Detroit ’67: A Family Photo Album

Just days after the 1967 Detroit riot, my father packed up the family in his Oldsmobile and took us on a terrifying road trip to Twelfth Street, the epicenter of the civil disturbance 50 years ago this month. Faded color photos from that trip are tucked away in a family album that ended up in... Continue Reading →

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Nine Business Lessons from Grandma’s Bar

My grandmother, Rozalia Krzemienski, a Polish immigrant with a third-grade education, ran a tiny shot-and-a-beer bar for autoworkers in Detroit for 60 years. I spent my childhood summers with her, watching her deal with customers and make decisions as the small-business owner of the Rose Café, which was named after her. She taught me some... Continue Reading →

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Car Culture: Redefining the Barn Find

When parents in my rural Michigan town want to raise money for the local school system, they don’t hold a traditional bake sale or car wash. Instead, they unlock the barns and outbuildings, and haul out their special vehicles for an under-the-radar August car show that’s our modest version of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance... Continue Reading →

Detroit Journal: Real Polish Weddings

My mother paid me an unusual compliment shortly after my honeymoon. “You’re the first bride in our family who wasn’t drunk at the wedding,” she said, referring to my large extended Polish family and the dozens of Detroit and Hamtramck ceremonies we had attended through the years. Well, that drinking comment about other brides may... Continue Reading →

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid: Prius Parity?

It annoys me when automakers and car reviewers pigeonhole vehicles, suggesting they’re aimed at Baby Boomers or Millennials or some other monolithic group. Case in point: the 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid, an all-new gasoline-electric compact hatchback that takes aim at the Toyota Prius. More than one reviewer has called the Ioniq a good choice for... Continue Reading →

Car Culture: Spy Photo Heaven

My neighborhood is becoming a Mecca for car spy photographers and curious consumers. Trips to the local Dairy Queen, party store and post office invariably end up with the sighting of future vehicles swathed in black-and-white plastic camo and undergoing real-world testing. On Saturday morning, my husband and I were headed out for a bike... Continue Reading →

Detroit ’67: Anarchy on Archdale

My neighborhood had a certain Lord of the Flies quality in the months that preceded the 1967 Detroit riot. Many of us were the children of cops, firemen and Detroit factory workers. Like the boys in the William Golding novel, we were governing ourselves with disastrous results — including the death of one boy. Looking... Continue Reading →

2017 Mazda CX-5: Peachy Standout

I’m often jumping in and out of test vehicles with my sister-in-law Jean Jennings, a longtime automotive writer and editor. So when she showed up at my house one afternoon last week, it was only natural for us to get behind the wheel of the redesigned 2017 Mazda CX-5 compact SUV and go somewhere. (Hint:... Continue Reading →

Lonnie Baker’s Marketing Creed

I’ve done my share to kill traditional forms of media such as newspapers, periodicals and books — which is ironic, considering I’ve been a professional writer for all of my adult life. Like many people, I no longer subscribe to the local papers and get most of my news online. No wonder the newspaper industry... Continue Reading →

2018 Chevrolet Equinox: Sister Act

My sister Claudia spent the last three years living in Saudi Arabia, a country where women are not permitted to drive and her family did not even own a car. So when she and her husband moved back to the U.S. in June after his work assignment ended, shopping for a new vehicle was high... Continue Reading →

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