Friday, June 11, 2010

June Agenda

Well, June 4th and 5th was the Warren Village Garage and Bake Sale. I was there for part of both days to sign books that the Historical Society were selling. Six books were sold over two days and we are making plans to share a book sale/signing event later this month for Art in the (Halmich) Park. Wish us luck! Come on by!

My first-born niece and Godchild is pregnant and due in August. It's a boy and I can't wait to spend time with him!!! : )

Upload your stories and photos! There will be a volume two! Have a good month and enjoy this glorious weather!

May Happenings

Wow, what a month! The book continues to sell well, and is even in its second printing. The publisher says that if they sell through their first run in one year they are happy; so a second printing after two months makes me happy! : )

After suffering from the many complications of old age, my father passed away on May 19th at the age of 89. His family were around him and now the ashes both of my parents will be buried in Wisconsin in July. I keep thinking about things to take over to him or a way to engage him, and this will be difficult. My parents will be deeply missed but really do live on in us in the things we do, think, like, remember.

Warren's two-day Greatest Garage Sale event Memorial Day weekend was fun. Didn't sell 75 books, but actually sold 23 over two days and that wasn't too bad. Could have been better, maybe. Attendance was down this year, we heard, but people were spending more. Bruce Rinke is my best customer! Thanks Bruce, for sharing this history with your family members... we will connect the dots and get to the bottom of the Rinke (and related) family mysteries!

Thanks to Phil Fell, Barney Nowicki, Carol Minnick, Wes and Margaret Arnold, April and May were lucrative and without their help it would have been a lot more difficult!

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Well, yesterday was my first bitter pill. Guess they can't all be huge successes, but this one was a total dud. The Royal Oak folks almost sold out and I did not sign or sell one book. Not only is this in the heart of Royal Oak, but R.O. in general is a very popular spot in the Detroit area and Michigan.

Warren has yet to focus and value its heritage to maximum tourism benefit. It is frustrating to be able to "see" how to do accomplish this and not have the powers that be want to clamour to call me and get me started IMMEDIATELY! I can see and have written the appropriate nominations and reports for other cities that are farther along with maximizing federal and state tax credits for historically significant properties, have organized and archived small museums as well as retail options to help in revenue for the organizations, have assisted in successful million-dollar grant writing efforts.

I'm a resident, qualified and ready to run with it. I have taken a project from a proacative position of contacting the publisher to secure it, researched and wrote, compiled, dug and dug deeper, and have been promoting this book. When I thank the people of Warren for coming to an event, they have been saying things like, "It's about time Warren had a book in this series," or "Well, thank YOU for doing this! We deserve it!", and "Is there a volume two in the works?"

That feels good and the City runs the risk of being penny-wise pound-foolish by not seeing that money invested NOW (in an economic downturn) is money saved when the economy comes back, and properties purchased in the right places NOW are properties that will be positioned just right when people are spending again.

Guess yesterday's event got me thinking about a lot of these issues once again. Once the area is sought after (or built), they will come!

Keep coming back - it works if you work it! : )

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


The Troy Barnes & Noble book signing was a fun and lively event. We had about 15 people there and some brought in their already-purchased books for me to sign. Earl and Marilyn Parrish were the first to attend and with purpose about JFK's visit in 1960. The JC Penney that is in the background was not the site of the Walmart, but Walmart did move to the Tech Plaza later. It just did not occupy the JC Penney site.

Rinke family members were there talking about John A. Rinke and his tireless involvement in the community.

I was so happy to see Sue and Jane from high school and THEY had not seen each other for quite some time so that was fun for them, too! Odell and Chris really helped out on the Barnes and Noble side. It was fun to work there in Christmas 2007 and the reason I wanted to support that store. We talked about having maybe a group book signing in November/December with other Arcadia authors.

When I got home there was a call from a woman wanting me to speak to their group in Sterling Heights and I have a couple more of those this month. Things are getting exciting! And Volume Two is definitely going to happen. I will be collecting information, stories, and photos for that one beginning now! So feel free to contact me with your stories if you want them to be included in Volume Two! : )

So it's on to B&N Royal Oak this Saturday. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Rivards of Warren Twp.

Leander and Francis Rivard were descendants of some of the earliest French Quebec families to settle in Detroit. They each owned small farms on French Road, near Van Dyke and Lynch Roads and around 1870 they each bought larger farms in Warren Township. Leander's farm was at the southeast corner of Hoover and Thirteen Mile Roads and Francis' farm was exactly one mile to the east of his brother's.

This turn-of-the-century photo taken at Leander's farm in Warren Twp. shows his son Joseph's wife and children. Two of the cute little tykes on the right would grow up to become owners of a well-known business on Van Dyke in Baseline. Follow this link to where Lynn (Rivard) Ferencz does a great job of telling the story of her Rivard ancestors using plenty of old photos.

Send me an e-mail if you have any old photos and/or stories of Warren or Center Line that you'd like to share.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

First Book Signing

Well, this was a fun event. For those of you who attended, thank you all so much and to the City of Warren for sponsoring the event. What a beautiful venue! I'll have some pictures to post here of the event and Warren history, but still need to review them and decide what to post.

What fun. There were some mysteries on the way to being solved which is so exciting. One is the mystery of John L. Beebe, brought up by a distant relative. Where was he buried? Does anyone have a photo or article? Date of death? Location of burial?

Groesbeck and Wiegand families arrived as well. With such a big family, there was a lot to talk about there. Eleanor Bates stopped in to talk about life in the city with her husband Ted's energetic tenure as mayor in the 1980s.

And Jim Hanley's relative who filled in a few blanks about Hanley's property that defaulted, was taken over by one of the Halmich men (Henry?) in the 1920s. Hanley moved away so a deed might show the deed transfer of actually Halmich and Detroit Memorial Park Association or one of the coporation's names.

A couple bought the book today for a friend who is related to the first librarian in Warren, Anna Bull Zorn. I would love to locate more than one picture of her as a young woman.

Can't wait to see stories and photos uploaded here to solve more mysteries.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Thank you!

Could not have finished by the required deadlines a few times without the tireless help of Wesley Arnold and Mike Grobbel. They were a wealth of knowledge and just "there" for me when I had an urgent detail or photo that needed checking. THANKS YOU TWO!
: )