Your piece on Idlewild (June 6 by Rick Coates) was informative and brought back memories for me. In 1948 I was a State Probation Officer serving two judicial districts out of Manistee. Lake County was in my purview as I served Circuit Judge Neal doing pre-sentence investigations for his court. That year, 1948, Percy Langster was elected proseouting attorney for Lake County, the first black PA elected in the U.S.
Calling on probationers and parolees in Idlewild, I found no animosity touard me -- a whitey. Much social activity revolved around the tourism and entertainment business. Idlewild was not a poverty ghetto then. Many blacks in Grand Rapids, etc. owned cabins on the lake and in the woods where they vacationed.
Today, at 81, I think of the many friends I made working Yates Township. I heard some good music in the town.
James E. Woodrow Traverse City
Kirt Ploe of East Jordan challenges City Hall. Skateboarding is illegal in town - anywhere. One might extrapolate in retrospect that, say, if shooting hoops along about the 1950s were illegal - anywhere -- the hoopla that would come from that. It actually is that when law inhibits people from the said life, liberty and pursuit of of happiness clause, that contumacy does set in. City commissioners did listen to Kirt‘s eloquent plaint, though dismissed it as under consideration, which we do understand the meaning of. Meanwhile the stated $50-70 fines for such illegal recreation will presumably continue.
But considering also the semi tractor trailer on the freeway which dwarfs the Audi in its shadow, the Segway now looming as the wonder of transportation in towns and cities against the backdrop of elderly persons with walkers, baby carriages, etc., we find a near kaleidoscope of street and sidewalk monitoring as pertains to safety and transportation wants and needs and economics. Perhaps East Jordan will include a skateboard area in its new recreational park. And perhaps Kirt Ploe will be a forthcoming mayor of this little town.
Mitchell Jon MacKay East Jordan
I am what has been termed “permafudge“ whose definition is one who relocates
to Northern MI. We purchased property in 1990 and relocated in 1995. I
read Bob Downes “Letting Go of Detroit“ (Random Thoughts, June 6) and basically agree with him. BUT on June 1 we were in the metro Detroit area and dined at Intermezzo in
Harmony Park, walked around the area with no trepidation, listened to Bon
Temps Roullez at the Centre Pub and then walked to Comerica Park. I felt
such vibrancy walking around seeing young couples with kids, young adults,
and the wiser generation too. Energy and hope and elation (we won both
sporting events that night) were in the air. We then drove around the
downtown area (with the fans from the Tigers and the Wings game 7 fans)
looking at my former work place, Woodward Ave (Compuware Bldg is great), a
few blocks of blight and some clubs and the revitalized area around Adams
and beyond. There was entertainment at the State and Fox Theaters too.
Downtown was more alive than I‘ve ever seen it. The fireworks brought
millions downtown, but Hart Plaza was THE location. Now, people were in
Greektown, Harmony Park, Comerica Park, Woodward Ave - all around the (down)
town. Sure, Hudson‘s, Quickee Donuts, Greenfield‘s, and Tiger Stadium are
all gone, the City-County Bldg has been renamed, Kennedy Square is being
renovated, the Ellwood Grill has moved; but life is about change and
downtown Detroit appears to be undergoing a change for the better. Don‘t
get me wrong, I‘m staying in northern Michigan, but I do return to the metro
for friends, family and occasional thrills.
Pam Yee Benzie County