Shepherd Express: The Wreck of the ‘Daniel J. Morrell’

By David Luhrssen
Shepherd Express

Torn in Two (Michael Schumacher)Kenosha’s Michael Schumacher authored biographies of globally recognized cultural figures such as Eric Clapton and Francis Ford Coppola but has turned, in recent years, to the Midwest for inspiration. Specifically: maritime disasters on the Great Lakes. Schumacher has written Mighty Fitz: The Sinking of the Edmund FitzgeraldWreck of the Carl D.: A True Story of Loss, Survival, and Rescue at Sea and November’s Fury: The Deadly Great Lakes Hurricane of 1913.

His latest, Torn in Two: The Sinking of the Daniel J. Morrell and One Man’s Survival on the Open Sea, concerns a sailor who survived the sinking of a freighter in yet another mighty storm. The “open sea” is Lake Huron, as bad a place to be in a wintry gale as the North Atlantic, where that one sailor of the book’s title clung to life on a raft as his mates froze.

“I’ve always been interested in the Great Lakes. When I was growing up in Milwaukee, I’d visit the lake every chance I had,” Schumacher says. “I now live about five minutes from the lake, and to this day I visit the lake every day, even if to sit quietly for a few minutes.”

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