Ann Arbor writer recalls days on the Great Lakes as crew mate

May 31, 2016

Roger LeLievre on the deck of the Ernest R. Breech.
Credit Courtesy Roger LeLievre

An Ann Arbor writer remembers sailing the Great Lakes as a porter on a Ford Motor Company ship. Current State's Peter Whorf speaks with Roger LeLeivre about his Summer of 1973, sailing the Great Lakes as a cargo ship porter.

This time of year, the Great Lakes teems with ocean-bound shipping traffic headed to locations all around the globe. Ann Arbor’s Roger LeLievre is well acquainted with the big ships. LeLievre spent his childhood in Sault St. Marie and  grew up watching immense freighters sail the lakes and locks. At age 17, he spent a summer working aboard the Ernest R. Breech.

The Breech was among the Ford Motor Company’s  fleet of ships, hauling raw materials for the auto industry. Ford ships also carried auto VIPs who traveled in style and comfort in passenger quarters. Roger LeLievre  spent his summer of ’73 as a porter aboard the Breech.

Current State's Peter Whorf speaks with LeLievre about his sailing story in the Michigan History Magazine article "Shipping Out For the Summer".