Can You Vague That Up For Me?

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When the skies of November turn gloomy

In July, when we were on our family vacation in the Upper Peninsula, I drove up to one of my favorite spots on the planet – Whitefish Point. It’s breathtakingly beautiful – rolling waves, seemingly endless expanses of sky and water and miles of rock covered sand.

I wandered along the beach for several hours shooting video, taking pictures and of course, picking up rocks and driftwood. As I was lugging my bag of treasures back up the beach, I stumbled across what I thought was a pile of stones and driftwood made by bored kids, but as I looked closer, I realized it was a makeshift memorial by the families of three of the sailors on the Edmund Fitzgerald – Ransom Cundy, Bruce Hudson and Thomas Bentsen.

I was a little kid when the ship sank, but I remember going to mass at my grandparents’ church with my mom and gram and saying prayers for the sailors. When we moved to a city near Detroit a few years later, the radio stations would broadcast the ringing of the bells at the Mariners’ Church (aka the Maritime Sailors’ Cathedral) every November 10th. It was such a sad, mournful sound. Somehow, it sounded worse over late 1970s FM radio. When I came upon the memorial I stopped for a minute, the memory of those sad, static-y bells perfectly clear in my head. I added three rocks to the pile.

Even though it’s been 35 years, these three men still have families that love and miss them. They don’t have a grave to visit, but they have this gorgeous, peaceful spot. I’m guessing they must come to Whitefish Point fairly often since the memorial wasn’t there when I was up there two years ago. I think it’s a really beautiful testament to love and remembrance.

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7 thoughts on “When the skies of November turn gloomy

  1. What a wonderful, touching thing to stumble across!

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  2. What a touching story.

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  3. I'm impressed that you didn't just start scraping those stones into a bucket and hightail it your car.

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  4. Wow… I still remember that song… I swear they always used to play it on the radio in certain parts of Ontario. I think I used it for history answers, lol.

    Very touching post and a reminder that those we love aren't that far away if we just remember.

    Glad Matt is back…now he can help you let the crazy out sssslllloooowwww.

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  5. Oh, one of my favorite places EVER. Now I'm already planning a summer trip.

    And the memorial, what a lovely thing to find. Absolutely touching.

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  6. What a wonderful story! I remember the song, too, but seeing something like this drives home the fact that that it was a true story. Thanks for reminding us.

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  7. what a beautiful story. it touches my innermost. people live and die. but no matter what, our hearts is the best place they can remain.

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