Saturday, December 07, 2013


Christmas Carol (Maureen Bailey)
puts the finishing touches on a model car.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Celebrate the Holidays with memories of
Detroit during the Holiday Season.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Wishing you and yours a wonderful Holiday Season!


by William Moss

The 36th Annual J. L. Hudson Company Thanksgiving Day Santa Parade started at 9:25 a.m. on November 22, 1962.  At 10:53 a.m. Santa arrived at the Ice Castle and was greeted by Christmas Carol and Channel 4 weatherman Sonny Elliott.  Mayor Jerome Cavanagh presented Santa the nicest key of all – the key to the hearts of good boys and girls. Notice the yellow fork lift that brought Santa from his Reindeer Float to the Ice Castle.

Reprinted with permission. 
See more works by William Moss

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

William Moss has captured Detroit's past in his limited edition lithographs, along with a DVD which brings to life the memories of the city that he knew. 

Bill has a passion for Detroit and shows it in his work - you can almost feel the vibrations from the passing street cars on the brick streets, taste a Boston Cooler at Vernors, or hear the roar of the crowd at the corner of Michigan & Trumbull.  Remember standing on the deck of the Bob-Lo boat in a balmy breeze, or feeling the blustery winds while watching Santa arrive to receive the Key to the City of the Straits?

Bill was born on Detroit's East side in 1943. His daily commute to Cass Technical High School heightened his interest in the history and architecture of his home town. He graduated from Cass Tech in 1962 and continued his education at Wayne State University, receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in 1966. His highly detailed style of painting is a result of combining extensive historical research with a career as an architectural delineator.


Karen Vander Putten (nee Kloss), age 5, 
at J.L. Hudson's in 1955. 
Pershing 1968 graduate.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Like to have your photo added to the Holiday Photo gallery?
Email it to me at


Saturday, Dec 7, 2013
Sunshine's Motor City Cafe
Tempe AZ

What a fun time we had with Robin!



Longtime Detroit broadcaster Dwayne X. Riley, a 35-year veteran of Channel 4 (WWJ-TV, then WDIV) died Wednesday after heart surgery at St. Johns Hospital in Detroit. He was 84.

Riley was one of the dwindling number of TV anchors who came to the medium from radio and print and were more prized for their writing ability and unflappable delivery than for on-camera pizzazz.

READ MORE From The Detroit News, Susan Whitall

December 2013 Newsletter Sponsor

This month's 
Detroit Memories Newsletter
is sponsored by:
Ron & Nancy Gosselin


Thank you, Ron & Nancy!

Sponsor this monthly
Detroit Memories Newsletter
reaching 3,000 subscribers in the
Japan, U.K., Israel, Canada and more
for as little as $20!

Friday, December 06, 2013

Upcoming Class Reunions

Saturday, March 24, 2014
Warren Fitzgerald High School is having a 40-year reunion for members of the graduating class of 1974. The reunion will begin at 6 p.m. at Club Monte Carlo, located at 50265 Van Dyke Ave. in Shelby Township. Tickets are $45 per person. For more information, call (586) 291-7998 or (248) 496-8916.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Hudson's Thanksgiving Day Parade 1962

Detroit Remember When: The History of Detroit Television

Detroit Public TV Fundraiser
Monday, December 2, 2013
8 PM

Celebrate Detroit’s legacy with The History of Detroit Television, a Public TV documentary detailing our contribution to media in the 20th century and beyond.  

The History of Detroit Television is more than just a film. It’s a living museum, a monument to a time that could easily be forgotten. This program is a salute to a time when TV was as local as Vernors, Sanders Hot Fudge and Hudsons. The stars of the day were Soupy Sales, Van Patrick, Lou Gordon, George Pierrot, Bill Kennedy, Milky The Clown and host of other colorful characters. Their influence was enormous and they contributed to Detroit’s sense of community. We remember a time when a cub scout troop could visit Sagebrush Shorty while future stars such as Stevie Wonder and Bob Seger made their first television appearances on Robin Seymour’s Swingin’ Time

Using rare footage and clips as well as conversations with many of Detroit’s television pioneers, The History of Detroit Television goes back to the day Detroiters saw their first television programs in 1947 and shows how local television became an important part of the fabric of Detroit’s unique identity. This exciting nostalgic program will make its debut as part of Detroit Public TV’s fundraising efforts and will be replayed multiple times over the course of the year. 

Join us as we introduce a chapter of Detroit history to new generations and provide a nostalgic look back for those who enjoyed these personalities and programs when they first appeared.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

October Newsletter Sponsor

This Newsletter is Sponsored by

St. Gregory HS, 1960

on behalf of 

Sgt. SactoCount Scary and Hudson's Thanksgiving Parade Santa


Thank you, Tom!

Sponsor this monthly
Detroit Memories Newsletter
reaching 3,000 subscribers in the U.S.,

Japan, U.K., Israel, Canada and more
for as little as $20!


