Local History Buff
As a young local historian, I completely disagree with the perspective expressed by Samantha Strayer in her letter to the editor (Letters From Readers, September 2008). Far too often we choose to overlook the less savory aspects of our history because they “offend our senses,” but to do so is to purposely overlook a huge part of what makes any society the way it is. I, for one, have always appreciated Hour Detroit’s inclusion of local history which, although often gruesome, is unfailingly fascinating to me and, no doubt, to many of your readers. Please continue the interesting local history pieces as always. If Ms. Strayer wants to read only about restaurants and entertainment, perhaps she should stick with Condé Nast or even the AAA Michigan Living magazine.
— Anne Sexton, Shelby Township
I really enjoyed your coverage of “Traveling the Midwest” in the September 2008 issue, written by Bruce Alpert and Cindy Loose. It was interesting to see the comparison of the cities. My brother and his family live in Berkley, and I read your magazine often. Last time I was there, I chatted with him and his friends about your publication, soliciting their thoughts. My brother especially was very complimentary about the content and pictures (and he’s an engineer — ha, ha).
— Kimberly Harms, Associate Director of Media Relations Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association
Don’t Bash Michigan
Despite the beauty of content and style of Hour Detroit, your recent articles on the Midwest tend to sell Michigan short. The theme in the September 2008 issue appears to be that no one can really define Michigan’s place in the universe. This is simply not true. I’m a lifelong Michigan resident who has spent the past five years in Manhattan primarily because my children live and work here. A self-defined, self-promoting vibe pulsates in the air in New York City all the time — a high energy, “greatest city on earth” idea. But Michigan is better.
When you have the Great Lakes, who cares about pinpointing a specific geographical description? When you have world-class art, music, academics, health, and sports activities, facilities, performers, and supporters, who cares about the trivial silliness of “You Know You’re a Midwesterner When?” Hour Detroit’s articles should reflect the same deep respect for our state that its inspiring heritage commands.
— Marjorie Parsons, New York, N.Y.
The Color Purple
I was very interested in reading the article on the Purple Gang (September 2008). I was a student at Pontiac High School in 1944-46 at the time that Kim Sigler, later to become governor of Michigan, prosecuted members of the Purple Gang in the courthouse in downtown Pontiac. I attended the court trial after getting out of school each day. The main thing that I remember was how flamboyant Kim Sigler was. He wore a coat with a chesterfield collar and was a very dramatic figure. Of course, at the time I was just a teenager and didn’t fully appreciate how vicious the Purple Gang was. Apparently, they had robbed a business in Pontiac, resulting in the trial being held there. Anyway, they were convicted and Sigler went on to become governor of Michigan.
— Robert L. Hauser, Waterford
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