Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Flint Artifacts: Health Guarded Child Pin

Monday, February 11, 2019

Flint Photos: All Contrails Lead to Albert Champion

Albert Champion, with scarf and spark plug, hanging out, appropriately enough, in a downtown parking lot in Flint. Special thanks to John Weaver for the photo.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

The Great Divide

Eduardo Porter in The New York Times reports:
"Automation is splitting the American labor force into two worlds. There is a small island of highly educated professionals making good wages at corporations like Intel or Boeing, which reap hundreds of thousands of dollars in profit per employee. That island sits in the middle of a sea of less educated workers who are stuck at businesses like hotels, restaurants and nursing homes that generate much smaller profits per employee and stay viable primarily by keeping wages low." 

Flint, Meet Los Angeles

Spot photography
Grey L.A. courtesy of Spot.

"Nostalgia is a byproduct of action and memory. It doesn't have to exist but culture tends to impose a 'longing for times gone by' and 'the other side is always greener' mentality on perception. It's very marketable and does a great job of spinning history into easily digestible hot dogmas and popsicle politics. It's why America has such a fascination with the Wild West and a 'rugged individualism' that maybe never existed. We've all pined for living in a time we were never part of."

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Flint Photos: Chevy in the Hole

A cozy little spot for a picnic. Delphi Flint West, better known as Chevy in the Hole. And just how would a picnic table find its way to this particular or labor?

Friday, February 1, 2019

Home, Sweet Home

A white mitten.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

The Streets of San Francisco

Saturday, January 19, 2019

A man walked upon it

Everyone was talking about the moon. A man had walked upon it, but I hardly noticed.
     — Patti Smith, Just Kids

And the year 2000 won't change anyone here
As each fabled promise flies so fast
You'll swear it was never there

      — Morrissey, Reader Meet Author

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Flint Writers Unite: An Afternoon with Author Connor Coyne in San Francisco

Despite my less-than-stellar organizational skills these days and my two-year-old daughter Larkin's idiosyncratic napping schedule, the book party for Connor Coyne's compelling Urbantasm: The Dying City actually happened on Saturday. 

It started at 3pm, at which time I was wandering the aisles of the Mission Safeway buying beer, forgetting that any trip to that Safeway — once labeled "the worst Safeway on planet Earth" by an internet wag — involves a 20-minute wait in line. So no booze, no host at start time. But Connor was there, entertaining the early guests with tales of Coneys and what happens late night at the corner of Dort and Lippincott. 

Then my brilliant plan to push the shopping cart filled with beer, ice, and paper plates across the street to the party was thwarted by the security thingy on the wheel to stop people like me from walking off with the carts. Connor was called and he had to enlist a few guests to come and ferry the supplies over. Never let it be said I don't know how to show people a good time.

In the end, it was a great chance to connect Flintoids, Flint Expats, and San Franciscans who have grown to know Vehicle City because I never stop talking about it. And a reminder that Flint, despite its problems, is a place that people love and have not forgotten. And a chance to celebrate Connor Coyne's great writing.

Books by Connor Coyne, which were sold. Quickly. And efficiently.

Ruth, my friend and neighbor, with Dennis Brownfield's old license plate, which tells a big part of Flint's history in just six characters.

Chuck Siegel, formerly of Eldorado Drive in Flint and the man behind Charles Chocolates in San Francisco, with Shabana Siegel. (That's me in the Flint Lumber Company apron.)

Michael G, featured prominently in Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City, mocks a remnant of one of the worst jobs I ever had.