Phyllis Titus grew up hearing the story of a grandfather she’d never met who booked passage on the Titanic and missed its departure by seven minutes. She’d always wondered how this happened, and what could possibly have kept him from boarding the ship. It was not until 1997, while attending the Memphis opening of “Titanic-The Exhibition”, that her questions were finally answered. That’s when she learned about the purpose for her grandfather’s European trip, the mysterious woman he met while travelling across the Atlantic, their planned rendezvous at the Southampton Dock before returning to the States on Titanic’s maiden voyage, and the reason why he never made it aboard.
In the years since then, Mrs. Titus has shared a condensed version of this story with countless people, including strangers who ask her to explain the meaning of the “7MINSL8” message on her license plates.