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JUNE PHOTO CONTEST
WHO ARE THESE GUYS?
Why, they're Fred, Joe and Sebastian, of course, and they all have something in common with Woodward. BUT, WHAT WERE THEIR LAST NAMES? You must correctly name all three to be declared a WINNER*!
Deadline for entry is June 15, 2009. One entry per person, please. Winners* will be announced in the July Newsletter.
*Your prize? Why, the fame and notoriety you'll enjoy once your name appears on the Winners List!
In last month's issue, you were asked to identify where the photo below was taken. Holy cow, over 100 people guessed it right! Can't fool you!
You'll find albums of BELLE ISLE and the DETROIT ZOO where the weather was 'Chamber of Commerce perfect' on both days. The trees and flowers were all in bloom...ahhhh, Spring! (I don't have allergies, TG.)
Plus, you'll find photos from the SWINGIN' TIME EVENT at Macomb Community College's Lorenzo Cultural Center, DETROIT HISTORICAL MUSEUM with photos of the Detroit TV Exhibit, Motown Museum but only the exterior since they don't allow picture-taking inside, Pewabic Pottery what a beautiful store that is! Sanders where I HAD to have a hot fudge sundae, and Around Detroit and Signs of Detroit both with all kinds of miscellany photos.
These photos are intended primarily for those of you who don't get a chance to return to the Detroit area often or at all.
In case you missed it... ROBIN SEYMOUR hosted a re-creation of Swingin' Time at Macomb Community College's Lorenzo Cultural Center Over 200 tickets were sold!
Local band VANHAMMEL (see photo and article below) played all of the rockin' oldies -- including local favs like Mitch Ryder, Bob Seger, etc. When the band was playing the dance floor was always jammed.
~ ~ ~
Joining us were Gordon Castelnero, author of TV Land - Detroit, Rick Stevers, drummer from the band Frijid Pink, Art Cervi, co-producer of Swingin' Time and Detroit's own Bozo the Clown, Ed Golick, webmaster of www.DetroitKidShow.com Michael Collins, WWJ, who videotaped portions of the event, and Stewart McMillin, 'Detroit's Tour Guy' who sported an ol' Edgewater Park ("P.O.P.") t-shirt. (I want one!) Also, there were several 'teens' who danced on Swingin' Time!
(L to R) Brad Prokopow, Gary Van Elslander, Dave Hammel, Bob Garvey and Ken Ignagni
All the members of of this band are have been playing music since the mid-'60s. Gary ('69), Bob ('67) and Dave ('69) graduated from Austin, Ken ('69) from Grosse Pointe (South), and Brad ('69) from Southlake. They started out at high school dances and moved on to various eastside digs such as the Doghouse, the Cavern, and the Underground.
Incidentally, band member Gary is the son of Art Van Elslander. Who's that, you ask? Keep reading...
Art Van Elslander started working in a furniture store as a young man, and his entrepreneurial spirit led him to open his own store on Gratiot Avenue and 10 Mile Road in 1959.
Known then as "Art Vans," the store employed only the owner and featured Danish contemporary home furnishings. Despite the fact that Detroit's economy was struggling during this time, Van Elslander was able to build his business, and between 1959 and 1964, he took on three business partners and opened seven more stores. The name was later changed to Art Van Furniture. Though the company experienced growth for some years, hard times hit Art Van Furniture in 1964.
Getting creative, Van Elslander held a liquidation sale at the Michigan State Fair Grounds. He was able to sell everything and save the company. Growth continued through the '60s and '70s, with eight more stores opening. Eventually, Van Elslander bought out his partners to become sole owner once more.
In 1973, Art Van Furniture moved headquarters from the 12 Mile Road and Van Dyke location to 14 Mile Road and Mound, where it is still located today.
Art Van is the largest furniture retailer in Michigan, and the only independent family-run furniture store of its kind in the Midwest.
Art Van Elslander
In honor of its 50th anniversary, Art Van Furniture has committed to donating $1 million to support Michigan-based children, health and human services programs.
Art Van Elslander has made giving a priority since he opened the first Art Van Furniture store. His generosity has earned him honors such as Greater Detroit Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year, the University of Detroit Mercy President's Medallion Award and the Detroit News Michiganian of the Year.
