Saturday, October 5, 2013

Consider Donating to Flint Expatriates

This little experiment in blogging about Flint has been unexpectedly fun. I no longer annoy non-Flint people with stories about The Vehicle City because I funnel all my lame recollections about the Dupont Street bus or Sam Isaac's motivational techniques into Flint Expatriates; I've connected with dozens of Flintoids; and I've discovered the identity of a shadowy figure from my past known as Gypsy Jack.

Even better, a surprising number of readers have discovered the blog. Since January 1, 2008, when I started tracking interest on Google Analytics, 268,020 unique visitors have racked up more than 1 million pageviews. And visitors have come from 150 different countries and every state in the union. (Granted, quite a few probably landed on the site accidentally while Googling Semi-Pro t-shirts or a bizarre hobby called flint knapping, but let's not get picky.)

I'd like to blog more, but in order to do that I need to free myself from my less enjoyable — but marginally more profitable — freelance work.Basically, the only blogs that make money off ads involve porn, electronic gizmos, celebrity gossip, or partisan political commentary. Even though some car enthusiasts get turned on by my posts about the Buick Electra 225, my blog doesn't fall into any of those profitable categories.

So like some bloggers, I'm taking the bold step of asking for donations from readers. (I resisted using the term "begging" because I have my pride.) I'm obviously not in this for the money. I just happen to love the town where I grew up, despite all its flaws, and I really enjoy attacking GM executives. But I would welcome the chance to spend more time on Flint Expatriates and do more actual reporting — like my profile of artist Eric Koziol — instead of simply aggregating material on Flint and making occasionally witty/stupid/annoying comments. After all, I am a journalist, even if many of my editors don't always think so.

So if you'd like to help out, just click on the "Donation" tab in the top right corner of the blog. You can donate via credit card or your Paypal account, if you have one. It's all safe and secure. Any amount is welcome, however small. Consider it a voluntary subscription to a free online publication dedicated to keeping the memory of Flint alive.

And if you choose not to donate, don't worry! It's okay. I'll survive. Just keep reading and sending your ideas.


  1. From discussing the Sisters of St. Joseph crossing the street on Delaware to do their jobs, to reminising about the late, great St. Mary's School and old Dr. Sorscher's "medieval" techniques, to the re-discovering of Roy O. Steffenson and Adolf Moses (May their souls and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace...), you, Professor Young, have awakened memories from long ago. This poster might even be pursuaded to send a donation; might even pass along this website to a few of the classmates you and I attended classes with.

  2. Damn, I feel I'm so close to getting a dollar or two out of you. What would it take to get you to commit? Perhaps a recent photo of the St. Mary's nuns? For the record, I was going to post this anyway; I don't want readers to think they can buy content. I have my standards.

  3. Next time you're in Flint I'll buy you a couple of 40s of Laser Malt Liquor or a 12 pack of Josef Hofbauer Ice Beer. Your choice.

    Anyways, thanks for doing what you do.

  4. I'll pass on the photo of St. Mary's nuns since I was a Maurice Olk & Donovan North girl, but if you could suggest something for Post Traumatic Sister Rosalyn-Related Stress I'd most appreciate it. And as "smurfs inc." so aptly phrased it, thanks for doing what you do :)

  5. Smurfs, Inc, I'll take you up on that offer sometime. I should have mentioned I'd accept beer in lieu of cash.

  6. Heres 25 bucks ,thanks for what you do and for letting me stay "anonmymous", it just makes it easier to speak my mind!

  7. Here's 25 more bucks, I wish it could be more. Just keep doing what you do.


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at