Smile at the Speed Graphic, kid.

Today in Embarrassing Pictures, we again refuse to embarrass the proprietress, instead throwing her husband into the line of fire:

Alan brushes

“These two boys are having fun demonstrating proper tooth brushing” during National Children’s Dental Health Week. “Albert Ramirez, son of Mr. and Mrs. Genaro Ramirez, 810 Nicholas St., looks on from the left while Alan Derringer, son of Mr. and Mrs. Roger Derringer, 405 Northfield Ave., does the brushing.”

Among the oddities of this picture, which I can’t precisely date, other than to say, “Man, when was the last time you saw a kid wearing a wristwatch like that, eh?” Both kids come from intact, Mr. and Mrs. homes. No one objected to having their exact address printed in the newspaper. And when Alan’s mom died, she still lived at 405 Northfield and still had her phone listed under Roger Derringer.

Also note the long-standing Hispanic presence in northwest Ohio (this was in Defiance). I wonder how Mark Krikorian would pronounce Ramirez?

I like the way Albert is “looking on.” Someone is always looking on in old newspaper photos. For newspaper journalists of a certain age, we lived for the day we wouldn’t have to take pictures like this or write their witless captions, and if you were any good at all, sooner or later you beamed up to a bigger paper, which as a rule didn’t run this stuff. And now, here we are decades later, and the buzz is in hyperlocal journalism websites that welcome and solicit pictures like this, and guess who’s writing the captions? Full circle.

My pledge: No one will ever look on in my cutlines. Unless it’s in an ironic, retro way. Because otherwise I will have to start drinking a lot more.

Because it’s Friday, another no-cal bonbon. Thanks, Char, for sending this “hastily made Cleveland tourism video.” As for the punchline, well, yes they are. They just don’t know it yet:

I have to go to a meeting, edit a pile of copy and do some serious writin’ today. You folks take it from here.

Posted at 8:33 am in Friends and family, Same ol' same ol' | 97 Comments

Ah, memories.

Hey, are you guys working today? The day before a three-day weekend? Silly wabbits — hardly anyone else is. So today seems as good a day as ever to kick off a new Friday feature, which I’m calling Embarrassing Pictures, because, well, you’ll see.

Long-time readers will recognize this one, which I’ve used before, but not for a few years, so it’s fresh to most of you:

Old days

Just another self-portrait before a Saturday night out, c. 1981-82, around in there. Columbus, Ohio. I’m not in this one, but let me introduce you to the group. At left, some girl named Jeanine, who was friends with the other two girls in the picture — Lynne (with the champagne bottle) and Janet, known as Tall Janet for obvious reasons. The guys, in the back row, Jeff, Paul, Craig. Jeff and Craig were brothers. In front, Dan, known to all by his nickname, Futz. And at far right, in the Wayfarers, our very own Jeff Borden. I like this picture because it’s entirely a happy accident — Borden put the camera on a a tripod and used the self-timer, bounced the flash off the ceiling, and everyone just sort of assembled themselves. No one directed the pose or styled the outfits.

Details: Both Jeff and Craig were gay, lending support to the genetics argument, but both were natural performers, and I love the way Jeff is looking at Jeanine, like he’s about to throw her on the floor and ravage her, when in truth he couldn’t have been less interested. I love the way the ash on Jeanine’s cigarette is thisclose to falling. Futz and Paul are wearing buttons — buttons were big, back then. I still have my favorite from the era in my jewelry box. It reads VICTIM OF THE PRESS. I picked it up from a LaRouchie at one of their airport tables. I don’t know what was going on with Lynn’s sparkly disco vest, but she rocks it, I think. Borden’s wearing a hat because even then, barely 30 years old, he was stalked by the curse of a receding hairline.

Also, this: Jeff, Craig and Paul are all dead. AIDS. As I mentioned, Jeff and Craig were brothers. In the years immediately after they died, I thought a lot about them. Since Kate was born, I think mainly of their mother. Imagine losing two of your children, in subsequent years, to that disease.

