If you love Detroit or simply wonder what happened and is happening in the city, I cannot recommend this collection highly enough. Here are the words that go with the photo above:
I’d look into the mirror every morning only to find the same guy staring back. Then, it seems suddenly, I find some 50 year old grump is staring back. Who is this guy? The changes happen so slowly with such steady force I failed to see the changes. I noticed the laugh lines around my eyes are now stubbornly etched into my face even in times of scorn. As I contemplate these changes I think of friends and family and how, in my mind’s eye, they are still 21, bolted down in time. Just like me, or so I thought. Now consider that old friend you haven’t seen in 10 or 15 years. Think of how you had to do a double take when you met after all those years. The face is familiar but the changes make you not quite sure. You hesitantly state their name with a question, “John?”
For me my home town is curiously like encountering that long lost friend. I have lived here my entire life yet over the last couple years the changes in Detroit have, at times, struck me as startling. For most of my early life, as a schoolboy and a young adult, I spent my time working throughout the city neighborhoods and business districts. During all that time these neighborhoods were in decline, I just never noticed the change. About 10 years ago I took a job that had me traveling a great deal in Canada and since that time my professional life has found me spending most of my time away from home traveling all over the Midwest.
As my body banned me from playing basketball and my lack of patience killed my golf game, photography filled the distraction void. Trading the links for a photo safari on my weekends, I started to wander around my old haunts mostly in search of connections to my memories. I was struck by what I found, or in some instances failed to find- my home town suddenly got old. “Detroit….right?”