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 →

Featured post

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 →

Featured post

Detroit Journal: A Babushka Easter

I always ended up with garlic breath after digging into my Easter basket as a kid. That’s because unlike American-style baskets, which were filled with chocolate bunnies and jelly beans, mine had a distinctly Polish flavor. My Polish grandmother, whose day job was running a little bar for Detroit factory workers on Michigan Avenue, always... Continue Reading →

Book Club Blues

As part of the gig economy, I’ve been on several job interviews in the past year. I made a major gaffe during an interview for a freelance project not long ago and I’ve also learned from friends in human resources that others are being tripped up by this particular stumbling block. It has to do... Continue Reading →

On the Death of a Co-Worker

It’s been a monastic life for me as a writer for the past 25 years, since I’ve largely abandoned newsrooms and classrooms in favor of a home office. For 15 of those years, my faithful co-worker has been my miniature schnauzer Pinki, who would arise with me at 5 a.m. and shepherd me into my... Continue Reading →

Detroit Journal: Sewing Lessons

When a neighbor in her Polish village raised his rifle and shot her little dog, that was just the beginning of the heartache for my grandmother. The dog’s furry brown pelt was used as a collar on a new winter coat made by the neighbor’s wife. Grandma was reminded of the violent act every day... Continue Reading →

Tiger Moms vs. Kitty Cat Moms

My students are taking a little break after the big push to meet the November 1 deadline for submitting early decision/action applications to Harvard, Yale, Columbia, MIT, the United States Military Academy, the University of Michigan and other highly ranked schools. It gave me some time to reflect on the different parenting styles I’ve encountered... Continue Reading →

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