Archive for November 10th, 2010

Today is the 35th anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald, the huge freighter that went down in a storm on Lake Superior in 1975, taking all 29 crew members with it to the bottom.  It’s a tragedy that would’ve faded into obscurity except for Gordon Lightfoot’s hit song that came out in 1976, forever searing the name Edmund Fitzgerald in our collective memory.  Most of us can’t think of the name of another freighter wreck  or freighter, for that matter.  It even turns up on an episode of Seinfeld.

The song always strikes a chord with me and brings back memories of going up to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in the early 70’s where my sister’s husband was stationed at  Kincheloe Air Force Base, which closed its gates in 1977.   We visited the locks at Sault Saint Marie where the great freighters passed between Lake Superior and Lake Huron, and spent some time looking down on the huge bare decks of the ships as they slowly passed.  For all I know, the Edmund Fitzgerald may have been one of them.

I mention this today for no reason other than the memory of those big boats back then and the song that memorialized it and its 29 crewmen as they went down in the big lake they call Gitche Gumee

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