Anyway, even though I wasn’t there, I was there. I think of this picture as exhibit A in the life I led at the time, when Borden and I lived across the hall from one another, left the doors open all the time, ran speakers from one apartment to the other, and had some great parties.

Good times.

That’s it for me, I think. Long weekend ahead, and I won’t be back until Tuesday. Discuss what you like in the comments and enjoy summer’s kickoff. Let’s hope it’s a long one.

Posted at 11:19 am in Friends and family | 46 Comments

He was there.

Chickens, how to put this? There are days when I open my little laptop and launch my wee browser and call up my NN.C WordPress dashboard page, and a single thought fills my skull:

I hate you.

Sometimes it goes into greater detail:

I hate you I hate me I hate everybody I don’t want to do this How did I get myself roped into this Why am I not writing a book Why am I wasting my time on this crap.

Usually it passes. I think of this page as batting practice, and these protests are, 99 days out of 100, just the creaking of the old muscles before they warm up and loosen up and start connecting with the ball. On the 100th day, it’s not, and that’s why I’m glad for you folks, because you’re all fabulous and many of you are better writers than I am, and sometimes you send photos. So let’s let our correspondent MichaelG, occasionally furloughed California state worker, carry the ball today. He left this in comments over the weekend, but he sent me some pix to go with it. He went to the AMGEN 2009 Tour of California when it rolled through his town:

The Amgen Tour of California kicked off today in Sacramento. Those who count such things tell us more than 100,000 people showed up to watch the race between the bicycle people and the impending storm. The bicycle people and the rest of us won. The race was a prologue. 136 riders started at one minute intervals to race the clock over a 2.4 mile course around the State Capitol. There were some fast cyclists in the first 118 riders and 118 minutes (notably the Marks Renshaw and Cavendish) but the last 18 minutes and riders were the cream. Zirbel, Hushovd, Kirchen, Boonen, Hincape, Tyler, Zabriskie, Armstrong, Vandevelde, Cancellara, Basso, Rogers, Landis, Leipheimer. This was where the racing and the times got serious. The suspense all day, the waiting for the arrival of the storm and the elite riders had the crowd greeting the late riders and the persistent good weather with cheers of approbation and relief. The cheers grew louder and louder as rider after rider lowered best time only to be shunted aside by a succeeding rider. It was a great day to stand on a curb in Sacramento.

I was a volunteer worker and my station was right at the finish line. The time clock on the arch over the line provided a rough idea of when to expect a cyclist and the cheering of the people a block up the street lent another visual signal to a rider’s arrival. They crossed the line and flashed past me at whatever speed a world class cyclist attains with an eight block run on a flat street. Taking pictures proved futile since they were going so fast and also since they tended to hug the fence upon which I was leaning. I could have picked one off with a seven iron. The same with watching, as the best view I could see was the advertising plastered on their asses as they slowed after the finish.

The collegial happiness of the crowd, the electricity generated by a world class event, the spectacle and the general all around fun made for a terrific day. The whole thing was capped by the news that the dipshits in the big white building across the street had finally reached a deal.

In the end I was standing right before the stage. I was in front of all the print people and photogs and behind the VS camera guy. I had a fantastic view of all the jersey presentations and my boss the Governator and got a ton of great pix. I have one of Cancellara (the winner) being interviewed. It’s a mega close up since in the crush he was actually leaning on me. After the interview he was mobbed by young women. I’m not jealous. Leipheimer had his bike with him and showed it to me. No pix here but I’ve never seen anything like it. It was the most beautiful bike ever. I’m not jealous.

Other than Armstrong who is a professional celebrity, the riders seem to be pleasant, down to earth guys who are embarrassed by the media attention and are amazingly accessible. Cancellara in particular seemed overwhelmed and almost frightened by the press of the press. At one point I thought he was going to throw up. You should have seen his face, his throat working and his hand over his mouth. I’d also like to see his paycheck.

