Repeal day!

Welcome to the best holiday ever! OKAY, maybe just the best holiday commemorating the withdrawal of constitutional legislation that shouldn’t have happened in the first place.

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My new, old town: #4 – Sleepy Hollow

Something funny happens on Drake road between 11 and 12 mile; the stiff, airy grid streets of Farmington Hills collapse into a dark, knotty road, a valley road flanked by bluffs of boulders and trees. Driving due north from 11 mile, the road dips past a pair of old wooden houses and a stone wall over the river; across the street, a bench in a tiny, deserted park. As the road winds, you pass two palatial mansions on the east side of the street, not the kind you find in especially big, brand-new subdivisions, but the kind you dream about when you are a child — and as children, they were objects of our fantasies, full of servant girls in ruffle-hemmed gowns, noble vassals, horse stables, maybe a sinister count or a dowager duke. You can’t see them unless you squint past the gates and hedgerows, and even though the speed limit is low, the road is narrow and there is nowhere to pull over and gawk. But catching a glimpse of a sprawling country estate through the willows is so much more tantalizing.

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No Mean City

Also: when I was moving some photos from my phone to my computer, I found this picture I’d forgotten about, of a stained glass panel at Old Mariner’s Church.

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About this weekend: I’m on deadline

Please forgive the lag; I have been tied up on a deadline for Metro Times this week, turning my attention from minor local historical curiosities to a scion of Detroit’s early-aughts music scene. Back to normal next Monday, but meanwhile, here are some things you probably already know about.

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Eli Blanchard, Musician: The 24th Michigan of the Iron Brigade

EDIT: I spent a lot of time yesterday worrying about Eli Blanchard and his regiment, mostly concerned that I’d been a little lazy with my research, so I went back today to comb through the Orson Blair Curtis book one more time. I still wish I knew what instrument he played in the 24th Michigan band, when he got sick and with what, and when he left on furlough, but this is future grist for the blog mill.

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