I MAY TAKE VETERANS' DAY OFF, SO:
THE WRECK of the EDMUND FITZGERALD: The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down of the big lake they called Gitche Gumee. This is the 45th anniversary of the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald -- 729 feet-long, 75 feet in breadth, 39 feet in depth, weighing 13,632 gross tons -- an ore bulk carrier with a capacity of 25,000 tons. When it was launched on June 7 1958, at the Great Lakes Engineering Works in River Rouge, Michigan, Fitzgerald was the largest ship on the Great Lakes. Here's misty, water-colored video of the launch.
The "Queen of the Great Lakes" sank in the eastern end of Lake Superior during a fierce storm -- including snow squalls -- that pounded the ship with 30-foot waves. The crew of 29 men perished; without witnesses, a definitive reason has never been determined. A Coast Guard report suggested that faulty hatches failed to keep water out of the ship's cargo holds, though others believe the ship struck an uncharted shoal and took on water. A documentary created and aired by the Discovery Channel concluded the loss was due to freak waves that overwhelmed the faulty hatches.
After the wreck, the Rev. Richard Ingalls went to Mariners' Church in Detroit and rang its bell 29 times, once for each life lost. The church continues to hold an annual memorial, which includes reading the names of the crewmen and ringing the church bell. Here's video of Rev. Ingalls recounting that night. More than 250 people gathered at the church for the 40th anniversary, which was expanded to remember victims from all tragedies on the Great Lakes. And here's a remembrance from a brother of one of the lost crew members.
At the request of family members surviving her crew, Fitzgerald's 200 lb. bronze bell was recovered by the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society in 1995, as a joint project with the National Geographic Society, Canadian Navy, Sony Corporation, and Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. The bell is now on display in the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. Here's a brief video from one of the underwater explorations of the wreck. Fmr newsman Larry Elliot recalls the remote expedition. And here is a story from one of the two scuba divers to ever reach the sunken hull. Throw in the 3-D animation, and you'll feel just like Bill Paxton.
The song by Gordon Lightfoot spent 21 straight weeks on the pop charts, peaking at No. 2. Here, Lightfoot discusses writing the song, and the lyrics he's changed. And there's a homemade video for it, which I highly recommend. Beats the tar of Celine Dion! (PS: Ken King -- who has lived on the U.P. of Michigan, says the gales of November are quite something.)
UNEARTHED, VOL. 13: All Wrongs Reversed, incl. Pavement, Guided By Voices, Yo La Tengo, and more.
MICKEY GUYTON plays a Tiny Desk Concert from home.
BJORK shares "Cosmogony."
LOU BARLOW covers the theme to Paw Patrol.
DEAN & BRITTA, Forever at Home.
THE BALLAD of Billy Joe Shaver And Jerry Jeff Walker, Country Outlaws.
45 GREAT MUSIC DOCUMENTARIES TO STREAM, according to BrooklynVegan.
IS SPOTIFY'S new discovery mode a form of payola?
THE NUMBER ONES looks at Starship's "We Built This City," the fabled general-consensus worst song of all time.
AMC & CINEMARK stock soared on news of a coronavirus vaccine.
REGAL CINEMAS will shutter the 18 locations the chain left open in New York and California, effective Thursday.
HOW JOHNNY DEPP got pulled from the Fantastic Beasts franchise.
DOMINIC WEST's marriage is “as good as over” thanks to his relationship with Lily James, if one believes The Sun.
JON HAMM, on filming Top Gun: Maverick with Tom Cruise.
STOOGES IN SPACE: How John C. Reilly, Tim Heidecker, and Fred Armisen teamed up for ‘Moonbase 8,' and ended up trapped in isolation together.
KEN SPEARS, co-creator of the beloved animated series "Scooby-Doo" and co-founder of Ruby-Spears Productions along with the late Joe Ruby, died Friday. He was 82.
VETERANS' DAY: Tomorrow is the observation of the anniversary of the end of WWI; thank a vet today, and read the excellent 2009 piece by the WaPo's David Ignatius that may be more true today.
POTATO does not like Daylight Savings Time.
TINY TIM, a baby bunny rescued on Easter.
DID YOU LOSE a Goat named Maverick?