A most enjoyable day. Afterwards, I fell into a pub down the street with a friend for a pint of Anchor Steam. It was delicious. Details and pix available on dozens of web sites. KCRA, SACBEE and VS (all dot com) are three good places to start. The rerun on VS starts in about 10 minutes. I can’t wait. Live coverage and reruns will be on VS for the next 10 days or so. Davis to Santa Rosa tomorrow. It’s as good as the Tour de France. Same cast on the road and on the TV including Liggett, Sherwen and Roll. Don’t miss it.


Michael gives the photo ID on this as: Arnold, Cavendish, The Fabe, Levi and Lance. It’s remarkable mainly for the unnatural hue of the governor’s hair. And finally, what’s a volunteer shift worth if you can’t grab a few photos of yourself for the scrapbook? Ladies and gentlemen, your correspondent:


Thanks, Michael. I’m taking the rest of the day off.

Posted at 7:48 am in Friends and family | 51 Comments

No, I am Bossy.

Every so often Lance Mannion mines his old notebooks for blog entries. Well, I don’t have old notebooks, but I do have NN.C. I started this site in part because it would require me to write something every day, to keep a journal of sorts, to keep a notebook in one form or another. So here’s something I turned up in my search for the Dexter column yesterday. Be glad you don’t know me in real life, for I am, apparently, insufferable.

This is from February 7, 2002:

Yesterday one of our neighbor’s kids stopped by. Middle-schooler, collecting information for a school paper on peregrine falcons.

“There’s been a peregrine falcon in our neighborhood,” he said.

“No way,” I told him. “Not around here. You’re almost certainly confusing it with a hawk. Red-tailed, Cooper’s, one of those. They’re big, they look like falcons.”

He insisted it was a peregrine. I insisted it couldn’t be. We had a short argument over whether they roost in trees in populated areas. I suspected I was putting him off, so I told him he ought to check out the Raptor Chapter, a non-profit that does rehabilitation on injured birds of prey. “Do you have the number?” he asked. I invited him in while I fetched the phone book. Alan walked in at this point. “Connor here thinks he’s seen a peregrine falcon in the neighborhood,” I said. “No way,” he said. Etc., etc. “Besides, they’re migratory,” I said. “They’re on the coasts at this time of year.” Connor said they weren’t. “I think you’d better check your research,” I told him.

Alan wondered what I was doing with the phone book. “I’m looking up the Raptor Chapter number for him.”

“The Raptor Chapter? They didn’t have the permits! The duck dicks shut her down,” Alan said.

“Shut her down? Janie? When?” I said.

“While back,” he said. “Of course we ran a couple paragraphs inside, after all that stuff we’ve been writing about her all these years.”

At this point I looked at Connor, who appeared somewhat dazed, no doubt thinking, Why the hell did I ring the doorbell of these lunatics? “I have a field guide, if you’d like to check it,” I said, gently. “Or you could call the Indiana DNR. They have lots of information. Guy name of John Castrale runs the peregrine reintroduction program.”

Finally, the thought occurred to me: “Why did you stop by, Connor?”

“I wanted to ask if you’d seen the falcon,” he said.

“Uh, no,” I said. And with that, he left. If I could have that five minutes to live over, I’d do it differently.


I have a friend who works in TV news here, and whenever I bitch about the pathetic journalism — and fourth-rate star power — of local anchors, he rolls his eyes and give me a jaded, what-can-you-do look. However, I think even he would be appalled by news of a Detroit news anchor participating in a crooked deal between a sludge treatment company and the city council, and I hope on behalf of journalists everywhere, this paragraph made his eyes pop out:

Stinger, who joined Fox 2 as an investigative reporter in 1997 and became an anchor in 2004, was paid about $325,000 a year by Fox 2 Detroit in 2005, according to divorce records.

Actually, as TV-news anchors are paid — she anchored the morning news show — this is pocket change. All to look pretty. No wonder every Miss America contestant wants that gig.

Kids these days. Adults these days. Sheesh.

Early exit this morning — it’s back to the gym for mommy.

