Detroit — Twenty-five years ago I took a new job and moved here from Kansas City. The area was new to me, but I had been charmed by the stories my father had told me about growing up in Detroit. That snappy ginger ale drink, Vernors, was from Detroit, and my father often spoke about sneaking into Briggs Stadium to see the Tigers play.
I came here to work at the Detroit Jewish News, then one of the best Jewish newspapers in the country. The paper’s founder and longtime editor (editor emeritus by the time I arrived) Philip Slomovitz was in his 90s, but he still came to the office every day; though he was virtually blind, he still used the two-finger method to type out his lengthy musings about Zionism. He was always accompanied by his assistant, Percy, younger by just a few years, who would read aloud to Mr. Slomovitz the relevant stories from that day’s local dailies.
Detroit, I soon learned, was a place unlike anywhere I had ever lived — and I have lived many places. In the words of one native: “Here, everything is about race.” It is also, I have learned, about history and memory.
read more at the Jewish Week ‘What A Place This Was’ | The Jewish Week.