[personal profile] damont
Most folks above a certain age (and some below that age) are aware of what happened forty years ago this evening, if only because of the very well-known song that Gordon Lightfoot wrote about it. On 10 November 1975, an early and vicious winter storm hit Lake Superior, and took down the SS Edmund Fitzgerald with all her 29 crew.

My father-in-law was a merchant mariner -- an engineer to be specific -- up through the mid-1960s, when a medical condition caused his retirement. His son was career Navy, also in engineering. Tonight my thoughts are with all those who go down to the sea in ships, with special prayers for those (and the family and friends of those) who didn't come back.

Here's an excellent video with an intro of what I think is an ABC newscast from the following day, footage of the big ship herself, and Gordon singing the song live in the background: The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

Date: 2015-11-11 03:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hrj.livejournal.com
It is startling to realize that I had always thought that song was about a long-historic event. Also startling to realize that the song was written when I was in college. It's always felt like an "always-there classic" to me. As excuse, I'll note that I was living in Europe at the time of the disaster so it may have been less present in the news that I was paying attention to.

Date: 2015-11-12 04:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dr-zrfq.livejournal.com
I can see how this news item might not have made much of a mark in Europe at the time. I noted it on the evening news on the 11th, as the Edmund Fitz was the biggest boat I'd ever seen on fresh water. (I think I actually saw it on the St. Lawrence Seaway some summer between '69 and '75. Can't remember if it was in T.I. Park or the locks at Massena. Anything bigger wouldn't go through the locks!)

It would probably be nearly forgotten now had it not been for the song. Gordon Lightfoot said that one reason he wrote the song was so people would remember.

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