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April 11, 2012

Indiana cardsharp one of few men to escape Titanic

(Continued)

ANDERSON, Ind. —

He told the Journal, "The boat suddenly tilted, so sharply that my highball slid from the table.

"Then came a cry: 'We’re sinking,' and the lights grew dimmer and dimmer and finally went out."

Romaine made it into Lifeboat 9.

Today, Romaine’s great-great niece, Kay Hite, lives in Anderson. She is related to Romaine on her mother’s side. Hite met Romaine’s widow, Doll, once at a family Thanksgiving gathering in Indiana. Hite, now 71, was about 10, so the outing was perhaps in 1940.

Doll Romaine lived well in the high society of New York, relatives said. Hite recalled how she "taught me how to pass the creamer to the person next to me."

Hite said she's long had an interest in the history of the Titanic, among the greatest maritime disasters ever. Years ago, she said, a British writer of a book about the ship gave her a small piece of metal from it.

Hite and her relatives are well aware of their relationship to Romaine.

"My grandchildren think it’s wonderful," she said. "They’re real proud of that fact."

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Scott Miley is a reporter for the Anderson, Ind., Herald-Bulletin. Contact him at scott.miley@heraldbulletin.com.

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