Posted at 9:38 am in Current events, Detroit life, Friends and family, Media | 19 Comments

Bossy’s excellent road trip.

Bossy in the D.
Photo by Andrea Bossy, with Andrea’s camera.

This was what it boiled down to, after (mumble) bottles of wine and blueberry-vodka shooters — see the young minx with glasses in the front row? in front of the supermodel with glasses? they were her idea — and lo, it was fun. Suddenly it was after midnight and I had to pack my half-eaten tiramisu and go home, and it’s just as well, because after I left, someone went out for White Castles. White Castles, on top of a blueberry-vodka shooter, would have been lethal. And then I would have missed the very picturesque car fire I saw from the freeway, yet another area of urban excellence in which Detroit leads the nation. Good thing it was happening near a tricky interchange, or I might have stopped for a photo.

The company was great, and I’ll be adding links to the b’roll as soon as I sort them all out. The face to my left, Michelle, said she wanted to figure out a way she could spend all her time sewing. She said she made quilts. I’m thinking, OK, very nice, quilts, sewing, yes yes yes. And then I saw some of her quilts, and thought, I sat next to an artist all night long and didn’t know it.

Anyhoo, all thanks to Andrea, our hostess (first face to Bossy’s right), and just because food this good should be spread around, here’s her recipe for…

Fabulous Salmon Spread
(recipe comes from the Complete Book of Hors d’oeuvre, which is out of print)

1 T. butter to grease pan
4 oz. sesame crackers
one stick (1/2 cup) of butter, less whatever you used to grease pan, melted
2.5 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
4 eggs
1/2 pound smoked salmon (not lox but the smoked fillets that come vacuum sealed)
1/2 cup finely chopped scallions (including some green)
1/4 cup minced fresh dill

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use approximately 1 T. of butter to thoroughly coat the bottom and sides of a 9″ springform pan. Crush crackers and dust some up the sides of the pan. Then mix the rest of the crackers with the melted butter, and press into bottom of the pan.

Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and eggs thoroughly until completely mixed and smooth. (It’s okay if there are a few tiny bumps here and there.) Crumble salmon (without skin) into the cheese mixture, and add scallions and dill. Beat again until mixture becomes lighter and fluffy. Pour into pan, spreading and smoothing with a spatula.

Bake 5 minutes at 350, then reduce heat to 325 and bake 50 minutes more. If you don’t trust your oven, check for doneness: cake should be just set in the middle. If you’ve opened the oven to check, give it a couple of minutes to heat back up to temperature again, and then turn it off. Do NOT open door. Allow salmon fabulosity to cool completely in oven with door closed. This will take several hours.

If serving the same day, do not refrigerate, as this tastes much better at room temperature. It tastes even better the next day, however, and keeps well for several days, so feel free to make ahead and refrigerate once it’s cooled. (Cover tightly with plastic wrap first.) Just bring up to room temp before serving. Serve with lots of crusty bread for spreading.

This makes a large quantity, suitable for a party. On a buffet table with lots of other foods, this quantity would safely cover 30 people. It’s quite rich and goes further than you’d think.

Also, thanks, Saturn, for being Bossy’s corporate sponsor.

Posted at 2:22 pm in Friends and family, Same ol' same ol' | 20 Comments

Excitable boy.

Source: LisaPal

Is it possible to be friends with someone you’ve never met? If you wanted to argue in the affirmative, I could bundle up my 12, 13, 14-ish years of correspondence with Ashley Morris, for research purposes. You’d see how we “met,” back in the early days of the web, when I typed “warren zevon” into this marvelous thing I’d just discovered, something called a “search engine,” and stumbled across Ashley’s unofficial Warren Zevon page. I wrote him a note. He wrote back. It went on from there.

Ashley’s WZ page had Easter eggs in it, one of which was a hyperlinked period at the end of a sentence. It took you to a photo of a crazy-eyed topless woman doing the splits. He said it had been sent to him by another girl who’d started out a friendly correspondent and ended with abrupt questions about his penis size and an unsolicited topless picture. So you can see, perhaps, why Ashley responded to out-of-the-blue notes from strange women — you never knew when you’d get another naked picture in the e-mails.