LITTLE CAESARS CELEBRATES 50 YEARS 1 9 5 9 - 2 0 0 9
By Mary Francis Masson Free Press Business Writer
A big "thank you, thank you" was bestowed on the couple who made "Pizza! Pizza!" a catchphrase. At a 50th anniversary celebration of Little Caesars, the kudos came from employees, franchisees, elected officials and even celebrities like Kid Rock, Eminem (who once worked at Little Caesars) and former President George W. Bush.
Mike and Marian Ilitch opened their first Little Caesars restaurant in Garden City on May 8, 1959. Now there are about 2,500 Little Caesars pizza outlets located on five continents and in every U.S. state.
CONGRATULATIONS MIKE & MARIAN ILITCH!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A LIFE REMEMBERED
MARK 'THE BIRD' FIYDRCH Detroit Tiger / 1976-1980 / Pitcher August 14, 1954-April 13, 2009
Submitted by Ron Kabacinski Bronson MI Fitzgerald '59
I was shocked and saddened that former Detroit Tiger pitcher, Mark "The Bird" Fidrych was found dead on his farm in MA from an apparent accident while working on his truck. He was 54. He pitched for the Tigers from 1976 thru 1980 and he had a 19-9, won-loss record in 1976, his best year. His teammates nicknamed him "The Bird" because they thought he resembled Big Bird on Sesame Street.
His antics of getting down on his knees and smoothing the dirt on the pitching mound, along with "talking to the ball" and his reputation as a "flake", made him a fan favorite. Every time he pitched, the stands would be filled with 50,000 or so of his fans. His career was shortened after five years due to an arm injury.
He and I shared the same birthday, August 14.
He would return to Detroit a couple of times a year and visit the broadcast booth at a Tiger game and, during an interview, make the same flaky comments that endeared him to his fans when he played.
First we lost George Kelland now Mark Fidrych. I will miss him. Goodbye, Mark, and thanks for the memories.
Occasionally I receive emails I feel would be of interest to our Detroit Memories Newsletter subscribers. With permission from the authors, I'll publish them.
EASTWOOD PARK / JEFFERSON BEACH
Love your Newsletter and website!
I'm 67 years old and grew up in Detroit. I moved to Texas in 1960. When I was a little boy we lived on Detroit's east side and my father would take me to an amusement park at 8 Mile Rd and Gratiot. I was wondering if anyone remembers the name of that park and if there are any surviving photos of the park?
Also, are there any photos of Jefferson Amusement Park and is it still open?
Doug McLeroy Houston, Texas
------------------- EILEEN RESPONDS: Eastwood Park (aka Eastwood Gardens) was open from 1925-1953 and located at 8 Mile & Gratiot. It was a popular destination, helped by the fact that the streetcars turned around there. The park was a creation of Cyril Wagner, the same gentleman who opened Electric Park. In fact, Eastwood's roller coaster came from Electric after it closed in the '20s.
On a personal note, my dad was working at Jefferson Beach in 1947 when he met my mom, a visitor to the park. They married four months later and were together for 33 happy years. Our family lived about one mile from JB, so we went there often.
You do a great job on the Newsletter. My mother and I enjoy reminiscing about home and what made Detroit and the surrounding areas so special.
Keep up the good work!
Sincerely, Leslie Patrick Proud daughter of the late Conrad Patrick
Jim Hampton's Memorial Day Weekend DETROIT RADIO RECALL was a re-sounding success!
Four nights of 3-hour shows with lots of interviews and airchecks of Detroit DJs from the '50s and '60s, such as Robin Seymour, Tom Shannon, Lee Alan, Joey Reynolds, Dave Prince, Jo Jo Shutty and more. And there were plenty of news broadcasts and commercials you'd definitely remember. It was all terrific! THE GOOD NEWS... If you missed any or all of the broadcasts, they'll soon be available online. We'll keep you posted.
QUESTION: I was born in Ferndale in 1928. I studied at the Society of Arts & Crafts located on Watson street in Detroit, beginning in 1948. I have some good memories of ol' Detroit.
I remember Ralph Binge's Beautiful Carl, Sharp Frank and, I believe there was one other character who were figments of Ralph's comical imagination. He performed the voices. They were hilarious. They were very popular on his morning radio program, which was, I think, WXYZ, and the year was 1952. Can you give me more information about this show?
QUESTION: Who played Santa in the Hudson's Thanksgiving Day Parade?
