Contributors: September 2009


Jack Lessenberry

Lessenberry, who teaches journalism at Wayne State University, has had a passing acquaintance with Guy Stern for years, because they pass each other going to and from their offices in the same building. “He’s a wonderfully warm colleague who acts as though everyone is slightly more important than he is, even though he is a renowned international scholar,” Lessenberry says. It wasn’t until he wrote about Stern, however, that Lessenberry realized just how rich Stern’s life has been. In addition to being a journalist for 30-plus years, writing for publications from The Detroit News to Vanity Fair, Lessenberry is a history buff who thinks metro Detroit’s Holocaust Memorial Center compares favorably with the one in Washington. “Everyone should see it, regardless of their background,” he says. “In fact, visiting it once is not enough.”


Nancy Nall Derringer

Derringer moved to metro Detroit from Fort Wayne, Ind., where, for a few years, she chaired her employer’s Arts United drive. Based on the United Way model, it gathered the city’s diverse fine-arts community — from ballet to art-house cinema — under one umbrella. But even in a smaller city proud of its arts community, support was a tough sell. “All research shows children who participate in arts programs do better in school, and later in life, than those who don’t,” recalls Derringer, who interviewed Eugene Gargaro Jr. about arts funding. “Artistically vibrant cities are economically healthier. With Detroit’s institutions on shaky ground following the area’s economic catastrophe, abandoning the arts could only add to the downturn. It’s hard to make a connection between an Impressionist oil and a new factory, but it has to be made.”


Taryn Bickley

“Fall has always been my favorite season for fashion,” says Bickley, who styled this month’s fashion feature. “In autumn, we have fantastic textures like velvets, tweeds, and leathers, and the ultimate excuse — cool weather — to layer and pair pieces.” Mixing various trends — bold colors, sophisticated accents, and soft, whimsical silhouettes — with the contrasting soothing quality of Lake Huron accentuated the season’s top catwalk looks. “The current fashion climate invites individuality and creativity,” Bickley says, “which is why we played with using sun, sand, and surf as a natural accessory.” A Chicago- and Detroit-based stylist and writer, Bickley’s work has appeared in Time Europe, Redbook and Chicago magazines.


Roy Ritchie

For this issue, Ritchie, a frequent contributor to Hour Detroit, had the task of photographing fall fashion in the middle of July. Beginning at 5 a.m. on the day of the shoot, his challenge was to work with the right sunlight. “The biggest challenge is shooting midday in the summer sun and having it look like fall when the light is lower in the sky,” Ritchie says. His other photographic work includes commercial and editorial projects. His work has appeared in Bloomberg, Bon Appétit, and ESPN The Magazine.