2020 DIA Lecture
On March 12th, about 30 Men’s Club members and guests boarded a Detroit Institute of Arts bus to visit the Museum to hear storyteller and diver Ric Mixter share little known secrets of the six greatest shipwrecks of the Great Lakes, including the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Several other members drove downtown and met us at the DIA for a very interesting lecture.
Ric began with the story of the James H Reed, a bulk carrier carrying a load of iron ore in its first run of 1944 on Lake Erie. It was lost in a collision after anchoring in thick fog because of the lack of visibility. The Canadian vessel Ashcroft collided with the Reed, nearly severing it into two pieces. Twelve sailors went down with the Reed. while twenty-four were rescued. Since Lake Erie is so shallow, the masts of the Reed remained above water, and the story goes that the third mate climbed up a mast and never got wet in the sinking. Ric showed video of the wreck and played an interview he taped with a survivor. Because it wreck was a hazard to navigation, it was dynamited later in 1944.
Ric went on to describe the wreck of the largest ship to sink on Lake Huron, the Daniel J Morrell. The Morrell was heading upstream from Lake Erie in November, 1966. One of its crew, Dennis Hale, missed the boat but was able to join the crew as the ship took on fuel passing through the Detroit River. He immediately had some dinner and went to his cabin in the bow and went to sleep. After midnight the ship was being torn apart by a vicious blizzard with 25-foot waves. Hale was awakened by the general alarm in complete blackness. He grabbed his lifejacket and ran on deck in his underwear. Someone told him to go back and find whatever he could because the ship was going down and it would be cold in the water. Hale returned with his pea coat, which he put on over his lifejacket. This saved his life, since other crewmembers had their lifejackets over their pea coats and their coats wicked the cold water right to their trunk, while Dennis had the kapok with its canvas cover next to his skin. Dennis jumped into a life raft, but the raft was hit by the sinking ship, dumping all aboard into the water. Only four managed to climb back into the raft. Because no one reported the Morrell missing, it took the Coast Guard 34 hours to find the raft, by which time Dennis Hale was the only survivor.
Ric told stories from four more Great Lakes shipwrecks, but to hear those, you will need to find one of his lectures, one of his 30 programs on shipwrecks for PBS, The Outdoor Channel and the Vision Network, or one of his books or documentaries. Check our some of these links:
2019 Christmas Party
‘Tisthe holiday season and our newly named Men’s Club of Grosse Pointe had a fine time celebrating at Barrister Gardens with 74 in attendance.
The Gardens served hot and tasty fare with excellent service.
Our trusty MC, Bob Hynes, glued the whole event together with his salty blend of humor and camaraderie.
Ken Mokray, our new president, gave short welcoming remarks and brought on our renowned Men’s Club Chorus led by their merry taskmaster, Jerry Partridge.
Three rounds of songs (complete with costume changes) and Louise Veltri’s tuneful piano accompaniment made for delightful listening.
DJ Willie “BB” Barber got dancers on the floor with sparkling lights and a fine combination of mellow and lively tunes.
Many thanks are owed to those who made the party happen—not least our ladies in the background. We may be a men’s club, but where would we be without these lovelies?
Best wishes for another great Men’s Club year!
Report and photos by Special Events Chair Ed Benz
Diamond Jack Riverboat Tour August 14th
More than 25 SMC members and guests enjoyed a day of perfect weather on the Diamond Jack Wyandotte tour from Bishop Park to the Ambassador Bridge and back following a delightful lunch at Portofino.
Stahl’s Automotive Foundation
On Tuesday, June 4th, we visited Stahl’s Automotive Foundation in Chesterfield. A visit to the Stahl’s Automotive Collection will take you back to a time in history when cars were more than just a way to take us from point A to point B. Gain a better understanding of how the automobile developed from a novelty to a main form of transportation. In addition to the beautiful cars, enjoy the collection of gas pumps, road signs, oil cans and other car-related accessories from the Depression era.
Underground Railroad Tour at Second Baptist Church
SMC Field Trip Report: The Holocaust Memorial Center
SMC at the 2019 North American International Auto Show
SMC Luncheon Meeting on December 11 Features Grosse Pointe North Choir led by Ben Henri
SMC Members and Guests (more than 90 strong) Enjoy the 2018 Christmas Party at Bayview Yacht Club on December 6th
SMC Members visit historic Elmwood Cemetery
On August 29th, more than 25 members and guests toured Elmwood Cemetery in Detroit. We were led by Joan Capuano, Executive Director of the Historic Elmwood Cemetery Foundation and SMC member Stewart McMillin. Our tour was arranged by Special Events Chairman James Callahan with assistance from John Snyder, who serves as Treasurer and Member of the Board of Directors of the Historic Elmwood Cemetery Foundation.
Established in 1846, Elmwood Cemetery is the oldest continuously operating, non-denominational cemetery in Michigan. It contains the graves of many prominent men and women including civil war generals, 7 governors, 11 U.S. senators, 30 Detroit mayors, and countless business and community leaders. It is also a certified arboretum with nearly 100 species among its 1,450 trees across its 86 acres.
SMC members who missed the tour may want to consult Elmwood’s web site for information about frequent public tours and events. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS
Grosse Pointe Chamber of Commerce News
As a reciprocal arrangement with Grosse Pointe Chamber of Commerce, we are adding a link to their website, Click here for the current Grosse Pointe Chamber of Commerce website, they have a large number of activities and you’ll find the information very entertaining.
As a reciprocal arrangement with The Helm at the Boll Life Center (formerly Services for Older Citizens), we are adding a link to their website here. They have a large number of activities and the we think you’ll find the information very entertaining.
Please click the graphic to the left to read the details of the events being held at the Neighborhood Club.