Why, Detroit is Lovely



What’s all this talk about Detroit in decay? My daughter and son-in-law took me there for my birthday last year and it was lovely. First we went to an elegant restaurant, Mario’s. David drove right to the door and a nice young man parked our car for us. When it was time for the opera, a van transported us directly from the restaurant door to the Opera House entrance. The van met us at the conclusion of the opera and returned us to Mario’s where, after desert and dancing, the nice young man brought us our car.  No poverty, no abandoned neighborhoods, nothing dirty or distressing. Detroit was beautiful. Delicious food served elegantly. Good French wine. A delightful performance of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Opera House with crystal chandeliers and gilded ceilings. Live Motown for dancing. So why are people concerned about Detroit conditions? All you need is valet parking, tickets to the opera, money for a fine restaurant—and blinders to wear as you drive in and out of the city.

th-12                               Fine Musicmario-s

th-10Fine Restaurants and Beautiful Parks






th-15Shining skyline













Author: Skipper Hammond

Skipper Hammond was born on the edge of Charlotte, N.C. in a time, in a neighborhood where children were free to play. She and her friends ran, biked, rode, explored and read. The entire neighborhood was their stage for the continuing plays Skipper created based on the stories they read. Cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians, British and American,Yankee and Confederate armies romped through woods, across fields and creeks, up and down streets until good guys prevailed or softball and hopscotch season arrived.  Then she grew up and went to the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina in Greensboro. Tar Heel legislators at the time saw no reason to finance economics education for women, but Skipper contrived a major in economics by cobbling credits in business and history. Involvement in a series of strikes by textile workers led to graduate work at Cornell with a masters in Labor Union History and several years of union organizing in North Carolina, Virginia and Florida for the International Ladies Garment Workers Union.  After marriage and the birth of her son and daughter, Skipper, then living in Cambridge, Massachusetts, worked at jobs where she could punch out—stitcher, machinist, assembly worker, candy maker, database designer, economics journal editor—and still have the energy needed for the real work of political organizing for social and economic justice.  Her political work took the form primarily of writing and editing for movement publications, and when she moved from Cambridge to a farm in rural north central Florida, she began writing for the Ocala Star-Banner and Gainesville Sun, then founded the Williston Pioneer, where she was publisher, editor, reporter, ad salesperson and janitor. She also raised goats. She currently divides her time, unequally, between Williston, Florida, where she continues playing in the woods, and Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she invents stories. 

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