After a nine-year career, Art Director Cassidy Zobl is leaving Hour Detroit. “It’s been a great journey, but the end is bittersweet,” she says. “To the extremely talented, dedicated staff who take so much pride in their work and never settle for mediocre: Thank you for helping make my time at Hour so memorable. To the many freelancers I’ve been fortunate to create with: Without your unique visions, unstoppable drives, and wild imaginations, magic wouldn’t be possible. I appreciate you beyond words. To Steve: Thank you for allowing me to do my job. Without you there wouldn’t have been garden gnomes, horses, penguin-holding, or mermaids in my life. You’ve been an amazing editor and I can’t say thank you enough. Thanks to everyone else who has been part of the adventure.”
To freelance writer George Bulanda, approaching Broadway star Elaine Stritch was akin to facing a lioness in her den. “She can be caustic,” he says, “and I’ve read interviews in which she’s eaten a journalist alive. But I appreciated her work, so like David, I valiantly faced Goliath.” After establishing Catholic-education ties and sharing the fact that they grew up in the same general neighborhood, Bulanda says Stritch softened (see page 33). “Eventually the lioness turned into a kitty cat. But I still wouldn’t try to test her claws.” Bulanda asked Stritch to sign his London cast recording of Noël Coward’s Sail Away, in which she starred. “I rarely ask for autographs; it seems so vulgar,” Bulanda says. “But she’s no ordinary celebrity.”
Longtime Hour Detroit contributor Jim McFarlin got to experience a bygone era of Detroit’s café society through the anecdotes of jazz piano legend Charles Boles, on the occasion of his first CD (see page 38). “This man was musical conductor at Detroit landmarks I’ve only heard about, like the Elwood Casino and Playboy Club,” he marvels. “He’s toured with everyone from B.B. King to Moms Mabley. He’s a marvelous raconteur. No way was I given enough space to tell his wonderful stories.” A former music writer for numerous publications, including The Detroit News, McFarlin now works outside Chicago. (Editor’s note: Visit hourdetroit.com for an expanded interview with Boles. We read the tales and had to agree with McFarlin about the “space issue.”)
Lynn Henning has known his share of Tigers general managers, beginning with Jim Campbell, the penurious Scotsman who would have had apoplexy over today’s $150 million payrolls. Henning, who began his career with the The Detroit News in 1979, has covered current GM Dave Dombrowski since Dombrowski arrived in 2001. In this issue, he profiles the Tigers architect (page 84) as the team prepares to go for their fourth straight American League Central division title.