Saturday, May 30, 2009

Genesee Belle

Andy Turpen and Jim Holbel of The Gifted Program offer up a little musical ode to junior high life in early '80s Flint called Genesee Belle.


  1. Americån Fåmily InsüranceJune 1, 2009 at 3:24 PM

    The Genesee Belle sank about 15 years years ago. Some dude, probably the "captain" swithced on the paddle full speed... in reverse. The biggest boat on Mott Lake was swamped in seconds.

    Not exactly the Titanic bottom was about 5 feet deep. An old Urinal article mentioned panicked oldsters screaming as the good ship descended into Davey Jones' Locker. Must have been hilarious.

    1. I was on the boat when it happened. I couldn't have been much older than an early teen.
      It pretty much did happen as you said. The stupid captain, I'm assuming he was piloting the ship. He was trying to maneuver around some fisherman. He threw the boat into reverse, and almost immediately the boat filled with water. The stupid arse should have just ran the fisherman over. They weren't supposed to be around the launching area anyway.
      There was a short panic in the lower deck. My brother actually tried to break out a window. Everyone just moved to the top deck, which didn't even go under, or it was barely underwater. I can't remember that detail completely. We swam to shore. Crossroads Village paid everyone like $200 as part off a settlement. I felt rich as a little kid. I definitely spent it all at mall within a couple weeks. I think I bought a bunch of CDs with that money.
      So yeah, it was a while ago.

  2. That tiny picture looks like the Chesaning Showboat.

  3. My business partner's Grandparents were on it when it sank. He said after all was said and done-it WAS hilarious!

  4. fascinating, Since writing the song that is two people who have commented that they had family/friends on the Genesse Belle that fateful night. Maybe some one can write a "wreck of the genesee belle". I'm thinking more in the style the Mighty Wind classic "Blood on the Coal" than "Edmund Fitzgerald".


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at