That’s not how it went with us, of course. Instead, we wrote back and forth about everything and nothing. I guess it started when Ashley was finishing his doctorate in computer science at Tulane, after which he moved to Idaho for a spell, then to Chicago, then back to his beloved New Orleans (while keeping the job in Chicago — he had a long commute). Along the way we covered everything from his Audi Quattro (essential for Idaho winter driving) to his fondness for Cuban cigars (which may have been a plank in the foundation of his radical leftism — he must have thought anyone who could turn out cigars like those couldn’t be all bad) to his agony over the fate of New Orleans. Along the way, he went off to the Czech Republic to teach at a conference and came home with a fianceé, who stood over six feet tall. Did I have any suggestions on where she might find clothes to fit?, he wrote once. I told him you could find anything in Chicago, but for best results, ask a drag queen.

He was raised by his grandparents, whom he thought were his parents, with a shiftless older sister that he learned late in life was actually his mother. She died a few months ago, of an overdose. Ashley opened up her apartment to start putting her affairs in order and found a fresh two-gram package of heroin on the kitchen counter. It’s a reflection of the kind of guy he was that he managed to find the humor in such a discovery:

I called the cops who found the body, and asked them what to do with the heroin. They said I could bring it in to the station.

yeah, right.

That would be the time I get pulled over for speeding. “Yes, ossifer, I was bringing this brown tar to the station! Honest!”. Or maybe, I could just announce when I got there: “HI, I BROUGHT THE HEROIN!”.

When, late in his PhD program, he was diagnosed with adult ADD and prescribed Ritalin, a turn of events that saved his doctorate from oblivion — he said he could never have finished his dissertation without it — he told this same mother/sister about it. She said, “Oh, they told us that when you were a little kid, but I just figured it was bullshit.” He said he wanted to strangle her.

He didn’t have an easy or long life, but it was action-packed. He lived in Los Angeles for a spell, rode a motorcycle he was nearly killed on, made music, cut a demo. The demo never amounted to much, but it did turn up in the soundtrack of a porno movie, a turn of events Ashley himself discussed here (first comment). He had a huge heart. This you could tell from the get-go, and if it wasn’t clear immediately, it surely was evident in “Fuck you, you fucking fucks,” his cri de coeur from New Orleans in late 2005, which proved profanity can be poetry in the right hands:

What about you fucks that don’t want to rebuild NOLA because we’re below sea level. Well, fuckheads, then we shouldn’t have rebuilt that cesspool Chicago after the fire, that Sodom San Francisco after the earthquakes, Miami after endless hurricanes, or New York because it’s a magnet for terrorists.

And fuck Kansas, Iowa, and your fucking tornados.

Fuck you, San Antonio. You aren’t getting our Saints. When I get to the Alamo, I’m taking a piss on it. You probably go to funerals and hit on the widow. Classless fucks.

And so on. He hated all the bullshit spewed into the air after Katrina, and wanted one thing and one thing only — for New Orleans to get its due. OK, he wanted other things, too. He wanted another beer and some great NOLA street food and a big cigar. Check out that picture up there, that’s Ashley in his element — sweaty, cigar in his pocket, and some dinner. You know the funniest thing about that picture? The two little pieces of broccoli. When Warren Zevon said, “Enjoy every sandwich,” Ashley always said, “Make mine a muffaletta.”

He leaves behind his wife, Hana, and three young children, along with dozens of friends, fans and fellow travelers.

One last thing: A few years back, I went to Chicago with Alan and Kate, and had vague plans to meet Ash for a beer. This was in February, and it was cold and windy, and we’d just frozen our butts off all day, and at the end of it, I begged off. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I thought we’d have another chance, and had vaguely planned for this June in Chicago, but that had recently been torpedoed, too. I thought I’d take Kate down to New Orleans later this year and show her what still had to be done there. I figured Ash would give us the tour, and then we’d have a muffaletta. Well, that didn’t work out. Maybe I should try for the funeral. I’m sure he’ll have a hell of a second line, it will rock the llama’s ass, and knowing Ashley, there won’t be a fuckmook in sight.

