I’ve reached the point in my life where if I want to remember things, I have to somehow set a reminder. The girls tell me they need more school supplies? Set a reminder. There’s something I’d like to remember in three months? Put it in the calendar. 

I know this isn’t some kind of radical new system, but up until a couple years ago, I could always count on my brain to recall things when needed.

Even with these electronic assists, sometimes my system falls apart. Like if I’m hurriedly putting a reminder in and use an abbreviation I can’t recall, or put in a reminder without any details. For example, last week I had one pop up that just said “Door.” OK, was I supposed to paint a door? Buy a door? Knock on a door? No idea.

This week I noticed a reminder on the calendar for Friday that just said “EF”. Hmmmm. I stared at it for awhile but couldn’t figure out what the hell I meant when I had first put it in, so I ignored it. Nice system, right?

Later in the day I came across a Tweet that reminded me why I had put a reminder for EF in, turns out one year ago. It was because yesterday was the anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Falling on a Friday it seemed like the perfect day to include Gordon Lightfoot’s ode to the lost ship in my Friday playlist.

A couple things.

First off, I had long written off the song as some cheesy, mid-70s folk tune, a remnant from my childhood I didn’t need to rediscover. Then when our girls got to St. P’s, the music teacher, who is in her late 70s, always had them learn the song and the story behind it the first week of November. That’s kind of cool. I listened to it with them and realized it’s a hell of a tune. There’s that unforgettable riff that carries the song. The lyrics are pretty genius, and the epitomize that era: writing a folk/pop song about a tragic, real life event.

Also, people around here tend to recall the event more than I ever remember it being brought up back in the Great Plains. Apparently with Indiana bordering on a Great Lake, the events of November 1975 were a much bigger deal here, and more deeply ingrained into the cultural memory.

Between all of that, and hearing it once every six weeks or so in SiriusXM’s 70s channel, I’ve come to really love the song. I suppose it works out just fine that my reminder system let me down and I have to share it on its own rather than in yesterday’s playlist.