Tuesday, July 09, 2013

The Homecoming Queen's Got a Pun

Got back from my first trip to Detroit in more than eight yeras last night and am still smiling thinking about what a great time we had. 

I neglected to mention this in my first Postcard From Detroit, but the impetus for the return to the Motherland was a joint graduation party for my childhood best friend Mark's nephew Patrick (above with his cute mom, Lois) ...

and Mark's sister Sue, who just got her bachelor's degree. (Sue didn't even know I was coming, so we surprised her at Green Lantern Pizza on 12 Mile and John R!) "It only took me 30 years," she said in typical self-deprecating form, completely downplaying what a huge accomplishment it is for a working mother of two to do. That's Sue with hubby Vince (above) ...

and me with their beautiful and smart daughters, Holly and Casey.

Mark, who has been my best friend since sixth grade

In addition to getting to celebrate Patrick and Sue's milestones, it also allowed me to introduce Michael to Mark's whole family -- and for us to spend time with some of my old friends, like JR, Nina and Rosanna (above).

I hadn't seen Rosanna in about 25 years -- she brought her cute 19-year-old daughter, who is older than we were when we were friends -- and it had been a few since we saw JR (pretending to be a shorty, above).

Michael was so happy to finally meet Mark's cute mom, whom I've adored since I was about 10 or 11. She's been so supportive and encouraging about my upcoming book, and had her whole family all but promising to buy copies when it comes out in December. (I'll hold you to that, Aunt Helen!)

As a bonus, Nina's adorable niece Gabrielle was in town visiting her grandparents in nearby Fraser, so Nina brought her to meet the gang at Mark's mom's house. What a poised and sweet young woman she is!

We rounded out our trip by getting a Detroit insider's tour courtesy of Kathe Koja, whose book "Under the Poppy" (Victorian brothel + puppets = must-read) was recently brought to life. Our time was limited, but we took the M-1 (Woodward Avenue) route, which culminated in a visit to Hugh, former Supergay Detroit blogger Joe Posch's fun boutique in the Cass Corridor, aka Midtown. (Kathe says referring to the area as "Midtown" on social media will immediately result in her New York friends demanding she meet them for a drink believing she's in town!)

As entertaining and infomrative as Kathe is as a tour-guide, the highlight of the adventure -- by her own admission -- was the "home invasion" we pulled off in Pleasant Ridge, where I (aka "we") marched up to the front door of the home that two of our New York friends are in the process of purchasing and demanded a tour. The couple that currently owns the pad (above) seemed vaguely aware of my existence, so took it all in stride and couldn't have been any nicer as they showed us around the two-story, four-bedroom home. It's quite nice, by the way, although they had me the second I walked in and saw the Pewabic Tile fireplace  

   In addition to a Fourth of July barbecue at Sue and Vince's, a couple trips to the famed Restaurant Row on 12 Mile (Tubby's! Arby's!), a multi-birthday gathering at Nina's parents' house (Michael loved Richard and Olga!), and three late-night meals at Ram's Horn, Michael also experienced his first trip to Big Boy -- no longer Elias Brothers'? -- although we were too stuffed to get the famed Hot Fudge Ice Cream Cake, which was the main reason we went there in the first place. 

  On our way to the airport, we had a second (great) meal at Pronto!, which is Royal Oak's premier gay destination. (In addition to food, it's a bar, retail shop and catering operation.) We got to the airport with plenty of time to spare, only to find out that our flight was once again delayed several hours. (Thanks, Spirit Airlines!) Still, I signed up for the crappy carrier's branded Mastercard. They were offering a free one-way flight just for applying, and more free flights if approved. Plus, Nina had just been telling us how she hasn't paid for a ticket in years thanks to her airline credit card -- she racks up miles by putting everything from utilities to groceries on it, then pays it off monthly -- so I was already determined to follow in her footsteps. Sure, Spirit's a terrible airline. But after this trip "home," something tells me I will be wanting to go back again soon, and Spirit's the only one that flies nonstop from La Guardia ...

P.S. I got this message from a blog reader while I was in Detroit, which now ranks as my favorite Small World moment::

I asked him how he put two and two together, and he explained that he was at his friend Beth's on the Fourth of July talking about houses when she mentioned that if you Google her address, "some guy who used to live in my house takes pictures of himself in front of it and posts it on Flickr." When my blog reader saw my brother's name -- and a photo of his new book -- that clinched it for him! His friend then kindly invited me to come over and tour my childhood home, although by then Michael had had enough trips down memory lane for one weekend. (Next time!)


Matt said...

Is it strange that I really enjoyed this post?I mean I don't know you or any of these people and I've never been to Detroit but I just really enjoyed this post. I immediately thought of that quote, "So shines a good deed in a weary world."

Alan S. said...

Eight yeras? Wow.

How long has it been since you've been to Flordia?

(just having a go with you)