The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

Today is the 30th anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald. She encountered heavy weather in Lake Superior and was only 17 miles from the safety of Whitefish Bay when she foundered and sank, with the loss of all 29 officers and crew. The sinking was immortalized by one of my favorite folk singers, Gordon Lightfoot, in the song, The Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald.


  1. I was the editor of the college newspaper, The Compass, at Lake Superior State in Sault Ste. Marie, MI when the Fitz sank. I have never experienced such a storm.

    Bill Rabe, newsman extraordinaire, was the head of public relations at LSSC in those days, and he had photos of the lone life raft found by the Coast Guard,which we published in our story about the sinking.

    Nov. 10 is always a melancholy day for me.

  2. I love Lightfoot's music as much as anyone else. I was brought up on it. My father played his stuff on the guitar.

    But I can't feel the same way about him since I learned that he's a scientologist.

    I'm sorry. I want to love you, Gord. I'll listen to your incredible music. But I can't respect you.

  3. Lake Superior was whipped up with strong wind yesterday: 20-foot swells and blasting gusts. I've been in 4 to 6 foot swells, and all I can say is I'd hate to imagine being out there on that awful night 30 years ago. Fuck. But bless the memory of the dead.

  4. Oh, I should have used that as my Thursday Poem, but I'm terrible at remembering anniversaries ahead of time. Well, a couple of weeks ago I used Stan Rogers' White Squall which covers some of the same ground.

    As much as I love sea songs, it still amazes me that one of them is among the most widely recognized and admired pop tunes ever.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts