This past Christmas, my wife bought me a book called “Wednesdays With Diether” It’s a collection of editorials that Dr. Diether Haenicke (President Emeritus of Western Michigan University … and someone I considered a friend and idol). The Kalamazoo Gazette would publish his column every Wednesday and they published the book in 2003.
Diether’s August 22, 2001 column was about Detroit. He lived there when he taught at Wayne State University. The column touched on his memories of the city, why he chose it as a Fulbright destination over others, and his hope that Detroit would return to its glory days. He ended the column with this:
“Each trip to Detroit is like visiting the sickbed of a dear, seriously ill old love with whom I shared the good times when I was young. Her body is racked by powerful maladies which seem to defy any cure: widespread poverty, crime, drugs, and divisive racial politics. yet my nostalgic eyes still see her former beauty shine through her devastated features and in my heart I know that there is hope for her.”
As I watched my beloved Pistons get swept away by LeBron and his Cavaliers, I remember that earlier this year, the Detroit Free Press/Detroit News publish a new “commercial” called This Time . Even though it was done with the hopes that it would revitalize their papers. I think it also applies to the city as well. Maybe this time we can make it better.