Tigers great Gates Brown,
master of the lost art of pinch-hitting

Gates Brown, an outfielder who played his entire 13-year major league career with the Detroit Tigers, has died. He was 74.
Brown played on Detroit's 1968 team that won the World Series, and was part of another title with the Tigers in 1984 as a batting coach.
READ MORE by John Lowe, Detroit Free Presss Sports Writer

Milky the Clown

What’s the magic word?
If your answer is “Twin Pines” you’ve probably spent countless
Saturday afternoons in front of the family TV enjoying the
mystifying magic of Milky the Clown. Milky is one of the legends
of Detroit TV. Clare Cummings was the man behind the legend.

to read more about Clare Cummings
by Ed Golick,

This Twin Pines milk bottle from the estate of Clare Cummings
recently sold on eBay for $154!

Detroit's Mayors

ALBERT E. COBO 1950-1957

LOUIS C. MIRIANI 1957-1962


ROMAN S. GRIBBS 1970-1974

COLEMAN A. YOUNG 1974-1994


VIDEO: WXYZ Reunion History by Megan Saunders and Erik Smith

Read the article
about the WXYZ Reunion held Sept 28, 2013.

VIDEO: The Long Career of TV Anchor Erik Smith in 3.5 Minutes

Detroit Telephone Exchanges

Check out the discussion and view photos of the various
Michigan Bell buildings in the Detroit area.

Thank you to Mike Meredith for the above photos.

Genealogy Roadshow: Detroit

Watch as Detroiters discover their genealogy!

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Interested in discovering more about your genealogy?

Detroit Society for Genealogical Research

A non-profit organization for the preservation and perpetuation
of the records of ancestors and families of the commonwealth,
and to be of assistance to the Burton Historical Collection
Detroit Public Library.

"Quizdown" Featured Local Grade School Students

Attached is a picture that appeared the Detroit Free Press of my appearance (far right, top) on a local quiz show called Quizdown. My whole family came to the broadcast at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Pretty head stuff for an 8th grader!

I recall two questions of the four asked, and I did answer all of them correctly: Where is Corsica? What mammal has a cow for a mother, a bull for a father, and a pup for baby?

Quizdown was pretty popular. The winning team attended a performance of Babes in Toyland.


Bob Walczak

by Ed Golick,
webmaster of

Quizdown aired every Saturday morning on WXYZ radio. The program was sponsored by The Detroit Free Press and featured teams from two local public or private schools competing against each other by answering general knowledge questions as provided by other Detroit area students. Tom Waber was the emcee. Casey Kasem got his first job in radio as an usher on Quizdown. For a brief time the program was simulcast over both WXYZ radio and TV.

Prizes were given to the winning team, including the coveted Quizdown "Highest Honors" medal (at left).

Architecture, restoration showcased in Palmer Park tour

Detroit — From Art Moderne to Venetian, tour guides lead droves of people through the city’s historic Palmer Park neighborhood to showcase the range of architectural styles as well as recent restoration of a several of its apartment buildings.

From The Detroit NewsREAD MORE

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Is There a Detroit-Food Themed Restaurant in Your Town?


Detroit Coney
930 W Broadway
Tempe, AZ 85282
(480) 219-7430

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
Sunshine's Motor City Cafe
7425 S Harl Ave
Tempe, AZ 85283



"Dawgs" Michigan Coney Island Hot Dogs
628 Parker Rd 2C
Fairfield CA 94533
(707) 437-1309

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Bobby's Detroit Coney Island
79630 Highway 111
La Quinta CA 92253
(760) 347-2200


American Coney Island
301 Fremont St
Las VegasNV 89101
(702) 388-2120


           NORTH CAROLINA           

Cloo's Coney Island Hot Dogs
2233 Avent Ferry Rd
Raleigh NC 27606



VIA 313
@ The Violet Crown Social Club
1111 East 6th
Austin TX 78702
(512) 939-1927

@ Craft Pride
61 Rainey St
Austin TX 78701

(512) 609-9405

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Motor City Coney Island
1300 Main Street
Dallas TX 75202
(214) 760-0000


Know of a 'Detroit-themed restaurant 
(not located in or around Detroit) that serves 50s-70s food?
Let's get it added to this list!
Send me an email with the info:

Sunday, September 08, 2013

From the Detroit Memories Email Inbox

Fr. Joseph Marquis as J.L. Hudson's Santa
Dear Eileen,

I just discovered your “Detroit Memories” web site this evening.

Thanks for bringing back some of the warm recollections of Metro Detroit.

I continue to treasure the fond memories of portraying Santa for J.L. Hudson’s Thanksgiving Parade back in “the good old days.” I remained with the Detroit parade for several years following the closure of our beloved J.L. Hudson’s store (until around 1990). The attached photo is from around 1977 or 1978. Tom Ryan continued the Santa role until only recently. 

Frankly, this will be my 42nd Christmas conducting the St. Nicholas Institute with Santas arriving from all over the United States (Sept. 30th – Oct. 3rd). Part of the event is a gala Awards Banquet at which we present each student with a framed Certificate of Achievement. We also honor persons from several walks of life who live the Christmas spirit 365 days a year.

