Saturday, April 05, 2014

Detroit Historical Museum ~ America's Motor City Exhibit

Lee Dixon's 1966 factory order for a new Pontiac GTO

Hello Eileen,

A few months ago Detroit Historical Museum asked for vintage photos of Detroiters with their favorite cars from years gone by. Some of my photos were chosen and are now appearing in an exhibit at the Museum. They are in a video slide show in the entry to the exhibit (one showing my black 1963 Ford XL convertible is mis-labeled 1966).

Interesting story about my 1968 GTO convertible. I ordered it new from Viet Nam... yesss, that's right...from Viet Nam...during the war. General Motors gave soldiers a great discount...and I still have the order form. I was talking to another guy in my unit and his dad promised if he would just get back home alive he'd buy him a new GTO. He left for home a few months before me and, sure enough, he wrote back and told me there was a brand new red GTO sitting in his driveway when he got home. THAT got my fires stoked and I found a way to order on through the military PX. I ended up with a yellow convertible as you see in the pics.

Thought you might enjoy it.

Best Regards,
Leon "Lee" Dixon

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Hello Mr. Dixon,

Our Exhibitions Manager grabbed these photos for you. The images on the monitors rotate about every 6 seconds and are constant. As you can see, they are at the start of our America's Motor City exhibition for all to enjoy.

Thank you again for your participation.


Tracy Irwin
Director of Exhibitions and Collections

at the Detroit Historical Museum
1963 Ford XL convertible
1968 GTO convertible
1971 Dodge Challenger convertible

America's Motor City
exhibition at DHS
Three TV monitors present a slide show of
Detroiters' favorite vintage cars

Detroit: Then and Now

An interactive look at the growth, decline, and revival 
of the city of Detroit 
through historic and present-day pictures. 

                           1950-2000s - Deindustrialization
                           1940s-1970s - Unrest
                           1970's-Today - Decay


Detroit Tigers History: An Interactive Timeline



Famed Radio & TV Newsman

Philip Nye was the news director at the legendary WKNR Contact News in Dearborn/Detroit in the mid-1960's working with names like Bill Bonds and Eric Smith as well. Phil made it to several of the Detroit Radio Reunions.
He passed away peacefully on March 20, 2014.  He was 87.  Born in Newark, Ohio on March 1, 1927, he was a proud graduate of The Ohio State University where he studied theater and journalism.  He had a long and distinguished career in radio and television.  Mr. Nye worked actively as a broadcast journalist until the age of 86.

Other highlights of his career include News Director of legendary radio station WKNR Keener 13 during its 1960's heyday; investigative reporter and anchor for KTLA-TV in Los Angeles; and most notably News Director for WXYZ-TV where he built one of the best news teams in the country. He went on to head news departments at WABC in New York and KGO in San Francisco before joining ABC as Vice President of their owned and operated news division. He later became a partner in Burnham Broadcasting, managing television stations in Green Bay, WI, Bakersfield, CA and New Orleans, LA.

He was an avid reader and loved old movies, enjoyed cooking, playing golf and watching his beloved OSU Buckeyes play football.  He is survived by his daughters Jo-Allison (Jeffry) Floyd, Kimberly McMahon, Tracey Millard and Cindy (Mark) Malin;  eleven grandchildren  Megan, Matthew, Tyler, Ryan, Colin, Christopher, Scott, Kelsey, Meredith, Allie and McKenna. And one great grandchild, Jayden. He was predeceased by his wife Joanne Phillips and daughter Pamela (Michael) McGillivary.

Most recently Phil lived in West Bloomfield and Shelby Township, Michigan and worked on local cable productions at Comcast.

Memorial donations may be made to Special Olympics.

There is a phenomenal amount of news, photos and airchecks on the web site: Motor City Radio Flashbacks



March 14, 1925 - March 9, 2014
William Clay Ford, the Detroit Lions owner 
and last surviving grandson of Henry Forddied at 88 of pneumonia.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Martha Firestone Ford
daughters Martha Ford Morse (Peter), Sheila Ford Hamp (Steven), 
and Elizabeth Ford Kontulis (Charles); son William Clay Ford, Jr. (Lisa); 
14 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

READ MORE in The Detroit Free Press

READ ABOUT MR. FORD on Wikipedia

Photo Gallery: Remembering William Clay Ford

Photo Gallery: Martha Firestone Ford

Alice Cooper documentary

Legendary Detroit rocker Alice Cooper is the subject of documentary that will be screening in April at the Tribeca Film Festival. 

“Super Duper Alice Cooper”
will have its world premiere at the prestigious New York City event. The film uses rare archival footage to track how Vincent Furnier went from Detroit rocker to heavy-makeup heavy metal superstar in the 1970s. It’s part of the festival’s Spotlight section co-sponsored by the Lincoln Motor Company.

The Tribeca bash runs April 16-27. For more information, go to the festival’s website.

Preserving The History of Metro Detroit's Catholic Schools

Dominican High School - 1962

Mike Butler, a 1971 graduate of all-boys Detroit Catholic Central, is an attorney is real life, and an archivist in his down time. In exploring the artifacts from his own family's past, he discovered the genesis of a project to preserve Detroit-area Catholic school history. Butler, 60, of Livonia, founded the Detroit Catholic School Heritage Project in late 2011 and its website, www.bishopgallagher.orgThe website has historical information and some 300 photos from long-gone, as well as still-thriving, Detroit-area Catholic schools. 
Mike is accumulating photos, scanning yearbooks and compiling history. With other volunteers and Catholic school alums, Butler is planning to establish a nonprofit and find a site to display the artifacts from an era when the six-county Archdiocese of Detroit boasted 360 Catholic schools, compared with 95 now. The website’s name honors Detroit Bishop Michael Gallagher, who presided over a Catholic school building boom in the 1920s and was the namesake for a high school in Harper Woods, which is now closed.
READ MORE in The Detroit Free Press
Metro Detroit Catholic schools, past and present

Vernors: Good for What Ales You

From the website

BOOK ~ From Soupy To Nuts!



$35 ea. plus shipping

I have three NEW copies of this terrific book for sale.
It has been out-of-print for several years.
On Amazon, this book in new condition is $85.
The reviews about it are outstanding.

Here's a description of what's inside:

Back in the 1940s – before coaxial cable from the 
East Coast reached Detroit – television was as local as 
Vernors, Sanders Hot Fudge and Hudson’s. There was room 
for clowns, bowlers, philosophers, journalists, adventurers, 
movie mavens, wrestlers and magicians.

The people who put these shows on were drunks, geniuses,
thugs, heroes, artists, craftsmen, hustlers and poets. 
Some were all of these things at times. 
A few were all these things before lunch.

As the medium grew, thousands of Detroiters visited Channel 4 
to see Milky the Clown, danced on Channel 62’s The Scene 
or tuned in to watch bombastic anchorman Bill Bonds
With the evaporation of distinct local television, a piece 
of Detroit’s character disappeared.

From Soupy to Nuts! is a snapshot of Detroit TV history – 
from Sonny Eliot, Bozo the Clown, Bill Kennedy, 
Lou Gordon and Gil Maddox to Al Ackerman, 
Sir Graves Ghastly, Dick the Bruiser 
and Mr. Belvedere.