Welcome to SCHOCK MCCOY PRODUCTIONS by J.H.McCoy. This website will give you information about a variety of topics: travel, nature, literature, history, and astronomy. The ARCHIVES contain some of my articles from THE MINDEN CITY HERALD. The last two pages are a tribute to my mother, Gloria (Schock) McCoy (1923-2013) - the journal she wrote on our 1977 trip out West can be found in WRITING/GSM. It is my hope that you will always find something interesting and informative on this website and that you will visit often. Please sign the guest book, and thank you for stopping by.
J.H. (John Herbert) McCoy
4:30 A.M. ET
***CLICK ON THE NAME FOR A SHORT VIDEO***
THE CAMERA SKETCH BOOK **
** With apologies to Washington Irving and THE SKETCH BOOK OF GEOFFREY CRAYON, GENT. (1819-1820).
(Click on small "pics" to enlarge)
THE "BURN BOSS" IN THE WHITE HELMET
AUTUMN LEAVES IN THE THUMB
from THE OLD TEACHER'S ALMANAC (VIDEO)
++ some photos in THE CAMERA SKETCH BOOK are edited ++
"THE QUESTION IS NOT WHAT YOU LOOK AT BUT WHAT YOU SEE."
HENRY DAVID THOREAU (1817 - 1862)
QUIET BEAUTY - A PERFECT TREE ALONG M-25
SAND BEACH TOWNSHIP
THE THUMB & THE NATION
NOV. 2 DANIEL BOONE, 1734, KENTUCKY FRONTIERSMAN
NOV. 2 JAMES K. POLK, 1795, 11TH U.S. PRESIDENT VIDEO NOV. 2 WARREN G. HARDING, 1865, 29TH U.S. PRESIDENT V
NOV. 5 ROY ROGERS, 1911, "KING OF THE COWBOYS"
NOV. 6 JOHN PHILIP SOUSA, 1854, MARCH COMPOSER
NOV. 11 GEORGE S. PATTON, 1885, WW II GENERAL
NOV. 13 ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON, 1850, NOVELIST/POET
NOV. 14 CLAUDE MONET, 1840, FRENCH PAINTER
NOV. 17 GORDON LIGHTFOOT, 1938, SINGER/SONG WRITER
NOV. 19 JAMES A. GARFIELD, 1831, 20TH U.S. PRESIDENT V.
NOV. 21 VOLTAIRE, 1694, FRENCH PHILOSOPHER
NOV. 23 FRANKLIN PIERCE, 1804, 14TH U.S. PRESIDENT VID. NOV. 24 ZACHERY TAYLOR, 1784, 12TH U.S. PRESIDENT VID.
NOV. 25 JOE DIMAGGIO, 1914, BASEBALL PLAYER/YANKEES
NOV. 30 SAMUEL CLEMENS, "MARK TWAIN," 1835, WRITER
NOV. 30 WINSTON CHURCHILL, 1874, PRIME MINISTER
SANDHILL CRANE & CORNFIELD
IN THE SUBDIVISION (SAND BEACH TOWNSHIP)
9636 Roberts Rd.
Harbor Beach, MI 48441
GOLDEN YELLOW TREES AND THE BEET HARVEST (WITH GULLS)
ANOTHER "BEAUTY" ON WHITE ROCK ROAD (WITH VULTURES)
"November is the eleventh and penultimate month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars.... November was the ninth month of the calendar of Romulus c. 750 BC. November retained its name (from the Latin novem meaning "nine") when January and February were added to the Roman calendar. November is a month of late spring in the Southern Hemisphere and late autumn in the Northern Hemisphere." [Wikipedia]
"Arthur M. Anderson &
November 10, 1975"
TREE-LINED ROAD IN THE VERONA STATE GAME AREA
ARTHUR M. ANDERSON & NOVEMBER 10, 1975
from THE MINDEN CITY HERALD, AUGUST 27, 2020
The Arthur M. Anderson, several miles offshore and low in the water, sails past the almost completely submerged White Rock on August 12, 2020
NOVEMBER 15 - FIREARM DEER SEASON - MICHIGAN
NOVEMBER 11 - VETERANS DAY - ARMISTICE DAY
(END OF WW 1 - 11TH HOUR, 11TH DAY, 11TH MONTH)
Another ship story in the ARCHIVES:
"Lee A. Tregurtha and WWII" 4/9/20
Charting vessels on the Great Lakes.
NOVEMBER 3 - PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
BARBERRY BUSHES LIGHT UP THE UNDERSTORY
Of all the freighters that sail the Great Lakes and pass by the Thumb, perhaps none is more famous than the Arthur M. Anderson. Almost forty-five years ago on November 10, 1975, she was the last ship in visual and radio contact with the Edmund Fitzgerald before the doomed vessel sank to the bottom of Lake Superior in hurricane-force winds and thirty-foot waves. The Anderson also led the efforts to find and rescue survivors. There were none.
Captain Jessie B. Cooper was in command of the Anderson on November 9, 1975,
when she left Two Harbors, Minnesota, and sailed out into a calm and sunny Lake Superior. Shortly after departure, he made contact with Ernest M. McSorley, captain of the Edmund Fitzgerald. The “Big Fitz” had overtaken and then passed his vessel as both sailed east across the lake. The two captains agreed to stay in contact and run down Lake Superior together because a dangerous storm was brewing, and gale-force winds were predicted.
The story of their fateful trip across the “Big Lake” is well documented. Numerous books have been written about the last hours of the Edmund Fitzgerald and the part
the Arthur M. Anderson played in the tragedy. There have been investigations, reports, television documentaries, and endless speculation about what happened during the storm. There is even a popular song with a poetic version of the sinking.
