Guthrie’s passion for motor sports began with the basic need to eat. Now a reporter for The Detroit News, he was a starving college student in 1975 when he was offered freelance work by a local newspaper. Nobody else wanted the auto-racing beat, which now is one of America’s hottest topics. “I didn’t know much about it, but I met great people and I’ve never turned down a chance to learn about and drive every type [of car].” As a racing blogger for detnews.com, Guthrie has captured fan perspectives from Indy to the Michigan International Speedway. At last year’s Belle Isle Grand Prix, he walked to every spectator area, climbed every grandstand, swayed with free concert crowds, and even sneaked into corporate chalets. He shares his expertise on page 80.
There are two things Lessenberry will never forget about the 1980 Republican National Convention in Detroit, which he covered as a reporter and recalls in this issue (page 38). One was meeting Henry Kissinger’s older brother, who didn’t have a trace of a German accent. “When I asked him why the former Secretary of State did, he said he didn’t think his brother often listened to voices other than his own. He was kidding. I think.” He also met Theodore H. White, and was shocked that he was only about 5 feet tall. “I asked him and a few other of the legendary political correspondents who would win. They patiently explained that elected presidents don’t lose their bids for re-election nowadays, and that Ronald Reagan was far too right-wing to be elected.”
Since graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1983, Yang has received more than 200 awards for excellence in illustration. Of the farmers market map that he created for this issue (page 91), he says the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. “My wife and I just moved to Brooklyn, and they have an excellent farmers market every weekend during the summer. The market is becoming one of our favorite routines.” His work has appeared in trade publications, as well as Newsweek, The New York Times, Forbes, and Sports Illustrated. Yang has also published two children’s books and designed a sculpture that is part of the permanent exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.
Though he’s been a regular contributor to Hour Detroit for several years, photographer Ritchie rarely focuses his lens on fast cars, as he did for the Belle Isle Grand Prix photo essay (page 80). “I wanted these pictures to be more about the racing experience than the crowds,” he says. Ritchie also photographed the Michigan State Fair last year (page 75), an experience he likens to his childhood days of hanging out at the parking-lot carnival. The fair is a much larger version, of course, but both are notable for interesting people. These days, the most interesting person in Ritchie’s life is his 4-month old daughter, Sylvie, who is actually able to get him to put his camera down.