Apr 15, 2012

The final countdown..... (is a lot less dramatic 3 weeks after the fact)

This blog was supposed to start with a composition put together by MVDrecords but since it's not ready yet I thought I'd rock the 313 with a mighty whitey epic rock tune! It has been a hell of a Journey and through it all everyone has been great. I could never say thanks to the Kidd family enough. Frank, Tony, Eyvette, Stevie and Wes. Without them I have no idea what I would have done after my accident in November.

clockwise - Tony, Frank, Eyvette and Stephanie. Being called a brother from another mother just felt right!

The Wes/Dellie connection...Wes had just seen Evyette for the first time in a decade 2 days before I arrived
Tattoo getting ready to load the beast

One of the greatest things to see during my time in Detroit was Eyvettes recovery of the stroke she suffered before I arrived. In fact she was just getting out of the hospital when I was outside of Michigan and I was so nervous, to be honest, as to what awaited me. I didn't know if it would be too much to be there after such a serious thing, maybe they had someone coming to help and there was no room. maybe the van needed to go quickly...my mind raced through thousands of scenarios on the way down. from Calgary to Detroit is a long drive in the middle of winter especially when you put some border bullshit in between it all. Then I was also worried about this van that I had just bought and was running on unknown yrs old tires (all season...yikes from North Portal to Minot) after having only minimum work done on it. 

 So while coming back to Detroit was mentally stressful, the eventual arrival in Detroit was just like coming home to family. I won't go into Eyvette's speech recovery much but needless to say within a few weeks she was back to her old self and I can't swear it but we both saw it...a yellow sour gummy lifesaver seemed to be a big part of her voice coming back. She thought I was a crazy honky for eating gummy candies at the rapid rate that I do but she asked to try one. She put it in her mouth, shivered, looked like it was gross, and then said clear as day and smooth as silk "That gave me my voice back" prior to that it was slowed and since she is such a force to be reckoned with she would get frustrated when trying to say something and ended up stuttering and being more frustrated (that was when her kids would pounce in and poke her into a (sorry Eyvette) comical rage where she would fire back (for some reason she never had trouble swearing or threatening :) ) "I'm going to knock you the F*&^ out!!"

 That is meant to sound loving because it was their way of wanting their mom to be back to her old self and...it was awesome being a people watcher to watch this dynamic family do their thing with an 8 week unexpected, out of place white boy in their midst.

  And the white boy thing...well it was true. I'll be totally honest when I first went to Eyvette's back in November I had no idea what to expect outside of a great lady that I had skyped with who said it was ok to come down. And I'll be the first to admit that I am an ignorant guy about some things...one was how much white I have been around for my entire life. Not just because I am white...but because when growing up and still for the most a large part today...my surroundings (Calgary) have been all white. And it's not different...and it is. Being who I am I adapt well and since I've claimed for years that I'm partially black (a fact that I've been trying to pass off on Miss Dellie for years that she continues to scoff at)...I was right at home. However when I took a near 20 mile bike ride down from Mikes Trailer Service in Hazel Park, MI to Eyvettes using W McNichols as my main stretch...I really was a lone dude out there. Stopping into the Dutch Girls bakery for a couple of mouth watering glazed doughnuts I don't think that the girl was expecting to see a long haired white guy show up on a bicycle...I just don't think it happens that often. Don't get me wrong...there are scores of white people and now that I'm typing all this it sounds so trivial the whole white and black thing...but I'm just trying to be honest about my experiences so I have to let it out...and since I am the Detroit Serial Killer (a claim made by a concerned friend of Eyvettes "Hell no...you're letting a stranger stay in your driveway?!! You don't know him...he could be a Serial Killer!!!" or another of her classic lines when Eyvette called me a honky (which is a self labelled nickname that I have been using for years) "Hell no, he ain't a honky, he's a Canadian"!!

 Anyway the 20 mile bile ride was in itself a serious feat but the scenery was wild. Detroit has been on a down slide slope for years but the 2008 economic tomfoolery put a nail into that coffin. The city is run by a bunch of tits, the people are working 2 jobs and almost no one is earning more than $15hr. The amount of abandoned homes and shuttered businesses is unreal. You can buy a house on the west side for pennies...but who wants to live there. And then if you do buy something the property tax vs city service is unreal compared to what I'm used to. Most police stations are only open certain hours of the day, they've cut back bus service to surrounding areas and slowed inner city service therefor killing any prospects of people working multiple jobs of any distance apart....even the paving...there is a road that Tony took me down running down Dearborn Heights and Detroit. Dearborn Heights on one side with a perfectly paved road, Detroit on the other side with a crappy road....paved right down the middle perfectly...now it takes a real bunch of assholes to not even get together on a simple paving job...but these assholes seem to have done that sort of shit in spades. However to me that's one for the craziest thing about America that I experience every time I come...the amount of people and the madness of the county/city layouts. It's not wrong....but I sure do enjoy living with 1/10 of the population...all this makes it feel, crowded.

