The small things make for a great Father’s Day

dime storeI grew tired of watching my shiny bald head in the mirror when I worked out in the morning at my health club. So I bought a couple of bandanas to wrap around my head.

The other day I drove to a graduation party in Detroit with my wife Abs. My children Brandon and Celine drove separately. Afterwards, Abs said she knew a cool place that sold bandanas of every color and design for my shiny, bald head. She suggested we stop there so she could buy a couple for me for Fathers Day.

We drove into the parking lot and were surprised to see Brandon walking toward us demanding that we get out of there as quickly as possible. Celine shopped for bandanas inside. We took off so we would not spoil the surprise.

I was thrilled that my family thought about me.

But that wasn’t the best part about Fathers Day. Celine wanted to hold my hand as we walked inside the Chrysler House for an hour long wait to enjoy brunch at The Dime Store. When I went for a walk downtown in the heat Brandon insisted on going with me, so we could visit without the ladies and talk.

We went to Avalon Bakery, Under Armor and a couple other shops before making it back to the Dime Store.

The gang bought me a flowered shirt that drew two compliments in one day and some shorts and T shirts. The gifts were not the best part of the day.

I received love and that meant more than anything. Celine wanted to hold hands and Brandon wanted to spend a few minutes alone with dad. Those are special moments that might sound corny to non dads, but I really appreciated it.

When I was young one of my goals was to make life better for my children than it was for me. We are on our way. Celine completed her freshman year at Stanford University,  made the deans list, is an officer in a women’s business group and is president of the sophomore class. Brandon carries a B averaged in high school and has his eye on helping children when he is an adult.

I am proud of both of them.

It is important for men to be good husbands. I believe it is even more important to be a great dad.


The little guy is being pushed out in downtown Detroit

downtownThe Cornerstone restaurant on Woodward is a great place to stop before a game or concert at Comerica Park.

A few of us gathered there a few days ago to discuss the future of downtown. Places like the Cornerstone may not be there for long. It could disappear just like Henry the Hatter and other venerable downtown establishments.

The good news is Dan Gilbert and his Bedrock group have spruced up downtown with billions in improvements. The bad news is rent is sky rocketing downtown and some places won’t be able to afford it and will be forced to close.

The little guy will lose out and the big guy with the big name will prosper.

That’s the way gentrification works.

The word in the streets is that places with Hollywood names and national resumes get rent or tax breaks to relocate downtown. Henry from down the street does not.

“I don’t know what downtown is going to look like in five years,” said my friend James. “It might not have that Detroit feel.”

One guy lived in a one bedroom apartment that was going for $1,500 a month. He’s been told that price is going up to $4,000 although he will get a little big more room.

One business woman told me that her building is not owned by Bedrock, but her rent is going to go up anyway.

“The thing I appreciate is that they said they are willing to work with me,” she said. “And they are trying to delay it for as long as possible.”

I am not supportive of a downtown run entirely by outsiders. There has to be room for those who stood by the city when it was a shit hole. They’ve sunk millions into their buildings and should prosper when the city becomes paved with gold.

There needs to room for Henry the Hatter and the Cornerstone just as there should be room for Nike and Under Armor.

I root more for the little guy because he is more likely to make Detroit great again than the big-time outsiders. But the little guy is being pushed out and we need to keep an eye out for that.




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