One of my favorite professors in college was a short Russian/Siberian geographer from Buryatia, which is to say she's from the middle of the middle of nowhere. It's not a place you can just decide to visit one day and arrive the next unless you've got a military jet on hand. She went to college in Moscow and could only visit her home irregularly. Overcome with allergies while living far away from home in the city she decided it was time to back. After a long journey she landed in a small plane a few miles walk from her home. Her mom was there and as she started the walk she could smell the sap from a tree that snapped in half. The burning of this tree sap in the sun created such a powerful sent that she was overcome and her allergies cleared up instantly. I feel the same way about the Gulf Coast, when I'm away for a long time and I get back to the salty sea I suddenly feel rejuvenated. Where your from is a part of you. The wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald was 36 years ago, but to people who grew up on the Lakes, people like Autojunkie, it's still a part of where they're from.
All joking aside...
36 years after the fact, it's still hard to accept that something so tragic could happen on the Great Lakes. Being a Michigander means being part of the Great Lakes. It also means having friends and family members working on the Great Lakes ships as merchant marines.
Most of us here take the Great Lakes system for granted and see them as being so powerful and downright scary like the oceans, but they are. They can turn on you in a moments notice and have the ability to take down, as well-known 36 years later, the largest of ships.
I'm reminded of the Edmunds wreck every time I know that one of my friends or family is out there working. I'm reminded of it everytime I drive by the Maritime Sailors' Cathedral downtown.
It's hard to believe it's been 36 years already...
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