Sitting in my third-floor home office, I can hear the lake effect Polar Vortex blasting around my house – can’t remember wind and cold like this in over ten years! I had to close my offices a couple of weeks ago for the first time in as many years. But, we Michiganians cope with winter by expecting the unexpected and being prepared. On the bright side, every day we’re just a bit closer to spring. While it makes the time really fly, planning for our March and April issues keeps Team MCM thinking about the warm days ahead.
Yes, time does march on – we’re already a month into 2014. In January, the nation observed the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination; we dedicated some space in this issue for special features in his honor, as well. I asked each of our staff writers to offer their thoughts on Dr. King. Of course, his “I Have a Dream” speech comes to mind. Personally, I believe that we all should read those words and consider how our nation has progressed over the last 50 years; what about the last five years? Most of us realize the need for our cities and our nation to unite our energy for positive change. Dr. King’s speech undoubtedly has a different meaning to different people. But when you read the words, the important question is whether or not we’ve been moving toward realizing his Dream.
Dreams inspire us, keep us moving forward – publishing My City was a big dream come true for me. In this issue, Myron Manns offers a “My Journey” story about a young man from Finland who followed a dream of working in the auto industry and his journey brought him to Flint. Our “My Arts” feature profiles a 30-plus-year AC Sparkplug worker who dreamed of inspiring people with art – he followed his dream and I know you’ll enjoy our sampling of his work in these pages. Another Flint native is pursuing her dream of fashion design fame; check out the photos from the recent runway show she organized Downtown. Finally, Myron’s story “Our Model Citizen” tells of a mentor devoted to putting Flint youth on a path toward fulfilling their dreams. There are people with big dreams all around us, and this is proof that Flint is a place where they can come true.
People are what make any city great – this month, we introduce “My Faces” (p. 88), a section filled with lots of… faces! I spent a very cold and rainy evening with MCM photographer, Sarah Reed-Szumanski, hopping around to area hotspots. Every place we visited was packed with people having fun and happy to have their picture “snapped” for My City. Stay tuned in the months ahead – we might just snap you.
One stop on the February “My Faces Tour” was Fenton Fire Hall – a unique, new eatery that was definitely hopping with people of all ages and which I’m sure will become THE place to be in Fenton. Take a look at our profile of Fenton Fire Hall and I guarantee it will make you hungry to give it a try, if you haven’t already. From one of the newest area ventures to Flint’s oldest operating business: Hubbard Supply Co., opened in 1865. Not only has it survived for 150 years, but it’s also been able to grow. Amazing! (See p. 36.)
Jessica Pressley’s history articles continue this month with Part 1 of her series on Buick, which promises to be very popular – I know a lot about Buick and I learned a thing or two. Spend some time with this fascinating story on p. 74.
Always fascinating to many MCM readers are Peter C. Cavanaugh’s pieces on local rock n’ roll. Can you believe how many big-time bands got their start right here in Flint? And Pete was right in the middle of it all. I’m loving the feedback on his articles – and he’s just getting started. Stay tuned!
I wanted to quickly mention this month’s cover – our super- creative photography team came up with a way to send a little “Valentine” to all the My City readers. You can read more about it on the previous page.
Remember, we can use your support! You can subscribe to My City online and get copies of the current issue at Barnes & Noble. We were happy to hear that many of our new readers got a subscription as a holiday gift. Keep the great feedback coming and thanks for reading!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Vince Lorraine, Publisher & Editor in Chief
PHOTO BY SARAH REED-SZUMANSKI AND MICHAEL GLEASON