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 →

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 →

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 →

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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Garage Sale 2017: A Leading Economic Indicator

Just two hours into our annual neighborhood garage sale on Saturday, it was clear something was wrong. “Nobody’s buying anything!” said one neighbor. “I’ve only sold $10 worth of stuff.” In recent years, bargain hunters would be running up our driveways an hour before the official start time of 8 a.m., searching for the best... Continue Reading →

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