Emmy-Nominated TV Producer Ric Mixter Deep Into Preserving Maritime History
RI Foundation Update on Tap This Week at Bay City Rotary Club
January 29, 2006
LAST WEEK'S PROGRAM:
By: Dave Rogers
Preserving Great Lakes historical film footage and reporting on maritime history with Ric Mixter; programmer Eric Jylha.THIS WEEK:
Rotary International Foundation report with President Ralph Knop.UPCOMING ROTARY EVENTS:Bay City Rotary Foundation committee meeting 11 a.m. Feb. 21, Kathy Czerwinski, chair.
World Affairs Seminar for high school students, June 17-23. See President Knop for information.
COMMUNITY: 12TH Annual Wild Game Dinner & Auction to benefit East Shoreline Chapter, American Red Cross, Saturday, Feb. 4, 5:30-9:30 p.m., Scottish Rite Masonic Center.
DISTRICT CONFERENCE: April 27-29, Bavarian Inn Lodge & Conference Center, Frankenmuth. See President Knop for information. Your fees will be paid by the club; sign up now.
FOLLOWUP ON ROTARY SCHOLAR: Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar Melinda Boysik from Hungary spent eight days in Pasadena, California, over New Years to work on the RI float in the Rose Parade preceding the Rose Bowl football game. "Now I understand what the Rose Bowl means to Americans and I felt what Rotary means; you are an amazing group of people," she said.
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As rare footage of Bay City's Defoe Shipbuilding Company rolled on a TV screen in the background, independent television producer Ric Mixter toldlocal Rotarians last week about making 30 documentaries on the Great Lakes for the Public Broadcasting System.
Eric Jylha, WNEM-TV Channel 5 newscaster and weather reporter, introduced the program.
Mr. Mixter, whose Airworthy Productions received an Emmy nomination for a half hour documentary featuring an interview with a man who had listened to the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald in 1975 via short wave radio, captivated the capacity crowd with his presentation. The documentary also featured the historic 1913 storm and original footage of the 1940 Armistice Day storm that devastated lakes shipping.
A former radio newsman at WSGW, Mr. Mixter segued into the TV production business after working at TV-5 as a cameraman.
He has obtained rare footage shot in 1932 of the ill-fated Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba, built in Bay City and sunk by a Nazi submarine 100 miles off Greenland during World War II.
The Escanaba won its place in history when it rescued 300 men from the torpedoed British vessel Dorchester which was immortalized when four chaplains gave up their lives to save other crew members.
The Bay City ship also made its mark by pioneering the retriever method of rescuing survivors in the water.
Although 102 men went down with the Escanaba, there were two survivors plus a crew member who fortunately was partying in Chicago when the ship left the dock. Mr. Mixter found that lucky crewman and interviewed him for a documentary on the Escanaba.
Mr. Mixter would like to obtain footage of the sunken Escanaba but it is one and a half miles deep, about the same as the Titanic that was found by another Defoe ship, the Knorr.
He is working furiously to obtain film footage of Great Lakes maritime activities, shipwrecks and interviews with survivors. "PBS is very interested in the Escanaba story," he said, estimating that 35-40 percent of Great Lakes shipwrecks have Bay City connections. "The best sources are the people who were there," he concluded.
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Feb. 7: Inspector Fred Funston, Saginaw Correctional Facility;
Feb. 14: Patrick Flynn, conductor, Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra;
Feb. 21: Saginaw Valley State University (Jerome Yantz, programmer) tentative;
Feb. 28: Saginaw Spirit Hockey;
Mar. 7: Melissa Gleason, Red Cross Community Disaster Plan;
Mar. 14: Vocational Day (speaker on youth exchange) Ralph Knop, programmer;
Mar. 21: Vocational Day (speaker on youth exchange) Ralph Knop, programmer;
Mar. 28: (open);
April 4: Melinda Boysik says goodbye;
April 11: Gloria Woods, Affirmative Action vote overview.###
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