"Everything is going to be fine. Everything is going to be fine. Ernie saves the day."
I was walking back to my car after taking photos of the Tiger Stadium demolition this summer, when this guy started yelling at me as I made my way down the sidewalk. He was clutching a drink and white paper bag full of food.
"Excuse me?" I said.
"Ernie saved the day," he said.
It took me a minute to register who Ernie was. Oh. Ernie Harwell the voice of the Tigers for 42 years. I had heard he was part of group working to save part of the stadium.
"They are going to fix this place up real nice," he assured me.
I guess I had a look of concern. Either that or it was the three film cameras I had around me as I was walking down Trumbull Street.
I never attended a game there. I haven’t even been to a Tiger game. The stadium is not real pretty on the outside. It looks like a warehouse or some industrial building with that strange white siding all around it.
And yet, there was a bit of charm in the old place. As a baseball fan I knew it was home to many historic events since it opened in 1912 and was silenced in 2000 when the Tigers vacated for Comerica Park.
"You’ll see. They are going to fix this up real nice. Ernie, he saved the day.” he said.
"I sure hope so," I replied.
"Yeah, Ernie he is great. But Kwame? Man, that guy is screwing the city up." he said.
And with that we parted ways.
Posted September 28, 2008 - The last day of the regular season for Major League Baseball
"I think there’s a really good chance that Sarah Palin could be president, and I think that’s a really scary thing because I don’t know anything about her. I don’t think in eight weeks I’ll know anything about her.
I know that she was mayor of a really, really small town and she’s been governor of Alaska for less than two years. I think the pick was made for political purposes but in terms of governance its a disaster. If you do the actuary tables, there’s a 1 out of 3 chance - if not more - that McCain doesn’t survive his first term and it’ll be President Palin.
(You know) we were just talking about it earlier. Its like a really bad Disney movie. You know, the hockey mom (saying) “Oh, I’m just a hockey mom from Alaska!” And she’s the president! and its like, she’s facing down Vladimir Putin (using the) folksy stuff she learned at the hockey rink. Its just absurd. Its totally absurd and I don’t understand why more people aren’t talking about how absurd it is. Its a really terrifying possibility. The fact that we’ve gotten this far…and we’re that close to this becoming a reality…is ….crazy. Crazy.
I mean, did she, I mean I really need to know if she thinks dinosaurs were here 4000 years ago. That’s an important…I wanna know that, I really do. Because she’s gonna have the nuclear codes. You know, I wanna know if she thinks dinosaurs were here 4000 years ago. Or if she banned books, or tried to ban books. I mean, this is…this is…we can’t have that.”
I have been listening to these two songs quite a bit lately.
Both are from the album "So Damn Happy" by Loudon Wainwright III. Both tracks appear one right after the other. The first is a song called “Heaven” the second is called “Something for Nothing.”
Located at 4020 Lafayette Blvd in the Hubbard Farms neighborhood of Detroit, the Hotel Yorba is used for government subsidized housing as opposed to an actual hotel.
The neighborhood as well as much of Detroit has fallen on hard times and according to an article in the Detroit Free-Press, the Hotel Yorba could be partly to blame for the crime problems:
"In better days, the hotel was a clean, modest place that became a de facto retirement home, mostly for single older men who liked the cafeteria and laundry service. But its cheap rates and proximity to highways and bus stops made it an ideal location for the state’s prison parole program. For two decades, the Michigan Department of Corrections placed parolees at the Yorba, though it stopped the practice in 2003.
But the hotel became known as a place for people on hard times. Police records from 2006 show officers responded to calls to the Yorba for alleged rape, suicide, gunshots, drug activity and armed robbery. In 2004, a man living there killed a co-worker with a sword he made himself.”
The Hotel Yorba is a bit of rock-n-roll icon made famous by Detroit’s own Jack and Meg White of the White Stripes. The single version of the song was recorded in one of the rooms of the hotel and the music video features a few scenes from outside the building, although they were denied permission to film inside.