Posted at 9:55 am in Friends and family | 35 Comments

Very bad news.

Last night brought the sad and surprising news that our very own Ashley Morris died yesterday in Florida. I don’t know anything more than what his wife, Hana, posted last night; if I find out anything more, I’ll pass it along.

In the meantime, keep good thoughts, prayers, whatever your inclination is. He will be missed.

Posted at 1:00 am in Friends and family, Housekeeping | 14 Comments

Mark’s moment.

I always liked my old radio co-host Mark GiaQuinta. He’s a funny guy, but unlike a lot of funny guys, he’s funny even when he’s being interviewed after calling the police who called the bomb squad who sent their little robot out to disarm a funny package sent to his office, and, and…I’m getting ahead of myself.

Read the story here.

I’m so proud of my little quote machine:

GiaQuinta said he didn’t think there was a bomb in the box, but when police asked him if he was 100 percent sure there was nothing dangerous inside, he said no.

“I thought he probably wrapped up some dog crap,” GiaQuinta said.

It wasn’t dog crap. It was a turnip. Funny story.

FWOb has pictures.

Posted at 4:00 pm in Friends and family | 11 Comments

Now that’s a snow emergency.

We got some more snow over the weekend, well within normal for March in Michigan — maybe three new inches. But Columbus, which by March is usually well into the mud/freezing rain/defrosting dog poo stage of winter, got a foot and a half, maybe more. My brother said it was so bad, he closed his bar. Then he called one of the TV stations, to get it added to the ever-lengthening closings list.

“Um,” she said. “Is this….an institution?”

“Hell yes it’s an institution,” he replied. “It’s a bar in Obetz! That’s like a church!”

“Sir,” she said. “I don’t think you’re being serious with me.”

Well, in a blizzard, all the serious is being hogged by people trying to drive.

I said last fall that I wanted lots of snow this winter, and I guess I got my wish. (As for our boating fortunes this year, in the god-I-hope-our-slip-isn’t-dry sense of things, I go for cautiously optimistic.) I’m still not really tired of winter yet. I miss my bicycle and the color green, but so much of coping with cold weather comes down to having the sense to wear a decent coat and boots. Still, there was a moment Saturday when I turned a corner and was hit in the face by a blast of wind, and thought: OK, enough. By week’s end the temperature should be nudging 50. That’ll do.

The student film is done. I left at the DVD-burning point, which was four hours into our last editing session. I’d recommend a class like this to anyone who likes movies, just so you can see what it takes to make even a very very small one. You’ll learn why “creative differences” are such a big factor in Hollywood. We spent an hour tweaking audio filters to get the right sound on a 30-second phone conversation, so that when we cut to one character while the other one was still talking, the voice would sound like it was coming through a telephone. There’s a strong tendency, at every step of the game, to say, “Screw it. This is good enough.” You need a few perfectionists in the room.

But here’s the best thing: This really is a creative outlet that is truly collaborative, and if you have the right collaboration, it becomes more than the sum of its parts. I’ll treasure the wonder I felt at every step of the process as our three-minute story came together. I also learned a thing or two about cheats for no-budget storytelling; one scene was lit by two hand-held flashlights. It was great fun, and I can’t wait to take the next class. And yes, I’ll post the video eventually, but please be gentle.

So, Monday-morning bloggage for you folks to fight about:

The qualifier, now an ongoing series: Mitch Albom spends 60 percent of his Sunday metro column outlining two cases of bad behavior caught on video and seen widely on the internet (the puppy-throwing soldiers and car-wash mom, for those of you who keep up with such things). Then…wait for it…the qualifier:

Now, I am not condoning either act — not the dog fling, not the hosing. Neither was smart or necessary. Both seem cold, cruel, even deplorable. But I wonder where we are going when every moment of every life is filmed.

