering head on struggles of the working class. Later, employed at a hotel, she met Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) who mentioned there were riches to be found in Colorado, where she later moved.

After meeting her future husband J.J. Brown, poor like herself, she said this. “I wanted a rich man but I loved Jim Brown.” A few years later, J.J. did strike it wealthy when his engineering skills landed an ore mine for Ibex Mining. Although they lived lavishly, her giving nature didn’t wane. Poor times, wealthy times, it didn’t matter. She gave from her heart, like she always had. One doesn’t need money to have a philanthropic influence.

She is best known for being a survivor on the Titanic but what some might not know is how she rallied the first class passengers into giving money to help the less fortunate survivors, those who had lost everything. Before the rescue ship Carpathia had reached New York, she had raised 10,000 dollars! Did she accomplish this by being too kind? Or being too gutsy? Of course! This woman knew it took both to make a fire.

When the Carpathia arrived in New York, 30,000 people were waiting. Her deeds had already preceded her. When asked by reporters how she survived, she said, “Typical Brown Luck. We’re unsinkable.”

There are many men and women who quietly light up the world for others. It could be they’ve baked something for a sick neighbor. Or taken time for a sad friend. Maybe they’ve tried to understand someone instead of judging them. I’m honored to know many of these genuine people. They know who they are.

Close your eyes and keep your mind wide open. Things are not always as they seem. See the blinking fireflies? A lit candle? A black, dead night crackles and sparks with one. Add a strand and we’ve lit up a dark corner of the world. We are among stars. I’m lucky enough to call some friends. Perhaps you are an unsinkable Molly Brown. I try to be but some days are better than others. Such is life.


  1. yes some days are better then others, but that's when we need to dig deeper and smile wider;

    nice post

  2. I'm all for that, Paige! Thanks.

  3. If you ever, EVER have to kiss a gecko, will you please take a picture for posterity? :) You're a funny gal, Dorraine! Every time I stop by, I find reasons to smile. Thank you!

  4. For you, yes, I'd take that picture. But I'm telling ya, it ain't ever gonna happen!

    Once I had a gecko inside my house and tried to suck it up with the vacuum hose because I sure wasn't about to touch the darn thing. They jump, you know. I wasn't planning on hurting it. Catch and release. With a shaky hand I held the vacuum hose up to the fireplace and it jumped on the floor, stood on it's hind legs, flesh around it's head flaring, and charged me! That thing raced on two toothpick sized legs, mad as hell.

    It was like some prehistoric dinosaur thingie. Liked to gave me an attack of the heart. On the staircase I calmed down, it still running in circles. I was close to the front door and quickly opened it. The darn thing ran right out. Adios. Good riddance. True story, I swear!

    Are you still smiling? Thanks, Stacy! I enjoy hearing from you.

  5. Dorraine,

    I like her name Molly Brown and her story. What a woman! Thank you for this inspirational blog.

    About gecko, I didn’t know it’s a lizard. Does it cry geko, geko? It sounds like frogs. Very small frogs in Japan cry like that. We actually write the sound as gero gero except we have no r sound, so it's more like gelo gelo.

    So why I don't write gelo gelo in the first place? Because this is one of our idiosyncratic language system developed using roman letters. I don't know why a foreign linguist applied the usage of r alphabet when we have no such pronunciation. Somehow I always ends up writing about language.

    In Southern California, we have pretty big lizards, but in recent years, I see less and less. They are harmless, and I heard they are good for my garden. They eat up bugs. Now you mentioned it, I miss them.

  6. Hi Dorraine! Sorry, I have to jump in on the gecko thread--it is quite a grabber. My parents' home has housed generations of gecko couples for as long as I can remember. They generally hang out on a ceiling beam above our dining room, upside-down. Will try to see if my brother can get a picture.

    I've been on Twitter a lot. Lots of Molly Browns there. Keeps me in a state of constant fascination with people and their world.

  7. No, these Texas gecko's don't make a peep, Keiko. Although I half way expected that strange thing in my house to yell with a twang.

    And now that you mention it, I didn't see many gecko's here last summer either, but unlike you, this made me happy. I know, I know, they do eat bugs and I'm certain there is an upset in the natural balance if we are not seeing them around but still...

    I enjoy hearing about your language analogies, so please keep them coming!

  8. Are you serious, Carolyn? Good gosh, I would never eat again! At least not around the table. We didn't have gecko's in the midwest where I grew up, so this was a new thing for me-the Texas gecko. They used to be everywhere in the summer, but not anymore. And I swear, I had nothing to do with it!

    Yes, I suspect there are a great deal of Molly Brown's running around Twitter and otherwise. Some are quite shy.

  9. What a lovely post! I'd never heard of Molly Brown and now I'm glad to have heard of her life.


  10. Jai, have you never seen the Titanic, made in 1997, starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio? Kathy Bates,(love her) played Molly Brown. She was portrayed as the only one with guts enough to row back to the ship and pluck survivors from the water.

    None of the lifeboats were full.

    In the movie, she was told to sit down and shut her trap. The rest were afraid they'd be swamped.

    But...I didn't find any evidence that she actually did that, although it did say SHE rowed their lifeboat #6 to safety, and then rallied for what survivors needed.

    It's an excellent movie!

  11. Okay...I'm looking for the comment I left last night and can't find it. I haven't lost any for a while. Let's see if I can remember what I wrote...

    hmm...I think it was something about the fact the Molly just never seemed to give up. Not all of her deeds were huge like raising $10,000. Some acts were just small, consistent and she stayed on things like a puppy on a pant leg. I would loved to have met her and spent time with her. From this post, I get to spend a little time imagining this.

    On Geckos, we don't have to many out here in upper northern California and have never gotten one in the house. Now if you want to talk about bats...

  12. Don't you just love people who don't give up? Especially when it comes to great deeds. Molly would have been awesome to spend time with. No doubt.

    So glad you stopped back in and left your comment! You are sweet to do that. Thanks much, Ronda!

    Ewww, bats? When I was a kid, I used to cover my neck with my blanket every night to ward off bat bites. I'd watch Dark Shadows with my mom, and although I loved it, when Barnabus transformed into a bat, well, my imagination was a too vivid for my own good.

  13. Oh, yes! A Dark Shadows junkie was I. My best friend, Gaylene, and I would watch it every day after walking home from school. My mom worked and wasn't home. Her mom didn't but must have been picking up her little brothers because she was never home when it aired. It was our private time. Our imaginations were on par with yours.

    She and I would challenge each other to reading and writing marathons. We would share our most private moments, recorded in our diaries, with each other. Only best friends would do that.

    Barnabus was really creepy when he "bat switched." I totally know why you covered your neck.

  14. Oh, I somehow knew you were a Dark Shadows fan! A great show to spark the imagination. The bat switch, great wording.

    Gaylene, now that's a different name. I had a great friend growing up named Daylene, but she wasn't a vampire junkie. We rode bikes together and explored the woods. We also sang the Beetles tunes; she was Paul, me Ringo.

    You must have been true buds if you shared diary entries. I think that qualifies. :-)