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View Full Version : "The church bell chimed 'til it rang twenty-nine times...."



Kent A Bathurst
11-07-2010, 10:27 AM
"...for each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald."

Good retrospective article, with remarkable photos, in today's Detroit Free Press. Wednesday is the 35th anniversary of the sinking.

"...the gales of November remembered."

http://www.freep.com/article/20101106/NEWS06/311060003/1318/Ghostly-views-of-the-Edmund-Fitzgerald

Leigh Costello
11-10-2010, 2:25 AM
Wow. Thank you for sharing.

Rob Steffeck
11-10-2010, 12:31 PM
This is a very good video with some great images of the Edmund Fitzgerald (song isn't bad either):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgI8bta-7aw

Charles Wiggins
11-10-2010, 12:54 PM
"...for each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald."

Good retrospective article, with remarkable photos, in today's Detroit Free Press. Wednesday is the 35th anniversary of the sinking.

"...the gales of November remembered."

http://www.freep.com/article/20101106/NEWS06/311060003/1318/Ghostly-views-of-the-Edmund-Fitzgerald

I did not realize that it was that recent.

Kent A Bathurst
11-10-2010, 3:58 PM
I did not realize that it was that recent.


Yeah - when the song originally came out, there was some backlash at Lightfoot about riding the wreck for personal gain, but he insisted, and all the surviving familes supported him, that it was a tribute to the men in the face of a terrible storm + disaster. Without the song, the wreck would have faded from memory. The line "twenty-nine times..." is a tribute that will last probably forever.

Tucked in a corner in downtown Detroit, by the Rennaissance Center and the access to the tunnel under the Detroit River to Windsor, ONT, and the river itself, is the Mariner's Church. Fascinating historical place in its own right, emphasized now by the annual Fitz service and the song reference.

Kent A Bathurst
11-10-2010, 4:05 PM
This is a very good video with some great images of the Edmund Fitzgerald (song isn't bad either):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgI8bta-7aw

Very good, Rob. Thanks.

Rich Aldrich
11-10-2010, 7:20 PM
I was 13 years old when this happen. I remember the storm and how strong the wind was. As a youngster, storms bothered me, but this one had a special strange feeling.

That evening, my dad and I walked over to my grandparents house to reload rifle bullets for deer season. My grandma came down in the basement and was telling us about one of the ore freighters being in trouble. There was something about it on the news, but it hadnt been reported yet that it the ship went down.

One of the girls in my class had a father that worked on the freighters. I remember the next day how scared she was until she found out her dad was safe. She new he wasnt on the Edmund Fitzgerald, but she said when storms hit the great lakes, you dont know the crews are safe until you hear from them.

Matt Meiser
11-10-2010, 7:52 PM
I didn't realize that it was this recent either. I heard it mentioned on the radio this morning, but I was surprised after watching the video that there wasn't a big article in The Toledo Blade about it this morning since a large percentage of the crew was from metro Toledo.

Kent A Bathurst
11-10-2010, 8:10 PM
...........I was 13 years old when this happen. I remember the storm and how strong the wind was.........


Winds variously reported from 50 to 90 mph. The trailing Anderson reported waves to 16 feet, and other reports to 25 feet, but when the wind had shifted to the NW, there was a 100+ mile fetch. With a constant terrible wind pushing it. It could well have been like the final scenes in the movie A Perfect Storm.

Unless you have been on the shores of Superior in a big storm, it is just not possible to comprehend. It is nothing like what most of us would consider a "lake" - far from it. And the Fitz was 729 feet long, and a modern vessel. Imagine all of the mariners in the preceeding centuries......

The haunting line from the song - "does anyone know where the love of God goes, when the wind turns the minutes to hours?".

Ken Fitzgerald
11-10-2010, 8:13 PM
Kent,

I have what is considered a fairly decent stereo system. The song by Lightfoot is haunting. I don't know who engineered it but it truly was a very well engineered and produced recording.

Larry Edgerton
11-12-2010, 7:49 AM
I have spent some time on Superior, it is an intimidating body of water. I had a 28' Nimble Nomad, a trawler hull, very seaworthy, and still I was always watching the sky as the lake can change very fast.

I have a neighbor that is a captian on an ore freighter, and it is his contention that it is the hardest body of water on boat, structurally, that you will run across. According to him the cause is the frequency of the waves and the vibration that it sets up in the hull. In an ocean setting you may have 30 foot waves, but they are maybe 3-400 feet apart. On Superior due the the bottom shape/depth and the long run the prevailing winds get at the water you can get 30' waves, but they may only be 30' apart. This sets up a resonation in the hull that can break apart the structure. This is what sends them to the bottom. He also stated that many ships that can do well in the ocean would break apart in a Superior storm for this reason. It is not uncommon to see ocean going vessels in a cove when Superior is acting up and yet the ore freighters that are designed for this water are still running.

Larry Edgerton
11-12-2010, 7:52 AM
Kent,

I have what is considered a fairly decent stereo system. The song by Lightfoot is haunting. I don't know who engineered it but it truly was a very well engineered and produced recording.

I agree, it still chokes me up a bit when I hear it. Kind of like Country Joe McDonalds "March of the dead".