The only thing that could make that passage better would be a “dare I say” inserted between “cruel” and “even deplorable.”

Another shoe drops in the Detroit text-message scandal. We are shocked, shocked to find it’s about more than sex. In fact, it’s about sweetheart deals and other glories of life in a corrupt city. By 2002, I was certainly aware that it was perfectly legal for my bosses to look at my company e-mail. (In fact, I often wondered if they were, and was sure to give them lots of juicy reading material.) What sort of moron sends stuff like this over a public (translation: where bosses = everyone) network?

In a message on Oct. 30, 2002, (mayoral chief of staff Christine) Beatty asked him how much she owed (mayoral friend and favored contractor) Bobby Ferguson for the driveway he poured at her Detroit home.

“Ya know ya my sister,” he replied. “Family don’t worry about shit like money.”

Finally, Laura Lippman’s new book, “Another Thing to Fall,” hits stores tomorrow. Run out and buy it and make the Lippman-Simon Co-Prosperity Sphere’s March 2008 one to remember. Plot synopsis: Lippman’s P.I., Tess Monaghan, investigates shenanigans on the set of a TV series filmed in Baltimore. No, not that one. (Which reminds me: Wire-blogging reaches its crescendo over at The New Package. Distracted as I was last week by my other life, your correspondent will check in…eventually. The new slackage!

OK, that’s it for me. I have a story to write, and have to readjust my head into money-making mode.

Posted at 7:45 am in Friends and family, Media, Movies | 55 Comments

It’s a tough town.

Quite an evocative story from yesterday’s DetNews, in Neal Rubin’s column. I can’t decide if it’s a story about pluck, stubbornness or stupidity: A Detroit teacher has had 15 vehicles stolen in four years. Fourteen, actually — 13 Town & Country minivans and one Durango, twice. I’ll give her this much — this is one nice white lady who is not intimidated by the rough, tough city:

Another time, she found her Town & Country in some delinquent’s driveway near Vetal. When the police didn’t show any great interest in helping her get it back, she dialed her cell phone, which she had left in the console. The thief picked up. “I hope you like orange,” Fulton said, “because you’re going to be wearing an orange jumpsuit.” The kid jumped back into the van, drove it to Grand River Avenue and McNichols Road and crashed it into a tree. So maybe that wasn’t the best idea on her part, but at least she felt better for a little while.

The story goes on to point out that Chrysler lags other domestic carmakers in anti-theft protection. They do, however, offer lots of helpful advice:

After the most recent theft, she e-mailed Chrysler to ask why it didn’t do a better job stopping thieves. After 15 vehicles, she said, she was running out of patience. Someone named Jenny e-mailed her back. Among Jenny’s suggestions was to park in “lighted areas, garages or neighborhoods without a history of stolen vehicles activity, whenever possible.” “Great,” Fulton fired back. “Are you going to drive me to work?”

If the city survives, it’ll be because of women like this — always willing to buy American one more time. When Alan finally got his shotgun out of layaway, the gun shop owner was examining a new item of inventory, a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson Chiefs Special, the standard-issue police service revolver for generations (at least until they started carrying semiautomatics, to keep up with the bad guys). It had “Detroit P.D.” stamped on the barrel, and he said, “I could put this up for sale and get a $300 premium from somebody in Los Angeles who wants to own a gun from the murder capital of the United States. But I won’t.” You said it, mister. Keep Detroit armed and strong.

Folks, as should be obvious by now, I got nuttin’ today. I see some of you are discussing the wind on the east coast in previous post comments. Well, before you had that wind, we had it, two nights ago. Let’s all offer good thoughts and support for NN.C’s neighbor and commenter JohnC, who’s probably wishing he’d cleaned out the garage and put the Cadillac away that night:

Not the Cadillac!

They were out of town at the time. I wonder if the car alarm continued for hours and hours.

Off to write words for money. Later.

Posted at 10:24 am in Detroit life, Friends and family | 29 Comments