For the third year, Rochelle Pennington visited Sheboygan as SEAS (Sailing Education Association of Sheboygan) guest, speaking at two co-sponsored events. Both gatherings were held on Saturday, November 28, 2015, the first was cosponsored by, and took place at the Sheboygan Yacht Club. Guests were invited to decorate Christmas cookies while sipping on seasonal beverages prior to Rochelle’s presentation on one of the most well-known shipwrecks of the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan's Christmas Tree Ship. The Christmas Tree Ship delivered holiday evergreens to the citizens of Chicago each Christmas season before it was caught in the "Great Storm of 1912" and subsequently went to the bottom of the lake fully loaded with trees.
Later that evening, a stellar crowd of upwards of 150 attendees joined Rochelle at Blue Harbor for her newest presentation commemorating the 40th anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Blue Harbor cosponsored this event offering a warm, lake views reception area with complimentary light hors d’oeuvres.
With the famous Gordon Lightfoot song kicking off the presentation, guests were lead along the pathway the famous ship would take through Lake Superior, with Rochelle offering a travel log of the geographical highlights in the area.
Details were shared regarding the history of the Edmund Fitzgerald, as well as scripted dialogue acted-out by Rochelle between the captains of the sinking ship and that of the Arthur M. Anderson during the ship’s ultimate demise.
Rochelle engaged the group with personal stories, and pictures of visits she had made along the Lake Superior shore, adding a personal touch to the gathering.
Article Text : Meghan Welsh
Photos: Quentin Blacklock