Columns

Spaghetti lessons

Transplanted from eastern Kentucky to Detroit’s Yacama Street the summer of 1954, I scented something like Mom’s canned tomatoes. “What’s that smell coming from the neighbor’s house?” I asked Mom. “Why, that’s Italian spaghetti sauce.” “Does it taste like your stewed...

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Trust but verify family histories

As a historian and genealogist, one of the first things you learn is to be very wary of family histories. Police use the slogan “Trust but verify,” which is a good motto to apply to family history stories. Trust the story but before retelling the story search for...

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Hope restored at last

Dave the plumber arrived at 11:30 a.m. Monday morning and followed my husband to the basement posthaste. The sounds of drilling and flowing water through pipes from below soon provoked a smile. After the smelly, inconvenient emergency of leaky sewage pipes, the repair...

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Shopping in Frankenmuth

“We forgot our ‘forever looking lists’ didn’t we,” I mumbled to my fellow Gadabouts. “I threw mine away, chirped Giselle. “It was getting too long.” “I pretty much completed mine,” said Francheska. “Well I left mine at home, and its probably a good thing, since I...

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Revise. Rejoice. Retreat.

Anticipating my Friday lunch date with Elaine, I gathered our laundry a day earlier than my usual routine. I reserved Saturday for extracting honey at my place with a fellow beekeeper. My bees gave up the ghost last winter and left thirteen frames of honey. Praise...

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Clear vision requires diligence

No matter how careful I am, my eyeglasses get dirty. I must clean them several times a day. I long ago trained myself not to touch the lenses with my fingers, but, somehow, my glasses can’t stay clean for a whole hour. But the thing that really amazes me is how dirty...

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Giving, the key to happiness

I gladly accepted Sebastian’s invitation to participate in this season’s production of maple syrup. A labor intensive and scientific branch of husbandry, I’d heard the sugar shack is congenial ground to gather come March. Who could resist the warmth and friendship of...

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Jack Terry Jr.: Almont’s second generation grocer

Graham John Terry Jr., commonly called “Jack,” was born on July 21, 1912 in Dryden Township to Graham John Terry Sr. (1886-1976) and Iva Rae Lockwood Terry (1892- 1971). About 1925 Jack Sr. opened his own meat market at 133 South Main Street on the north side of...

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Red raspberries in Ukraine

We walk the streets of Borispol and Kiev in 1993, climb dingy high-rise apartments, find no hot water or toilet seats-search empty shelves in grocery stores for soap to wash dishes, clothes, and floors. We seek respite from roaches for our mission team, American teens...

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Don’t act nice, be kind

“Be nice to your sister,” my mom would exclaim! I’ve no idea how many times I heard that in my early years, but it was likely a considerable number. Be nice, act right, play nice. It was a lesson reinforced in kindergarten and grade school as my peers and I were being...

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