Former Petoskey resident pens new book about the Carl D. Bradley
"Torn in Two: The True Story of the Carl D. Bradley" is written by Eric Gaertner, former Petoskey resident. (Courtesy photo / December 14, 2012)
The nonfiction work uses Gaertner's skills as an investigative journalist to take readers on a journey with detail and emotion.
The Bradley sank on Nov. 18, 1958, in Lake Michigan following a 31-year run on the Great Lakes.
"The sinking of any ship is devastating but there was an untold story of the Bradley that needed to be shared," Gaertner said.
"The Bradley called Rogers City home and was the major industry for the quintessential small town America tucked away in Northern Michigan," Gaertner said. "The sailing population is typically diversified and includes sailors from across any given region. Unfortunately, this wasn't the case for the Bradley and the impact was greater than anyone could ever imagine."
A lifelong interest in shipping, an assignment while working at the Presque Isle County Advance and a knack for investigation prompted Gaertner to tell the story through the eyes of those impacted. Although he learned about the Bradley in 1995, it wasn't until 2008 that Gaertner opted to put pen to paper.
"The Bradley was always on my mind even after leaving Rogers City," Gaertner said. "After toying with the idea of writing fiction, I decided to do what I do on a daily basis -- report on the facts -- but in a different dimension."
"The book is more than statistics of husbands, fathers and brothers who died. It's about a tragedy, the aftermath and ultimate survival."
Gaertner's book also contains a connection to Charlevoix, home to the Coast Guard Cutter Sundew that led the search-and-rescue efforts for the Bradley crewmen.
"Torn in Two" is published by Splattered Ink Press and is available at Horizon Books in Petoskey and Amazon.com.
Gaertner is a reporter with Mlive Media Group and the recipient of numerous awards from the Associated Press and the Michigan Press Association.
Connect with him through his website at ericgaertner.wordpress.com or on Twitter @EricGaertner1. Gaertner is a 1995 graduate of Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant.