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Old 01-07-2000, 09:02 PM   #2
vlmagee
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Location: Ballston Spa, NY
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I think that the person you were talking to had misinformation. I think that most, if not all, of the families appreciate what Lightfoot's song has done to honor both the men who lost their lives and the ship itself. There have been many other shipwrecks on the Great Lakes; some with more lives lost than on the Edmund Fitzgerald. Yet that tragedy is the one that everyone knows about, and that is because of Lightfoot.

Many years ago, Lightfoot turned down a request to participate in a movie about the EF, because the families didn't want a move made at that time. He has contributed personally to commemorate the ship, and I believe has made contributions to the families as well (I think he sponsored a scholarship for children of the men lost). When the ceremony was held to dedicate the ship's bell, which had been recovered from the wreck, a member of each crewman's family rang the bell once, and Lightfoot was asked to ring it a 30th time in memory of the ship and all who had lost their lives. One of the children of a crew member (Mary Wilhelm) created a web site in memory of her father, and she too spoke highly of Lightfoot.

Lightfoot performs regularly in the Great Lakes area and he is always very warmly received.

I think the facts are very much the opposite of what this person said. But rumors are only interesting when they are negative ...

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Valerie Magee
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