McFarlin has interviewed presidents, Prince (the performer), and paupers over 35 years as a feature writer for publications nationwide. But the frequent Hour Detroit contributor can’t remember an experience like his meeting with metro Detroit philanthropist Doreen Hermelin (page 30). “I drive hours to interview her, and she has less than 45 minutes between engagements,” McFarlin recalls. “I get there, all stressed, and knock on the door of this palatial estate. She welcomes me into her dining room, and on the table is a tuna sandwich. She said, ‘You drove all this way, you must be hungry — eat!’ I’ve covered thousands of people, but no one’s ever been kind enough to make me a sandwich!” A Michigan native, McFarlin now writes from outside Chicago.
A freelance journalist and standup comedy fan, Stanard has had the pleasure of interviewing several famous comedians, including Dennis Miller, Dave Coulier, Cedric the Entertainer, Mike Epps, and Paul Mooney. As a loyal viewer of the The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, she was excited to interview Ivy League-educated curmudgeon Lewis Black (page 15). “Lewis was very polite, self-deprecating, and funny,” she says. “He clearly has a lot of affection for Detroit and is distraught at the city’s decline. Of course, he verbalized that distress with some pretty colorful language, which made editing the interview an interesting challenge.”
For the past decade, Vaughn has had the honor of photographing Hour Detroit’s annual Restaurant of the Year (page 36). His take on this year’s selection? “Love it; nothing like it in this town,” he says. “It has been harder for the restaurants to find their vision in this economy, but when they do, they have done some amazing things with their menu and execution. I’m always proud of the choice each year and happy for the winner.” Vaughn has recently done work for Sports Illustrated, Time, and HBO.
In illustrating this month’s feature on education (page 48), Brown says he tried to convey “the idea that there are so many choices suitable for different people and their needs. It was challenging to make the painting include lots of elements, but not seem too busy or chaotic.” Brown is a writer and illustrator of children’s books. His work has appeared in Time, Newsweek, and Rolling Stone.