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June 09, 2009

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Mr. WAC

One of my favorite websites chronicles the decay of Detroit in pictures, images which are unbelievable to those who have never seen full-on urban decay- abandoned factories, abandoned private buildings, abandoned skyscrapers(!).

http://www.detroityes.com/home.htm

While the people who run the site really care about the state of their city, they are not without a sense of humor. The sad, sick joke of the site is the promotion of a new tourism hook for Detroit: "Come see the ruins."

Crackie

Mrs. P, Sometime when you are out my way I will have to show you my son's architectural thesis on the Michigan Central Station. He had ideas for finding an alternate use for it, although I expect Implosionworld.com will be its next stop.
I thought your reference to 25 stories HAD to be a typo, but a quick Google check shows that you are right on the money with that one. Getting people onto the fourth floor of a downtown mall is usually impossible--I marvel at the ability of the J.L. Hudson folks to get shoppers to go up that many floors. What on earth did they have on that top floor?

Mrs. Peperium

Mr. WAC, thank you. My first visit to Detroit was in the summer of '67 -about a month before the riots. We were on a family trip and stayed at the Book Cadillac for several days. When the bellmen/doormen were getting all of our luggage and whatnot into the family Country Squire - enough for 2 adults/5 kids...my brother and I played with his Matchbox cars under the chairs in the lobby. When they called us to board, we scrambled so fast - I left his blue (Ford?) tractor there under the chair. I can still see -in my mind- the doormen/bellmen waving goodbye to us as we drove off to our next destination - Montreal. It was about an hour later my brother discovered his missing tractor and a great howl went up. I responded with the onset of car sickness...I was rather famous for random bouts of car sickness when traveling with my family....gee, wonder why?....anyhoo, do you know in Canada they did not sell blue (Ford?) tractor Matchboxes. Only kelly green -which suggests to me he got a John Deer as a replacement.

Anyhoo, I landed 4 extra tickets to see the Pope (in NYC) last year which required me to go downtown to turn them back in at the Archdiocese so they could give them to others. Had zero clue the Archdiocese is just about next door to the old Book Cadillac which at the time was under renovation to be reopened for the first time in a few decades - no Catholic pun intended. I was shocked to see how it had all changed from my memory. I recalled a bustling city...

Crackie, what was on the top floor? The floor next to Heaven in a profit oriented business? Why that would've been ladies lingerie, wouldn't it?

Mr. WAC

You are correct. My Father lost a blue Ford tractor once, though it was the real thing, in the bottom of a lake worse, it belonged to his father-in-law. Unlike your brother, though, it was recovered. Indeed, I worked with the same tractor, doing the same job, 17 years later. We also used a Ford at the Boy Scout camp that employed me in my teenage in West Virginia. So, yes, your brother lost a Ford in Detroit.

As a boy, and a country boy at that, I can help those interested identify the major tractor tinctures: Blue=Ford, Green=John Deere, Yellow=Caterpillar, Red=International Harvester.

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