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Thread: Nov. 10, 1975 - The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

  1. #1
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    Nov. 10, 1975 - The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

    35 years ago today. This probably wouldnt be as memorable to me if I didnt spend 4 years at school watching the freighters move through the locks. I cant imagine what that night was like for these men. In the haunting words from Gordon Lightfoots song "Does anyone know where the love of God goes when the waves turn the minutes to hours?"

    ******** width="480" height="385">******* name="movie" value="https://www.youtube.com/v/hgI8bta-7aw?fs=1&hl=en_US">******* name="allowFullScreen" value="true">******* name="allowscriptaccess" value="always">******* src="https://www.youtube.com/v/hgI8bta-7aw?fs=1&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385">

  2. #2
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    Re: Nov. 10, 1975 - The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

    The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
    Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
    The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
    When the skies of November turn gloomy.

    With a load of iron ore - 26,000 tons more
    Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty
    That good ship and true was a bone to be chewed
    When the gales of November came early

    The ship was the pride of the American side
    Coming back from some mill in Wisconsin
    As the big freighters go it was bigger than most
    With a crew and the Captain well seasoned.

    Concluding some terms with a couple of steel firms
    When they left fully loaded for Cleveland
    And later that night when the ships bell rang
    Could it be the North Wind they'd been feeling.

    The wind in the wires made a tattletale sound
    And a wave broke over the railing
    And every man knew, as the Captain did, too,
    T'was the witch of November come stealing.

    The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait
    When the gales of November came slashing
    When afternoon came it was freezing rain
    In the face of a hurricane West Wind

    When supper time came the old cook came on deck
    Saying fellows it's too rough to feed ya
    At 7PM a main hatchway caved in
    He said fellas it's been good to know ya.

    The Captain wired in he had water coming in
    And the good ship and crew was in peril
    And later that night when his lights went out of sight
    Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

    Does anyone know where the love of God goes
    When the waves turn the minutes to hours
    The searchers all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay
    If they'd put fifteen more miles behind her.

    They might have split up or they might have capsized
    They may have broke deep and took water
    And all that remains is the faces and the names
    Of the wives and the sons and the daughters.

    Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings
    In the ruins of her ice water mansion
    Old Michigan steams like a young man's dreams,
    The islands and bays are for sportsmen.

    And farther below Lake Ontario
    Takes in what Lake Erie can send her
    And the iron boats go as the mariners all know
    With the gales of November remembered.

    In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed
    In the Maritime Sailors' Cathedral
    The church bell chimed, 'til it rang 29 times
    For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald.

    The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
    Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
    Superior, they say, never gives up her dead
    When the gales of November come early.
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    Re: Nov. 10, 1975 - The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

    Having lived next to Lake Superior for several years... you couldn't pay me to spend time on that lake in a storm. Crews on lakers have a hell of a job around this time of year.
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    Re: Nov. 10, 1975 - The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

    Imagine reading of your father's death in the paper:

    DETROIT, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- The daughter of the cook on the Edmund Fitzgerald says she learned of his death from a newspaper account of the vessel's sinking on Lake Superior in 1975.

    Pam Johnson is to speak Wednesday at a ceremony in a Detroit suburb marking the 35th anniversary of the loss of the "Mighty Fitz," the Flint (Mich.) Journal reports. Robert Rafferty, her father, was one of 29 men killed on Nov. 10, 1975, when the Fitzgerald, carrying a load of taconite from Superior, Wis., to Detroit, went down in Canadian waters during a vicious storm.

    The sinking became the best-known one on the Great Lakes, partly because of the Gordon Lightfoot ballad "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," which was released a year later. The cook and the captain, although not named, are the only specific members of the crew mentioned.

    Johnson, who now lives in Kansas, said she met Lightfoot backstage at a concert 24 years after she lost her father. He asked her if she was offended by the lines about her father and she told him she was "honored."

    "He was proud that he sailed in the Great Lakes and that he was a cook," she told the newspaper.

    The ceremony Wednesday is to be held in River Rouge, near Detroit.
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    Re: Nov. 10, 1975 - The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

    Quote Originally Posted by Beer Pong Horn View Post
    Having lived next to Lake Superior for several years... you couldn't pay me to spend time on that lake in a storm. Crews on lakers have a hell of a job around this time of year.
    RE your rep: Its quite the powerful video. The guy who put it together did a heck of a job with the newscast, the photos and the actual radio transmissions from the other ships in the area.

  6. #6
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    Re: Nov. 10, 1975 - The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

    Radio chatter from after the Fitzgerald went down.
    ******** width="480" height="385">******* name="movie" value="https://www.youtube.com/v/oyaEDWf_dG8?fs=1&hl=en_US">******* name="allowFullScreen" value="true">******* name="allowscriptaccess" value="always">******* src="https://www.youtube.com/v/oyaEDWf_dG8?fs=1&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385">
    bueller: Why is the sunset good? Why are boobs good? Why does Positrack work? Why does Ferris lose on the road and play dead at home?

