Late Season -Very Late- Snow, in Red Wing, MN 4-13-13

Maybe tomorrow’s rain will get rid of the snow…we’ve had 10 inches plus in the last week.

I used Microsoft’s ICE to stitch 11 stills shot with a Canon A1100 into a panorama… interesting feature of MS ICE is that several of the frames had other cars and a semi driving through, but ICE decided it only wanted what it wanted and ditched the others somehow…

Emilio DeGrazia: Our American Nightmare – Detroit

Our American Nightmare: Detroit – Emilio DeGrazia

I didn’t want to pick the book up, but after I did I couldn’t put it down.  Written by Charlie LeDuff, it is called Detroit: An American Autopsy.  Detroit, in my youth the fourth largest city in the U.S., currently is on life support, casualty of a cancer in the American Dream. 

Charlie LeDuff and I grew up on the west side just a few blocks from the street, Joy Road, that marks one of the city limits of Detroit.  He grew up on the wrong, Detroit, side of Joy.  I grew up on the suburban, Dearborn, side.  In Dearborn we had a saying:  “Help Keep Dearborn Clean,” and our police officers did their best to keep people from the other side of Joy from crossing certain lines.

I left Dearborn in my twenties.  That was in the early 1960’s, when I was too clueless to realize Detroit would never leave me.

I remember the city’s elegance – the skyscrapers downtown, the vibrancy at the intersection of Michigan and Woodward avenues, the view of Windsor across the Detroit River, the J.L. Hudson (later Dayton-Hudson) store where we shopped as a family, the cold-hot ice cream waffle sandwiches we waited in line for at the Kresge five and dime across from Hudson’s, the used bookstores I haunted at night after school, the old Briggs Stadium where the Tigers played, the green and expansive Rouge and Palmer Parks, the old Corktown slum where I routinely window-shopped for great deals, the elegant mansions on Cass and Grand Boulevard, the concerts played by Paul Paray’s Detroit Symphony Orchestra on Thursday evenings at the band shell on Belle Isle, free to anyone who wanted to listen, even from the river in a canoe.  Detroit was vibrant and safe enough to wander freely in.  It was a feast for a kid who was told to “Help Keep Dearborn Clean.” Continue reading