Sunday, February 28, 2010

You Couldn't Buy Eggs with it Either

...not with the homebrew municipal currency designed, printed, and used in Ypsi in the 1930s. Navy beans and lard were OK though. Today's Chronicle story.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

All the glory of man is as the flower of grass

Friday, February 26, 2010

Ypsilanti Teenager Allie McCullough 1874 Diary

Feb. 20 Fri. Went up to Carrie N's and got her to go home with me and stay to tea. Jennie S. was here. We had a good time. Strickland came and went to Lyceum with us. He is a monkey and a half. We had a nice time during the social. Mr. Steven was there. The paper was read and it was real good. I have been chosen to speak next Friday night.

Feb. 21 Sat. Carrie came in the afternoon and stayed a little while. We had a good talk. Did not go uptown, the first Saturday in a long while. I went over to Mary Wordenn's and saw her new library. It is real nice. Will treated us to candy and fun.

Feb. 22 Sun. Went to S. S. All of the girls were there. I wrote a letter to Ida in the afternoon and a good long one, too. Did not go to Church at night. It rained a little. I read a little while. Went to bed at eight.

Feb. 23 Mon. It was very slippery this morning and it was all I could do to get to school. McCormic came over and sat with me this noon. Jennie S. came home with me tonight and we had a good long talk, but not long enough. Had all of my lessons today.

Feb. 24 Tues. Jennie came home with me this noon to dinner. We stayed quite a while after school tonight in the chapel. I saw Strickland's valentine and I know who sent it. When I came home I found Carrie N. She stayed until dark. We had a good long talk. They have been raising the house and the plaster has fallen and cracked.

Feb. 25 Wed. It was snowing tonight but Carrie W. and I went up to Carrie N.'s. We had a gay time as usual. Durbin gave me some good ideas for my essay. Carrie came down town with us when we came home. After I got my lessons I commenced and finished my essay. We got a letter from Marion.

Feb. 26 Thurs. Well, we went down in the chapel this afternoon to rehearse our essays and we had a gay time. Will went away tonight, started for Fort Wayne. I went to Lyceum with Carrie and Will W. We had a nice time. I read my essay and was cheered good for it. McCormic went home with me. Clarence Hawkins asked my company home and I gave him the mitten.

Feb. 27 Fri. My lessons were not of the very best today, but I got through with them. Had ever so much fun in the Geometry class. Went up to the Normal Public with M. McCormic. Sat near Carrie and Durbin and Joe R. [K.?] but I had to write notes. I received some from D. that he must have seen. Did not please me.

The Great Depot Town Train Crash of 1939: Photos

The famous late-Depression Depot Town derailment that took out more of the previously damaged depot.

The little boy in the first few pictures looks to be around 6 years old. Perhaps he was born around 1933, which would make him around 77 today. It's quite possible this crash still lives in living memory in several Ypsilantians. Perhaps the little boy is someone who's now living in Cross Street Village. Or someone's uncle, or something Grandpa mentioned a couple of Thanksgivings ago.

I would love to find this former little boy who looked, astonished, at these tumbled bricks and tossed-about railcars all those years ago...and hear what he had to say.

Click for larger images.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Citizen Interview coming up

Dusty D was just interviewed by a lady from the Citizen for an upcoming interview piece, which I thought was very nice of them. She was good!

1. She did not let herself be fobbed off in email, as I initially kind of tried to do, being both shy and a control freak. She (nicely) insisted on talking on the phone. I respected and liked that. Email is the way to give one's interviewee the upper hand, and it sounds stilted later in print. Nope, she talked directly to me. That's a mark of good journalism.

2. She asked a comprehensive range of good questions. Covered pretty much everything in an efficient way.

3. She took notes on her computer during the call, which I thought was good. Writing is slow and memory is fallible, not that I dispensed any gems for the ages.

4. She made me feel comfortable. Dusty D is not known for her people skills and I wouldn't be a good reporter. But A. Z. was easy to talk to.

It was well done. Will be fun to see it in print; it's odd to have my life going public in a way when I spend 99% of it alone somewhere and quite content at that. Thanks to the Citizen.

Wednesday Mystery Spot

Last week's photo was one of the onetime old Ypsilanti Airport at Carpenter and Morgan. Here's a recent story about some notable events that happened there. The airport was operational till the 1960s.

This week's puzzler is a real beaut. I found it by accident at the Archives and scanned it right away because it was so intriguing. When I found myself puzzling over the photo and trying to figure out where in the heck this was, I realized it was a perfect Mystery Spot!

I'll tell you what's written on the back: "The first eastbound 'Mercury' at Ypsi., Nov. 1939. My Miss Minnie Cary."

The Mercury was a gorgeous Art Deco passenger train run by the New York Central. In November of 1939, the train began service between Detroit and Chicago and passed through Ypsi. It was an event! You can see other people in the photo admiring this rolling work of art.

I'll tell you that while I *think* I figured out where this is, I'm definitely not 100% sure! Can you find this spot? Good luck!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Images from a 1960s Ypsi Childhood

Images from the 1965 and 1967 Ypsilanti Press and family photos from Dave P., who shared his recollections about his childhood in 1960s Ypsi.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ice Harvesting on the Huron River near Ypsilanti; additional photos

Here are some additional photos to accompany my ice harvesting article in YpsiNews. These 1920 photos are of men on the Huron around the St. Joe's area. Note the several Model T ice saws in the pic. Care to operate one of those beauties? As for me I think I'll pass (and I'll watch from the riverbank, thankee kindly!) Click on images to enlarge.

Growing up in 1960s Willow Run

Dusty D had the privilege of hearing about one man's childhood growing up in 1960s Ypsilanti. He gave me his permission to write it up so long as I specified his name as "Dave P." I was enthralled by his recollections and I loved getting a peek at Willow Run in the background and its sometimes troubled evolution through the 40s, 50s, and 60s. At any rate, the Citizen was kind to publish the resultant story; thanks to them as always. Here's the story.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

All the glory of man is as the flower of grass