Tuesday, August 21, 2012

VAY CAY DAY... Only 15 minutes away!

Grosse Pointe Farms! I LOVED it!

I am dumbfounded! Who knew that less than fifteen minutes from my downtown Detroit front door existed a veritable Alice in Wonderland neighborhood! I have spent the last eleven years of my life all mopey and forlorn, wishing I could escape from my shabby surroundings. Who knew that Grosse Pointe Farms (or any of the "Pointes" for that matter), would have provided me with the change of scenery I so desperately needed! 

Fate brought me to the quaint location on Kercheval just north of beautiful Lake St. Clair. The Realtor in me had just sold a house and the closing was to be located in an office here. As I approached my destination, I sighed audibly with joy and took in whole picture! The lovely tree lined street was dotted with pieces of art sponsored by the local community! Race car type banners were draped in the air. Every storefront was architecturally pleasing to the eye. All of the restaurants had little doggy water stations, some even had doggy FOUNTAINS made out of Pewabic Pottery! Flowers were blooming and everything was clean and just glowed. I immediately felt relaxed; like I had just done Yoga without the effort! I took a few more deep, cleansing breaths and sighed again...such a nice place.

Of course, I am a very visual and superficial person! I'll admit it: I like stuff! I didn't pay  too much attention to the actual PEOPLE! The people I did notice seemed pretty well-off and comfortable. All the men were wearing khaki-colored pants with navy blue blazers and loafers or "slipper-like" shoes with no socks. Very "Yacht Club"! All the women had on back tights and heels with lots of silver jewelry or were wearing work-out clothes! It was my very own Rodeo Drive moment! And then I had to go back home. Phooey.

However, this experience has proven to be one of the highlights of my summer (the other has YET to happen)! I have learned, like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, that there really is "no place like home"...give or take fifteen minutes! I think that I could learn to spend a lot more time hanging out in Grosse Pointe Farms, but I'll have to stop dropping the "f" bomb so often or they won't let me back in! You can take the girl out of the city but the city girl might have to make a few adjustments! I'm a fast learner! Just watch!

Friday, August 17, 2012


I was the luckiest girl alive in the summer of 1967...The Summer of  Love. I found myself migrating towards the hippie scene on the campus of Wayne State University. Three other girls and myself managed to rent an apartment on Prentis Street. One evening, I was wrestling on a Murphy bed with Stanley T. Madhatter, trying to throw him off of me, when a knock came on the door. As I lay giggling with Stanley, one of my roommates answered the door, and standing in the middle of a shining white light, stood an angel with flowing  locks of hair and big brown eyes. Dressed in a gauzy shirt and wearing bell-bottoms, this apparition became the defining moment in my life; it was Carl Lundgren. My soul mate. I fell in love with him. At first sight. He didn't exactly feel the same way!

That's how it all began. Me and this Carl Lundgren guy. John Sinclair used to describe him as this "weird little artist dude who sat with his legs all curled up under him, drawing all of the time"! We could not have been more different from each other, me being fun-loving and Carl not knowing the meaning of the words! But we've managed to find each other interesting enough to have stayed together. We married for the first time in Reno, Nevada in 1970, divorced in 1973, got back together in 1976 and remarried a second time in 1979!

I wanted my re-marriage to Carl to be a lovely ceremony to remember, but it turned out to be more of a David Lynch movie. We were living in New York City at the time. I wanted the wedding to be held where our families lived, back in Michigan. I loved Ann Arbor and The First Unitarian Universalist Church was beautiful. I told Carl I would handle everything and all he would have to do was show up! Carl was a good sport! Unfortunately, everything after that veered out of control!

L to R: The Wedding Day!
Carl's parents, the Bride and Groom, Michele's mother!
 My sisters and I had spent days making tissue paper "pom-poms" for the wedding cars. We had grocery bags full of multi-colored poms! On the day of the wedding, there was torrential rain and tornados were threatening to rip through southeastern Michigan. No more pom-poms! Me and the bridal party, which included nine-year old Cara, my mother and Carl, headed towards Ann Arbor in undecorated cars. My father was to come separately in his own car. Arriving at the church, we waited for the rest of the family. Carl's parents made it, but my father had not shown up. Oh well, we had the Maid-of-Honor and the Best Man, but the minister couldn't hold the church much longer. We went ahead with our ceremony, which we took from the Native Americans. We were pronounced man and wife for the second time! As it turned out, my father had suffered a stroke and was lying at home. Alone. We just thought the weather had held him off. We didn't have cell phones "back then"!

After the ceremony, we all checked into Weber's Inn where the reception was to be held. I did it all up right with flower centerpieces on the tables and plenty of champagne! I had ordered baked Cornish game hens as the entree. I had hired a magician to perform as we waited for our meals to be served. It seemed like a long time had passed between courses. Everyone kept drinking champagne. Drunks and magicians aren't a good match! We were all starving and the magician stunk. When the Cornish hens finally arrived, we all cut into them and they were still RAW!!! Blood spurted out of them and they did everything but get up and run around on the table! Ever see the movie ERASERHEAD? Shades of!

After dinner, we all stumbled back to our poolside rooms. It wasn't really all that late, but my Maid-of-Honor somehow ended up fully clothed in a bath tub full of hot water. She later explained that she was"cold"!  The rest of us wanted to go swimming. Big mistake.

It's my wedding night and I'm feeling frisky! Bobbing and whatever, I ended up swimming under water and crashed into the side of the pool and cracked my front tooth. I'm not even sure if we ever consummated the marriage that night! We've made up for it since then!

And so, today, to celebrate 33 continuous years of wedded bliss, we split a dinner at Joe's Crab Shack and I got to keep the souvenir jar that held my yummy cocktail. I don't expect much, and I get it, in abundance! I surprised Carl with the gift of a fossilized tooth from a 80 million year-old reptile..kind of befitting, I guess!

All in all, hanging out with Carl Lundgren for most of my life has been a riot and and I would do it all over again! Do I love this guy? I DO!

Time flies when you are having fun!
Still crazy after all these years!