ANSWER: In the 1950s, it was Bob Leslie, one of the original Twin Pines milkmen on Milky's Party Time. In the '60s and through the '70s, Santa was played by legendary Detroit radio voice man Rube Weiss. Rube played Shoutin' Shorty Hogan on Soupy Sales' nighttime TV show and was the voice you heard in the Motor City Dragway radio commercials ("Sunday! Sunday!..."). Santa was been most recently played by former WOMCdisk jockeyTom Ryan, who was also Detroit TV kid's show host Sgt. Sacto and Count Scary.
QUESTION: What ever happened to Don Zee? He was the midnight DJ at WXYZ. I listened to him all the time and even went down to the studio in Southfield with a friend of mine to visit with him one evening.
ANSWER: Sadly, Don was killed in a gun accident while living in west Texas back in the late 1970s. Don "Daddy Zee" Oke ("Daddy Zee, two e's, if you please") worked the graveyard shift from midnight until 6 am, and always signed on with Dracula (Bobby Pickett), Elvira, and "Trantula" by The Trantulas.
40 YEARS AGO WKNR/KEENER 13 Survey for week ending Thursday, June 5, 1969
TITLE ~ ARTIST
1. Get Back/Don't Let Me Down ~ Beatles 2. In The Ghetto ~ Elvis Presley 3. Spinning Wheel ~ Blood Sweat & Tears 4. Romeo & Juliet ~ Henry Mancini 5. One ~ Three Dog Night 6. Good Morning Starshine ~ Oliver 7. Friend Lover Woman Wife ~ O C Smith 8. Gitarzan ~ Ray Stevens 9. Israelites ~ Desmond Dekker & The Aces 10. Day is Done ~ Peter Paul & Mary
Jefferson Avenue, for instance, was named for President Thomas Jefferson, who appointed the first Michigan territorial officials and was a good friend of Augustus Woodward. It was first surveyed in 1807 and named Main Street, but soon renamed for Jefferson. At its intersection with Griswold, it passes through the heart of the old cemetery of St. Anne's Church where the remains of Detroit's earliest inhabitants are buried.
THE WESTWIDE POLISH-AMERICAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY announces a "TOTALLY SOCIAL EVENT"
You're invited to attend a '60s-style POLISH WEDDING PARTY! to be held Saturday, the 27th of June, 2009 St. Aidan Catholic Church Social Hall 17500 Farmington Road (N. of 6 Mile Road) Livonia 711 p.m.
~ ~ ~ Wedding evening includes: *Live POLKA BAND for your dancing and dining enjoyment and 60s song sheets for Oczepiny! *Full traditional Polish dinner as it would be in the 60s! *Wedding cake and two drink tickets per person! *60s attire optional but encouraged! *Invite YOUR Best Man and Maid of Honor to enjoy this 1960s-era Wedding party with us! *Ladies, bring your bridal veils for one of the Oczepiny dances! *Bring a framed photo of your 60s wedding to be used as a table centerpiece!
Advance Reservations Only $25.00 per person or $45 per couple* Send check or money order payable to WSDPAHS BY NO LATER THAN FRIDAY, JUNE 19 CONTACT: LAURIE GOMULKA PALAZZOLO c/o 32101 Shiawassee Rd., Farmington, MI 48336. (313) 407-5534 or email@example.com
* * * * * * * * The Detroit Historical Society is honoring John Kelly and Marilyn Turner, along with Detroit TV broadcasters Soupy Sales, Bill Bonds, Bill Kennedy, Emery King and Amyre Makupson with an exhibit at the Detroit Historical Museum thru August 2009.
Detroit St. Thomas ~ All years St. Ambrose ~ All classes
Detroit Redford ~ Class of '59 Walled Lake Central~ Class of '59
Mother Of Our Savior ~ 60's Grade School Reunion Highland Park~ Class of '64 Waterford Kettering ~ Classes of '64 and '65 Waterford Township ~ Class of '68 East Catholic ~ Class of '69 Lakeview (St. Clair Shores) ~ Class of '69 Livonia Franklin ~ Class of '69 Southfield ~ Class of '69 St. Florian ~ Class of '69 St. Mary Mt. Clemens ~ Class of '69 Waterford Kettering ~ Class of '69 Wyandotte Roosevelt ~ Class of '69
Madison ~ Class of '74 Clintondale ~ Class of '77 Lincoln Park ~ Class Of '78 Airport (Carleton, MI) ~ Class of '79 St. Clement~ Class of '79
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