During the Wednesday, October 2nd 2013 St. Nicholas Institute Awards Banquet we will present special recognitions to several outstanding persons: Art VanElslander, Dr. Adam English, Rev. Rennie Kaufmann, Dick Purtan and ex-Detroit Lion, Tony Semple for their outstanding work.

This year, we’ll also will also confer a special “Christmases Past, Present & Future Award” to Virginia Patton Moss. She portrayed Ruth Dakin Bailey (the sister-in-law of George Bailey; a.k.a., Jimmy Stewart) in the Frank Capra classic, “It’s A Wonderful Life.”

Banquet reservations are available to the general for $40 per person. The evening will include musical entertainment and an atmosphere that will evoke memories of Christmases long ago.

2013 Awards Banquet Reservation Information

Once again, keep up the great work. I loved reviewing your Detroit Memories web site and look forward to exploring it further!

With warmest best wishes…

In the Spirit of St. Nicholas,
Fr. Joseph Marquis

VIDEO: Boblo Memories


Furniture designer Charles Pollock

June 20, 1930 - August 24, 2013

The Michigan-raised designer of the famous Pollock Executive Chair that became ubiquitous in offices in the mid-20th century has died in a fire at his New York City home. Charles Pollock was 83.

Pollock was raised in the Detroit area, worked part-time on the assembly line at Chrysler while attending Detroit Cass Technical High School. After graduation, he attended the School of Art & Design at Pratt Institute in New York.

He introduced his chair in 1963. Set on rolling wheels, the chair was visually distinctive with tufted upholstery and an aluminum band around its edges. In following decades, Pollock moved away from furniture design.

He returned to it recently. After being sought out by Jerry Helling of Bernhardt Design, Pollock created a lounge chair that debuted last year.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press


Writer Elmore John Leonard Jr.

October 11, 1925 – August 20, 2013

After graduating from the University of Detroit Jesuit High School in 1943, Leonard joined the Navy, where he served with the Seabees for three years in the South Pacific. 

Enrolling at the University of Detroit in 1946, he pursued writing more seriously, entering his work in short story contests and sending it off to magazines. He graduated in 1950 with a degree in English and philosophy. A year before he graduated, he got a job as a copy writer with Campbell-Ewald Advertising Agency, a position he kept for several years, writing on the side.

Leonard had his first success in 1951 when Argosy published the short story "Trail of the Apaches." During the 1950s and early 1960s, he continued writing Westerns, publishing more than 30 short stories. He wrote his first novel, The Bounty Hunters, in 1953 and followed this with four other novels. Two of his stories were turned into movies at that time: The Tall T and 3:10 to Yuma.


Actress Julia Ann "Julie" Harris

December 2, 1925 – August 24, 2013

One of Broadway’s most honored performers whose roles ranged from the flamboyant Sally Bowles in “I Am a Camera” to the reclusive Emily Dickinson in “The Belle of Amherst,” died Saturday at her West Chatham, Mass., of home of congestive heart failure. She was 87. 

Born in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, the daughter of Elsie L. (née Smith), a nurse, and William Pickett Harris, an investment banker. She graduated from Grosse Pointe Country Day School, which later merged with two others to form the University Liggett School.

READ MORE in The Detroit Free Press

From Frank W. Gesinski:

Julie Harris, the actress who passed away a day or two ago, was proud of being from the Detroit area. I was part of UofD's Singing Titans choir at the 1964 World's Fair in New York City. At the Michigan Day Breakfast, the MSU Marching Band played played(!), and the guest speakers were Republican presidential nominee hopefuls including George Romney and Nelson Rockefeller. The emcee was Arthur Godfrey. Also, a speaker at that table was Julie Harris.

Detroit's Own Casey Kasem

Listen to Detroit's own Casey Kasem
in these weekly replays of his classic American Top 40
radio shows on Premiere Radio Networks.

For radio listings in your area: 

Kasem was born in Detroit, Michigan, and is a graduate of Northwestern High School and Wayne State University.

Walled Lake Casino


We are in the process of producing a television special remembering
Walled Lake Casino in the 50s & 60s.

Were you there?
Do you have a remembrance or story?
Would love to hear from you!

Here's an excerpt from my book about that iconic place
and those halcyon days. 

Lee Alan

Motown luminaries honor the legendary Maxine Powell

She taught the Supremes how to get in and out of a car gracefully in a tight chiffon skirt, coached Motown’s singers to smile and keep their eyes open while singing, and is responsible for much of the polish associated with Motown acts.

On Monday evening, the Motown Historical Museum and many of the label’s artists, including Smokey Robinson, Martha Reeves, Duke Fakir of the Four Tops and Cal Street of the Velvelettes honored Maxine Powell at a reception for friends and supporters of the museum at 2648 W. Grand Blvd. in Detroit.

Bowling for Dollars 2013

More than 100 people gathered at Allen Park's Thunderbowl Lanes,
the original home of
Bowling for Dollars to watch the taping
for a special that aired June 16 on WADL-TV in Detroit.

A ratings monster in the '70s, Bowling for Dollars episodes
sometimes pulled in half of Detroit's TV sets,
according to original host Bob Allison.

This kick-off show contains a lot of clips from the past.