    It just happens.


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    Re: Nov. 10, 1975 - The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

    Proud, check your rep because that video was amazing. Thank you for sharing it.
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    Re: Nov. 10, 1975 - The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

    Every November 10th the shut down Split Rock lighthouse near Two Harbors, MN lights its beacon. Pretty powerful.

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    Re: Nov. 10, 1975 - The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

    Quote Originally Posted by bigmrg74 View Post
    Radio chatter from after the Fitzgerald went down.
    ******** width="480" height="385">******* name="movie" value="https://www.youtube.com/v/oyaEDWf_dG8?fs=1&hl=en_US">******* name="allowFullScreen" value="true">******* name="allowscriptaccess" value="always">******* src="https://www.youtube.com/v/oyaEDWf_dG8?fs=1&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385">
    Wow. Thats kind of tough to listen to. Made the hairs on my neck stand up.

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    Re: Nov. 10, 1975 - The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

    Bringing this thread back today and thinking of all those affected by loss on the Lakes, as well anyone who has been lost at sea.

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    Re: Nov. 10, 1975 - The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

    very nice. remembering all the brave men who sailed the lakes. my father was one.
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    Re: Nov. 10, 1975 - The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

    I was at Whitefish Point the day they retrieved the ship's bell. It was one of the most exhilarating experiences I have had.

    Thoughts to the deceased and their families on this anniversary.

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    Re: Nov. 10, 1975 - The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

    This is one of those times where things happened so suddenly and so surprisingly that there are no "coulda, woulda, shoulda" things. Not even for a rescue.

    Just one moment, you are ok, the next, you are in trouble, and before you know it, it's over. For everyone. Can hear that in the comments during the search.

    Still a shock after so long.

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    Re: Nov. 10, 1975 - The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

    Having numerous ties to the U.P. and the Great Lakes area, I was taught a lot about this incident. The "Big Fitz" was almost the Titanic of the Great Lakes. The flagship...my dad told me about the absolute shock that swept over the community when the news came.

    It's amazing to look at the weather patterns in November on Superior...especially when that storm hit...almost completely unbelievable.

    R.I.P. to the 29 brave men who perished on the night.
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    Re: Nov. 10, 1975 - The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

    I posted the lost audio tape video to my facebook today and listened to it. I still cannot listen to it without getting a little choked up. The fear in the captains voice as he responds to the Coast Guard asking him to go back to search...I cant even fathom it. It almost sounds like the Coast Guard guy can't even comprehend what is going on. He sounds so unsure of what to say sometimes.

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    Re: Nov. 10, 1975 - The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

    Quote Originally Posted by dubbie31 View Post
    Having numerous ties to the U.P. and the Great Lakes area, I was taught a lot about this incident. The "Big Fitz" was almost the Titanic of the Great Lakes. The flagship...my dad told me about the absolute shock that swept over the community when the news came.

    It's amazing to look at the weather patterns in November on Superior...especially when that storm hit...almost completely unbelievable.

    R.I.P. to the 29 brave men who perished on the night.
    Growing up in Minnesota...it was one of the most influencial cultural events of my childhood. To this day, it still haunt the north shore.
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    Re: Nov. 10, 1975 - The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

    I live in Upstate New York right near the St. Lawrence River and I see the big lakers come by and I love it. I may not have been alive for the actual wreck, but it's still a big deal up here because the Captain had ties to Ogdensburg, NY, which isn't that far from where I live.
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    Re: Nov. 10, 1975 - The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

    Quote Originally Posted by 5mn_Major View Post
    Growing up in Minnesota...it was one of the most influencial cultural events of my childhood. To this day, it still haunts the north shore.
    I imagine this feeling is widely shared in all of the Great Lakes states, and of course Ontario. I actually grew up in MN too, including a full summer in Duluth. I loved watching the ore boats in Canal Park. We could also see them from our house, though that was a good ways up the hill. My wife grew up walking distance from the Lake Erie shore in OH, and has similar childhood memories of the boats. Separately we each experienced The Wreck as a huge event. After we met, we each appreciated that the other understood the significance. Later on, we had the privilege of hearing Gordon Lightfoot perform the song, sitting just four rows from the stage. That brought back intense memories. The videos posted here did too. Sincere thanks to Proud2baLaker and bigmrg74.

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    Re: Nov. 10, 1975 - The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

    This reminds me that I saw the Arthur M. Anderson once or twice in my youth (the 90s), and being a shipwreck buff that was a big deal for me at the time. I just looked it up, and amazingly she is still in service. I can't really begin to imagine which would be worse - going down with the Fitzgerald, or being in the wheelhouse onboard the Anderson, watching the Fitz suddenly disappear from the radar screen, and trying to tell yourself that it must be a glitch or a mistake, but quietly knowing that no one could possibly survive a sinking in that storm. Horrible either way.
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    Re: Nov. 10, 1975 - The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

    Bringing the thread back in remembrance for all who have been lost on the Lakes.

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