Tag Archives: Michigan

New Car (MI)

This man is 80 years old. He’s from Baltimore. His daughter – who lives in Detroit – had brought him to the Ford Rouge Factory Tour. I noticed that he was looking and looking at the ’49 Ford Coupe for many minutes. He even sat down on a bench and kept looking at it.

I asked what he knew about the coupe. My question was the spark that started the conversation, as I knew it would. I was glad to listen. He was alone – with his daughter – and I could tell he was reminiscing and processing in his mind.

It had been green. It was a 1952 four door model. His dad had bought it brand new for him. His father had explained that he would need something to drive to work every day.

He later met his future wife and had “courted” her in it. It was fast, he said, and very comfortable.

His daughter relaxed, sat down by us, and listened.

He said it took a little bit of maintenance but certainly not as much as the earlier old cars. He liked to keep it clean and polished.

He would speak then stop and think and look around.

He said it was popular to have “headlight skirts” on headlights. Basically, the skirts were installed over the headlights such that instead of seeing a round looking headlight from a distance, the headlight would look half-moon shaped.

He put some headlight skirts on his car except that he installed them slightly sideways. He said it made his car look “Chinese”.

They looked good but the problem was that the local policemen knew it was his car at night because of the headlights.

He chuckled.

One night a policeman pulled the car over for one reason or another. The cop approached the car in the dark and addressed the driver as Mr. _____. Problem was, it was Mr. _____’s mother driving his car. She had needed to go to the store for something and the car was the one farthest out on the driveway.

He chuckled again as he looked around.

I asked if it would be ok to take his photo in front of the car. He was glad to oblige but he said that he needed to put on his Australian cowboy hat. His daughter fished the hat out of the bag she was carrying and gave it to him. He put it on and graciously posed.

His daughter quickly took some photos of him, too. I hope they turned out ok.

I thanked him for his time and his photo and our brief conversation. He went back to the bench to sit down.

I turned to move on. His daughter said to me, “He never let’s anyone take his picture.”

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Trucks (MI)

Toured the Ford Rouge (Rouge River) truck factory in Dearborn, MI. The tours are part of The Henry Ford, a huge museum complex in Dearborn used to tout Ford products and remember the Henry Ford legacy. Highly worth the visit but to cover the whole complex could easily take one very full day or several shorter days of visits. I had six hours so I’m not an authority at all.

Anyway, the Rouge plant is about building Ford F-150 trucks literally from raw materials, being extremely environmentally conscious, building a strong partnership between management and labor, and converting 20th century manufacturing methods into 21st century processes.

The self-guided factory tour is really interesting and enjoyable. The entire F-150 assembly building has a roof of plants – sedum, to be specific.

No pictures in the assembly facility, however. UAW union rules. Bummer. Very, very cool to see an F-150 start as pieces and parts and at the end workers are parking them in a parking lot for shipment to Ford dealers. Sixty trucks an hour for you and me to go out and purchase!

The photo of the open chassis, drive-train, and engine is that of an F-150.

Click on the photo of the employee parking lot and notice the blue line down the center. Ford owners park to the right (from the angle of the photo) of the line and non-Ford owners to the left. The Ford owners have a shorter walk to the entrance doors.

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Courier (MI)

I was in a park yesterday near Grand Banc, MI meditating and thinking about things and the day. This gull sat with me the whole time. Literally. I had situated myself at a table under a tree for maybe an hour. And the gull waited with me. We were both thinking, I guess.

As I was leaving, a lady had noticed me sitting and had seen the gull. She, too, had been sitting. She at a spot a bit further down from me.

She said, “I noticed your gull. You know that in Celtic tradition a gull is who brings messages from heaven. Did you get anything?”

I smiled and said I wasn’t sure.

And yet, her words rocked my day. When I was back in the car, I couldn’t believe what had just happened. The gull had possibly been a messenger from heaven for me and my protector for an hour in the park? I had been praying and meditating and talking with Regina. The gull stood by the whole time.

Ok. I’ll take it. I received a message and I acknowledge it. I found comfort in the park and I’m glad – and honored – that the gull had brought me some peace and had stood watch during a kind of hard time.

Thanks, God. Again. You never let me down.

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Island (MI)

I’m coming back here! And I will need a week here. Just me and my bike. Mackinac Island is a special place. Bikes. Horses. Flowers. Mansions. Paths. Boats. Hotels. And more bikes. Whole island outlawed vehicles. I had no idea. Access by ferry only. (I used Shepler’s.) What a wonderful summer place. And it’s cool and sunny at the same time. It’s all slower – no cars. Rent one of many styles, colors, and types of bikes. Upscale place, too. Just bikes, horses, and walkers. Like a special find for me… (Reminds me a bit of The Village where Number 6 lived.)

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Big Bridge (MI)

I75 between MI and Upper MI (the Upper Peninsula). Between Mackinaw City and St. Ignace. $4 for a car to cross. 45 mph. It crosses the water – an amazing deep blue and, closer to shore, an emerald green. Very clear and clean-looking.

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Local Taste (MI)

They’re called pasties, like PASS-tees. Read about a pasty. Locally in Escanaba, MI, Dobber’s Pasties are an institution, of sorts. I decided to try an original beef pasty for breakfast. I was offered ketchup or gravy on top – I asked for ketchup. Beef, rutabaga, onions, potato, and a few other things in a folded-over and then browned crust. Kind of the look and shape of a Hostess Fruit Pie. Kind of but not exactly. It was very good and very filling. I’d love to try the other flavors, too. When I’m hungry. Pasties are made and sold everywhere I’ve been here in the UP.

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For Real (MI)

There really is a Green Bay. Some people in the city of Green Bay, WI call it the Bay of Green Bay. Hmm. Anyway, it’s part of Lake Michigan. It’s very nice up here but, of course, it’s the middle of summer. All day today, it’s been sunny, never over 64 deg, breezy, and very comfortable. (I’m suspicious, however, about the plethora of snowmobile signage along the highways and byways.) See Wells State Park. Click on the panoramas.

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