Fr. Jack’s Open Mind, Open Heart & Open-Mic – Remembering to Breathe

I thought of Fr. Jack Trese at the Traverse City Film Festival this weekend.  In its eleventh year, Michael Moore’s enormous contribution to the economy of northern Michigan has outgrown the city’s world-famous Cherry Festival.  Even staunch conservatives in town are giving him his due for spearheading the 6-day screenings with thousands of friendly volunteers assisting at the film-camps, youth activities, shuttle buses, ticket booths, outdoor movies and panel discussions open to the public. We left our campsite early Saturday morning, riding our bikes to the Opera House to get in line for the Comedy Panel.  We got great seats and waited smugly for the show to begin.  I thumbed through the program and read Mike’s intro explaining that the theme of the 2015 festival was inclusion, particularly in the LGBT community.  An example I heard from two different Republicans of his economic acumen describing the deal he made to outfit the Central… Read More…

New Podcast: Woodwords! Launching (and Maintaining) a Blog & Podcast with Kale Davidoff

Woodwords, “Your Detroit Avenue to Alternative Pop Culture and Talk” is a new blog and podcast created by MMD contributing writer and podcaster Kale Davidoff. Kale joins Kevin to discuss: The first two months of a blog Writers and stage-fright The big thing before the big thing (aka “Off the Wall” pre “Thriller”) Cold-calling special guests for podcasts Just diving in and keep on swimming forward Surprises and the fun of evesdropping at the table next to you at the bar Marketing blog-posts with Facebook and Twitter trends Maintaining a blog Power of a deadline Consistency of Vanna White

New Podcast: GM’s “Google Years” with Ken Pickering, former Director of Engineering

Ken Pickering, GM’s retired Executive Director, Engineering and Design Services, joins Digging Detroit’s Kevin Walsh and Pete Kalinski to discuss his career in the exciting years of design in the 1950s and beyond. Moving from western Pennsylvania to WWII to GM Hard work combined with some great breaks Harley Earl & Bill Mitchell How long a car takes from design to production Women in design via Harley Earl The Corvette SR2 created in 5 weeks for Earl’s son Henry Ford, Willow Run and the Arsenal of Democracy Motorama—Harley Earl’s Manhattan Runway Man’s love-affair with cars David Temple’s new book Motorama:  GM’s Legendary Show & Concept Cars (below) Photos from Ken Pickering… The first is my personal 1956 Corvette that I purchased used for $2150 in 1958.  I had an “alligatored” black paint job and was a mess but it had a 265 CID V8 with dual 4 Barrel carbs.  My friends in the… Read More…

Dial a Prayer: Little Miracles on an Indie Set

In February 2014 I received a text from Jason Potash, producer of Storyboard Entertainment’s Dial a Prayer.   “How old is your house?”  I wrote back “1929.”  He was back home in Detroit with writer/director Maggie Kiley and they were scouting locations for their upcoming film to be shot in the area.  They stopped by 90 minutes later and while our old house didn’t make the cut, we ended up dropping in on nine other friends in Royal Oak that same night—two of their houses ended up in the film, one by pure chance. We were stepping out of my friend Micah’s brick home on Hawthorne when I pointed to a white bungalow across the street, figuring they’d be interested in an LA connection, “That’s where my former student Kasey Bell grew up; he works on Family Guy.”  Maggie and production designer Lauren Fitzsimmons glanced up and then at one another.  “Do you think we could look inside?” … Read More…

New Podcast on 2015 Oscars: Our Experts on Birdman, NPH & Hanging Lightbulbs

Following a contest on MyMediaDiary.com, the top three winners guessing the 24 categories from the 2015 Academy Awards, Collin Ward, Melissa Balan and Steve Palizzi, were invited by hosts Kevin Walsh and Kale Davidoff to discuss the following: Best and Worst of the Show Bad Clips Shown for Good Actors Underwhelming Films New Categories such as:Neil Patrick Harris and the Hosting Curse–Too Naughty/Too Nice Best Picture–5 Years from Now Best Trailer Best Stuntwork Best Voice-Over Work Recommended Changes The Academy Voters Country Club/US Senate Snubs Joan Rivers Popularity of Hanging Lightbulbs Birdman and Hollywood’s Love Affair with Itself In the podcast, Melissa shared her project on the Mars mission.  Here’s the link!

New (and Old) Frontiers: Above Detroit with Aerial Photographer Alex MacLean

Alex MacLean has seen Detroit from the sky at various stages since 1980.  The large green-spaces below, for example, were once crowded neighborhoods and business districts in a city’s footprint that is large enough to fit Houston, Boston and Manhattan.  These grassy fields seen from Google Maps might be mistaken for parks. Similar green spaces a few miles north of town generally have bunkers and greens fees. A trained architect, pilot, author and photographer, MacLean lives in Massachusetts but has seen Detroit from above as Ronald Reagan received the Republican presidential nomination, for the 1998 demolition of the landmark Hudson Building and last autumn at  a request from the New York Times.  Each visit is like dropping into a different chapter of the city’s history–urban farms were previously dangerous abandoned homes and lots. From the sky, many travelers have to change planes in the hub of Detroit Metro.  As they glance out the window and see the river and the skyline, are they like… Read More…

New Podcast: Digging Detroit – Dodge, Detroit & Women in Industry

Digging Detroit’s Tom Reed and Pete Kalinski discuss the early days of Detroit’s automotive history with historians Bailey Sisoy Isgro and Madelyn Rzadkowolski. Topics include: Advertising’s current portrayal of the Dodge Brothers Dodge’s famous dependability—and fix-it-yourself car kits General Patton and the Dodge military contract Women and Detroit’s cigar industry as a vehicle for entry into the workforce (and why Detroit was a cigar center) Using campaigns of conscience to get women into the workforce during WWI Detroit’s African American 600% population boom between 1910-1920 Detroit as the “Paris of the Midwest” More campaigns of conscience to force women out of the workplace after WWII Dodge’s role in the arsenal of democracy Fear of women earning too much–and gaining political clout) Promoting the myth of the non-communist “nuclear family” in the nuclear age For more information on the Dodge Brothers go to MeadowbrookHall.org. For more information on Bailey’s Detroit History Tours  go to… Read More…

New Podcast: The Hoops & Hype of March Madness

Contributing writer, Kale Davidoff, joins Kevin Walsh and media professionals Aaron Lebovic and Matt Moss to analyze the opening weekend of March Madness. Topics include: – Why is this event so special? – What non-basketball part of the event do you like/dislike most? – Review of brackets busted and intact – Best/Worst of CBS coverage – What changes would you make to either the tournament itself or its programming?