There were no motorized vehicles or CGI graphics involved, but Lee nonetheless got a thrill out of interviewing Detroit-born-and-bred actress Nayo Wallace (page 42), who appeared in the spring film Speed Racer. “I liked the movie, and it was fascinating to hear her discuss her relationships with her great-aunt and grandmother, Dorothy and Vivian Dandridge. With that kind of lineage, it sur-prised me that she still had to move out to Los Angeles and start at the bottom like everyone else.” Lee, a former Hour Detroit staffer who is editor in chief/group editor of The Men’s Book magazine in Chicago, says, “She did a good job in Speed Racer, and I think she has a bright future.”
“Strictly speaking, the root word of history isn’t ‘story,’ but it should be,” says Bak, a Dearborn-based writer, who over the years has produced many articles, books, and scripts dealing with some aspect of Michigan’s past. “I’ve always felt that any work of nonfiction, no matter how minor or innocuous the subject matter may seem, can be made more compelling with a strong narrative.” In this issue, Bak brings back to life a forgotten incident of the Cold War era: the day a bomber crashed on Detroit’s east side (page 64). He also profiles Hour Detroit’s 2008 Detroiter of the Year (page 56), whose crusade to save Belle Isle necessarily involves an appreciation of the island’s unique standing in local history.
From his flattened-can collection to his fascination with outdated hairdos and backwoods bingo halls, photographer Kristal finds beauty in the unexpected. For this issue, he photographed Hour Detroit’s 2008 Detroiter of the Year on Belle Isle (page 56). He welcomed the opportunity to get reacquainted with the island. “When I lived in Detroit, Belle Isle was my sanctuary,” says Kristal, who now lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. Because of his fond memories and interest in Detroit’s history, he hopes this issue’s feature will result in some much-deserved attention for the restoration of Belle Isle.
Muenchrath’s illustrations have a raw-edged style that emphasizes flaws over beauty. He says his inspiration for this month’s illustration (page 50) came “from many of the flights I have been on in the last few years.” Sometimes you have little to do “but observe the people around you, and certain things just stick.” What he absorbs, he says, are “the odd things in life.” After Muenchrath was graduated from the Alberta College of Art and Design in 1995, he migrated east to Toronto. His work has appeared in various national and international magazines.