I absolutely loved Mitch Alborn's discussion about Detroit. Although I have been an "east coaster" for several decades, I was born and grew up in Detroit. My Dad was a foundry worker. Mr. Alborn's passion and description of my home town was so right on and clearly not akin to what many think about Detroit and the major industry now.
I could go on and on about what a great place it was for the journey to adulthood, but what I want to share, briefly is a spark of positive news now.
I not been back for many years when a post grad study with the US Geological Survey took my youngest daughter to Ann Arbor - so we met there and toured the old neighborhoods where we both remember fun times with my Mom and later her Grandma.
My neighborhood that had been a well cared for working class community of two and four flats was leveled after a gradual demise due to crack purveyors moving in and burnouts etc.
In that context, no one was anxious to visit old Southeastern HS as was scheduled during my 50th High school reunion last fall. But - what a marvelous surprise we were in for.
We went on a Saturday morning and the place was a beehive of activity. The interior of the 100 year old building had been completely renovated as a technical high school. The junior high next door is now 9th grade and called the Success Academy. Students must excel there; write a contract for their goals in high school etc. before entering Southeastern Technical HS.
What had been, in the 50s, a mixed population of working class and middle class from the areas near Grosse Pointe - appears now to be totally African American. The atmosphere of the place was sizzling with good energy - open to the community during the weekend for gym events and other activities. The young man who was our tour guide was so obviously proud of his school and his place in it.
Metal detectors existed, yes, in the midst of a still decimated neighborhood but the spirit of the place exuded optimism and pride coupled with respectful discipline (which included a coil of clothes line in the principal's office to hike up low riding pants when necessary)
That visit was the best part of our reunion. If such a transformation can occur there, with so much bad news and unemployment it can be a positive example of hope in public schooling anywhere.
I never realized that Mitch Albom was such a whiner. So basically we should pay for overpriced, inferiorly made vehicles just because they are from Detroit? They deserve a bailout, why? It's called market economics and the people have already voted they don't want that product. So I am sorry Mitch if you feel that people are mean to Detroit, but fix your own problems. To say that Detroit is the first, and every other city is going to going to have people leave and sleeping on church floors - seriously, have some perspective. And your upset because Detroit used to be the 4th largest city and now it isn't. Well in the 200 year history of our country, how many cities used to be the 4th largest? Get over yourself and Detroit. If you love it, fine! But don't complain because everyone else doesn't like it there.
I've never been to Detroit, but I knew Ernie Harwell's daughter and Isaiah Thomas, have friends in the car industry and among plenty of Ann Arbor grads (even if I detested Schembechler), and I know what it has been like in the Midwest for this generation. When I first moved there I thought they were at least a decade behind the times, but I soon realized it was a good thing, because they are still good ppl. And good patriots. In some places you can still live a life that hasn't changed much from when Ike was president. It isn't fancy, but it's honest, (except I guess in parts of Illinois). They are sober and hard-working. They care for each other. They actually buy what they make (and vice versa). They even like coupons. But it is getting tougher all the time. I wonder if the most popular actor on TV will ever sport a Tiger's cap again. (Hell, I wonder if we'll ever have TV, again.) They deserve a new deal. They probably deserve a great deal. They don't deserve the kind of treatment they've gotten, that's for sure. The way for labor to get back tho is to join a movement against the easy money and credit that eats away at its value.
It's a good article. You can read it here: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/the_bonus/01/07/detroit/index.html
Oh, yeah, and the women are better looking there, too...