Gordon Lightfoot’s 1976 ballad “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” hints at the final communications between the two freighters as they battled monster waves at the eastern end of Lake Superior and desperately tried to reach the safety of Whitefish Bay:
“The captain wired in he had water comin’ in
And the good ship and crew was in peril
And later that night when ‘is lights went out of sight
Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.”
The actual radio communication between the two ships on November 10, 1975, has the same eerie quality as the song.
At about 3:30 p.m., Captain McSorley (C.M.) contacted the Anderson and informed Captain Cooper (C.C.) that his ship had been damaged in the powerful storm:
C.M. - “Anderson, this is the Fitzgerald. I have sustained some topside damage. I have
a fence row laid down, two vents lost or damaged, and a list. I’m checking down (slowing the speed). Will you stay by me ‘til I get to Whitefish?”
C.C. - “Charlie on that, Fitzgerald. Do you have your pumps going?”
C.M. - “Yes, both of them.”
The final transmission between the two ships occurred at 7:10 p.m. It was a conversation between the First Mate of the Anderson, Morgan Clark (M.C.), and Captain McSorley (C.M) on the Fitzgerald:
M.C. – “Fitzgerald, this is the Anderson. Have you checked down?”
C.M. – “Yes, we have.”
M.C. - “Fitzgerald, we are about 10 miles behind you and gaining about 1 ½ miles per hour. Fitzgerald, there is a target (another ship) 19 miles ahead of us. So the target would be 9 miles on ahead of you.” (The Fitzgerald had lost her radar and was depending on the Anderson.)
C.M. - “Am I going to clear?”
M.C. - “Yes, he is going to pass to the west of you.”
C.M. - “Well, fine.”
M.C. - “By the way, Fitzgerald, how are you making out with your problem?”
C.M. - “We are holding our own.”
M.C. - “Okay, fine. I’ll be talking to you later.”
About 7:20 p.m. during a violent snow squall, the Anderson lost visual contact with the lights of the Fitzgerald. Then, the ill-fated vessel disappeared from radar. When the squall was over, the Fitzgerald’s lights were gone - the “good ship and crew” had passed into legend!
After numerous attempts to make radio contact with the Fitzgerald, Captain Cooper eventually relayed his fears about a possible sinking to the U.S. Coast Guard station
in Sault Ste. Marie. He also searched for any sign of the ship or possible survivors as he sailed on to the safety of Whitefish Bay.
Later that night at the request of the Coast Guard, Captain Cooper and the Anderson heroically returned to a stormy Lake Superior to again search for survivors. Of the eight American and Canadian ships anchored in Whitefish Bay that night, only the Anderson and two others agreed to assist in the search.
None of the twenty-nine men aboard the Edmund Fitzgerald was ever found.
However, the Anderson did locate pieces of the ship’s two severely damaged lifeboats.
Eventually, the wreckage of the “Big Fitz” was discovered at the bottom of Lake Superior about 17 miles from Whitefish Bay.
It has been almost forty-five years since that tragic night in 1975, and a lot has happened to the Arthur M. Anderson since then. In the winter of 1981-82 she was converted to a self-unloader, and in 1989, a stern thruster was added to make the ship more maneuverable in tight spaces.
There were also minor mishaps. In 1979, she collided with the rear of an ice-breaker but only sustained slight damage. In 1999, the Anderson was grounded in a shipping channel at Calcite, Michigan; and another grounding occurred near Port Island in 2001. In 2015, she was stuck in thick ice for five days on Lake Erie near Conneaut, Ohio.
At the end of the 2016 sailing season, the Anderson was sidelined and put in long-term layup in Duluth, Minnesota, because of changing business conditions. After a two-year hiatus, the freighter finally returned to service in 2019.
The Arthur M. Anderson continues to operate on the Great Lakes and occasionally
sails past the Thumb during daylight hours. If you get a chance to see her, even far
out on the lake as I did, you will be looking at Great Lakes maritime history, a living reminder of the tragic events that sent the Edmund Fitzgerald to a watery grave on November 10, 1975.
Notes: The website BoatNerd.com can be used to identify freighters passing by the Thumb. The ships are plotted on a map, and their movements are shown in real time. The web address is: www.boatnerd.com.
One of the best places in the area to view freighters up-close is Algonac State Park, located south of Port Huron on the St. Clair River. Park visitors can see and photograph freighters from around the world as they sail up and down the river between the upper and lower Great Lakes. Riverfront Park in Algonac is another
good place to watch the passing parade.
I have written two recent articles on freighters for The Minden City Herald: “Lee A. Tregurtha and WW II” (4/9/20) and “Joseph H. Thompson and the Photographers” (6/11/20).
I have also written articles about famous shipwrecks on the Great Lakes: “The Legend Lives On – November 10, 1975” (11/5/15); “Witch of November” (11/26/15); and “50th Anniversary of the Sinking of the Daniel J. Morrell” (12/1/16).
Eventually, these articles will be available online when back issues of The Minden City Herald are added to the newspaper’s new website.
MOONS OF JUPITER - AN ACCIDENTAL "CATCH"
While waiting for the FULL CORN MOON to rise over the Lake Huron on September 2, 2020 (something I didn't see because of cloud cover), I snapped a few pictures of JUPITER in the south. When I looked at them, I was amazed that I had "captured" three of JUPITER'S
four largest moons (Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto). Evidently, one was hidden behind
the "King Planet." The bright object to the far left is the planet SATURN.
COLORFUL LEAVES - A CLOSE-UP
*** EXTRA - "THE CAMERA SKETCH BOOK"
THE FALLING LEAVES DRIFT BY THE WINDOW
THE AUTUMN LEAVES OF RED AND GOLD
NOVEMBER 26 - THANKSGIVING