Skip to comments.In the Edmund Fitzgerald's wake
Posted on 11/09/2005 8:58:59 PM PST by wallcrawlr
Thirty years after the wreck, a crew member's son comes to terms with his loss.
ASHLAND, WIS. - Having lived all of his life on the shores of Lake Superior, Bruce Kalmon knows how cruel November can be.
< snip >
Kalmon says he can only hope he's alone when "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" is played on the radio, as it frequently is around the Great Lakes this time of year. He likes the Gordon Lightfoot ballad, but it can get to him, especially "that line about the old cook."
His father, Allen Kalmon, was second cook on the Fitzgerald when the freighter sank with all 29 of its crewmen 30 years ago today. Allen Kalmon was 43. His son was 11 and at home in Washburn, Wis., with his mother and four sisters that night.
He and a sister were waiting for Johnny Carson's monologue when the Duluth TV station they were watching broadcast a bulletin with the unbelievable news that their father's vessel was missing.
"My first thought was, 'How could that huge boat be missing?' " Kalmon, now 41, said last week at his home in Ashland, on the lake's south shore. "I told myself that at least dad is a good swimmer."
He prayed in bed while his mother stayed up making urgent phone calls. In the morning, she came to his bedside and gently asked if he knew what the missing-ship report meant.
"It means that dad's dead," he remembers replying.
(Excerpt) Read more at startribune.com ...
Link to webcast of "Night Watch for the Edmund Fitzgerald", 4:30 PM today from Dossin Great Lakes Museum:
(The Wretch that is Patrick Fitzgerald)
Is that painting based on actual sonar readings of the wreck or is it just a painter's imagination?
If your interested, Gordon Lightfoot wrote and sang another song about a shipwreck. It's titled "Ballad of the Yarmouth Castle", about an aging cruise ship out of Florida that catches fire at sea. Here's a link to the words.
Near the center of the graphic you can see a small yellow robotic vehicle shining its light down onto the wreck. I believe this painting was done based on the images of the wreck that were gathered a few years ago during an exploration of the site to conduct research about the ship's demise.
God, what a picture.
That song is unforgettable.
bump my own thread...how low have I gone...
Not many songs get me choked up, thats one of 'em.
We certainly had the "Gales of November" on the big lake yesterday with gusts up to 60 mph. Occasionally the big freighters will duck into the Keweenaw Portage to wait out the storms.
Once in while you'll see old timbers laying on the beach. Whether these are timbers from old shipwrecks is anyone's guess.
Chicago had a gale blow down from Superior in November 1998. I had to drive from the northside to the southside and on the south end of the Illinois Tollway, there's a section that goes through a rock quarry pit-- no wind break. It was a white-knuckle drive all the way. I sat in a restaurant and watched as roadsigns shuddered and debris blew by -- just like what you see when a hurricane hits someplace. I can't even imagine what it would be like to be on the lake when one of these hits.
Thanks for posting this touching story. God bless all those men lost, and their families.
how about 'the wreck of ol' teddy kennedy'?
commissioned to be built feb 1, 1957 for Norwestern Mutual
Insurance to be the largest on the Great Lakes.
It was named for their CEO .
built in River Rouge, MI
christened june 8, 1958
One of the Coast Guard officers who took part in the search/rescue operations for the Edmund Fitzgerald apparently said that the weather on Lake Superior on the night of November 10, 1975 was worse than anything he had seen on the North Atlantic.
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