Tattoo cursing my name....

 I'm sad that in all that time I didn't motivate myself to go get another camera...these black dots and lines are driving me crazy!!! 

A fitting sky for sending off the van

since spring came 4 weeks early and we had 80f weather in March...this tree came out in full bloom


They take the politics too far sometimes, this is a gas station....

I was looking for some good street art...but on Joy Rd (like driving on a wild west trail in a stiff axle wagon)...this is as good as it gets  :)

I walked past this door and thought it was awesome....

 Tracks through the city

These condos are being built over the old projects

random burnt out chimney

Due to its subject matter I still think that Yung Rob wins

Just saw this out of the corner of my eye....random weird from in front of some shop

3 houses side by side, all empty, all open and you can't see it all that well but they are in horrible condition
Tattoo....still loading the van
 Now....being in this particular area of Detroit was a bit of a hassle for some things. For example, I was waiting on a certain someone who is a mechanic and said they wpould come over to help...but didn't. Do I tried to find another mechanic who would come over. Why did I want someone to come instead of taking the van to them? Simply because I just finished doing a whole bunchh of work to it that I didn't know was up to any standard or even correct. So the last thing I wanted to do was drive t somewhere and mess it up. So after a number of rejections due to them being busy or never having worked on a carburetor before I did find a guy "William" who said that he could definitely do it once he got finished working on a bulldozer he was tearing down. I contacted him on a monday, he told me to call him on tuesday, I called hom on tuesday and he didn't answer, on wed he said he could come on thursday, on thursday he didn't answer. He claimed his phone was in the mud by the dozer...and I should have said piss off and moved on. However he promised that the very next day he would come. As you can tell I was a bit desperate...no one in Detroit could recommend a mechanic and the one shop was booked for 2 weeks out. So anyway...I call him as he requested...we talk for a few minutes, he asks for directions, I give them....pause....pause..."William" "FUCK YOU!!! I'M NOT GOING INTO THE HOOD...I DRIVE A MUTHA F'ING LAND ROVER AND YOU'RE TAKING ME INTO WHERE PEOPLE GET SHOT.....DON'T CALL ME AGAIN" and proceeded to hang up.  Now coming from my perspective, a guy that just spent 8 weeks "in the hood", left his tools out, spoke to the neighbours and liked them just fine...it was ridiculous. BUT...as you read up top, gun fire was real, crime is real and desparation is real...so while he was an asshole straight up because I told him where I was in the beginning...the whole town is on edge and edging on total protectionist paranoia. I read that justifiable homicides are through the roof recently because people will just finish off a conflict there on the spot instead of letting it brew. I won't say who but someone living in very close proximity carries a loaded laser sighted .44mag under his top. His story about being shot is crazy and if that happened to me I'd be packing what I could.

bye bye baby
I know this post is spotty and shoddy but that is what happens when you don't post for a month and expect to get it done in 10 seconds. 

 So I'll try to make my next one more current but I could never really express how awesome of a visit it was. I'll always remember the laughs and I hope that when I get back home and figure otu my next step that the entire family either together or separate will make there way up to see the great place I come from!! 

 Oh yeah....the long and the short, the van fired up, I spent much of my mechanic back homes time with endless questions and in the end I felt confident enough to take it further. I mailed a letter to my long lost (5 yrs no contact) friend JP and his wife Lynn down in Toledo. I can tell you that my heart soared when I heard his voice on my phone "Brian Howard...I've been wondering how I was going to get a hold of you"...and we spoke for three hours one night, I showed up a few days later...and the rest...is in the next post
The final product...list of things seemed to never end...until it was over

Big Detroit thanks go out to Mr King from a few doors down, thanks a million for the tool rentals even if they came with threats of "You know what happens is I don't get my Snap-Ons back" (Mr King is about as big as a house and has hands the size of baseball gloves. Without him I would have had to spend more and would maybe have given up...

 Tattoo who removed the van from Eyvette's yard, thanks for working with me and getting it out of there!! I never did call him about a suspension component he was going to pull...I'll have to do so while I'm still within reach.

 Coney Island - what more can be said. Every restaurant is a Coney Island but not all Coney's are created equal!! Get your chili dog on at Georges or Leo's....but is you want a Reuben Daddy head down to the Olympia Coney...heartattack goodness!!

greens, chicken, corn, potato salad and a biscuit...excellent and oh my god am I going to miss it!!

1 comment:

  1. Great story. Thanks for the insight into life in Detroit these days. I hear about the devastation but it always helps to get first hand confirmation. Thanks for sharing the part about leaving the tools around & nothing getting stolen. It gave me prospective. We all create our own reality regardless. T.


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