Tag Archives: ann arbor

down the rabbit hole.

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walking through the city

i noticed

 a lot of people

 dressed differently

than the usual weekend attire

how fun to discover

that people from all over

of all ages and stages

had come to town to be part of

an ‘alice in wonderland’ immersive experience.

also fun to imagine them crossing paths with the families

who might be nervous

dropping off their child at the uni 

visiting our city for the first time.

“what kind of city is this?!”

“this wasn’t in the brochure.”

“do you think they’ll be safe here?”

and this was only day one.

“when I used to read fairy-tales, I fancied that kind of thing never happened,

and now here I am in the middle of one!”

-lewis carroll, alice’s adventures in wonderland/through the looking-glass

carry it.

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like a turtle with its shell

 carrying it wherever they go

a sure sign

it’s move-in weekend at the uni.

 

“the sweetest part of leaving home is knowing,

beyond the shadow of a doubt,

that you’ll always carry it with you.”

-homestratosphere

 

“those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.”-jmb

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a call came from a director

who had worked with my grandson

on an entertainment project

he and his crew were in town

to shoot a pilot for a new show

the idea is to surprise someone

but instead of pranking them

it’s focus is on thanking them

he was looking for locals to help with the show

those who know ‘afternoon delight’

a local breakfast/lunch spot

not fancy, with great food

an unchanged part of this town for many years

the surprise was to be for walter

a local, humble, and very deserving gentleman

who has worked there for 40+ years and refuses to retire

he lives without a phone

(the farmers at the market let him use theirs when he needs one)

he lives without a car

(the local pedi-cab guy gives him rides to work and whenever he needs one)

he’s never been on a plane or boat

he lives alone with his many plants

his family is the restaurant crew and all who pass through the doors

he shows up every single day, works hard, and is unfailingly kind to everyone

but his presence is so much more than that

he has touched so many lives over the years and in so many ways

after keeping walter at home a bit longer than usual

 worrying about being needed at work

everything was finally ready

the moment he walked in

he looked teary

saying, “i can’t believe my eyes”

with the sweetest smile

he thanked everyone for coming

and was told

“walter, we are here to thank you!”

for impacting the town and the people

he had a chance to talk to every person

as we each presented him with a plant and our story

he had walked one down the aisle

when she was a waitress there and didn’t have a father

the pedi-cab driver had worked there too

some had worked with him for many years

or had been coming in for many years

and one after another

each person thanked him

multiple generations had eaten there

and he listened and he smiled and he thanked them

for being such an important part of his life

 when he sat in the booth that now has his name on it forever

he told his stories

how things had changed over the years but stayed the same

how life had been hard at times but was so thankful for everything

when he first started it was bob dylan and joan baez stopping by after a concert

 each era brought new music and new people

along with people who continued to come in over and over

bringing children and grandchildren

while the food is very good

walter is what makes the difference

why people keep coming

as we said our goodbyes

walter climbed into the pedi-cab,

now with bubbles flowing, music playing, for a ride around town

his town

to celebrate his special day

before coming back to his other home

the restaurant

as i walked back to my car

someone saw my t-shirt

stopped his car and asked:

“is that for walter from afternoon delight?”

when i said it was

he told me he owns a nearby deli

 whenever he sees walter making his way down the street

he makes walter’s favorite sandwich for him

walter is a treasured family member to everyone lucky enough to meet him.

“there is a light in this world, a healing spirit more powerful than any darkness we may encounter.

we sometimes lose sight of this…

then suddenly the spirit will emerge through the lives of ordinary people,

who hear a call and answer in extraordinary ways.”

-sir richard attenborough

rolling sculpture.

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this one shares my vintage

 

the return of

the rolling sculpture car show

where whimsical art and classic style share the road

 

this one shows its true colors

“whither goest thou, america, in thy shiny car in the night?”

-jack kerouac

bursting.

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on the 100th anniversary

of this incredible peony garden

with 270+ varieties

the beauty goes on and on

leaving it impossible to pick a favorite.

 

“in june as many as a dozen species may burst their buds on a single day.

no man can heed all of these anniversaries; no man can ignore all of them.”

-aldo leopold

 

w.e. upjohn peony garden, nichols arboretum, ann arbor, mi, usa – june 2022

and cut…..

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 in honor of the 10th anniversary of this film, made here in ann arbor, i’m reposting this blog from my past.

ever had one of those days? the ones that take a funny turn?

i picked up a movie from the library recently, ‘the five year engagement,’ and when i saw the cover, i remembered that i had almost been in it. by accident. really.

it was the summer and i’d walked downtown to meet my date. when i got to one of my favorite local townie spots where we’d planned to meet, i noticed there was a barricade, some roadie types, a sound system and all sorts of equipment set up outside. having lived here for more than a decade, i knew there was always a festival, parade or protest popping up, so none of this surprised me. it  could easily have been for a street dance, a car show, or god knows what else, so i simply stepped over and around everything, and walked on in.

once inside, i looked around, it was a bit dark and hazy and didn’t see him there yet, so i sat down at an open table. while waiting, i noticed that something about the place looked different than it normally did, but i couldn’t quite put my finger on it. i then got a phone call from my date, asking where i was, and when i told him i was already where we’d planned to meet, he said he’d arrived, but couldn’t get in because it was closed off to the public, as they were shooting a movie there. and he wondered how i had gotten in.

ah – that’s when it all made sense and it dawned on me. i had unwittingly walked right into the middle of a movie set. i thought it was awfully dark for being the daytime, and things were moved around, and i heard someone yelling out something, but figured it was a bartender, and thought maybe they’d redone the place, trying to go a bit more upscale. i loved it just the way it had been though, a cozy, casual, old-school, welcoming place. all this went through my mind quickly and then i remembered, they’d been shooting in various locations around town for some weeks now, but it never occurred to me that i had crashed their party. i was suddenly an accidental extra.

i’m sure the only reason they let me on set in the first place, was because i’d ambled on into it like i was supposed to be there, (and i thought i was), so no one stopped me. and i was dressed like a townie, (since i was a real one), so i fit right in.

we laughed out loud on each end of the phone as i shared my revelation, and i casually got up and walked off the set and into the daylight once more, as if i was walking to my personal production trailer, only to find my date waiting in another location. where they were NOT in the middle of shooting a scene for a movie.

when i picked up the dvd at the library, a part of me somehow hoped to see myself in that scene, but not surprisingly, i was nowhere to be found, other than somewhere on the cutting room floor, perhaps.

“acting in’Star Wars’ I felt like a raisin in a giant fruit salad,

and I didn’t even know who the cantaloupes were.”

– Mark Hamill

image credits: universal studios, old town bar

 

seed sampler.

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what a wonderful collaboration between the library and local seed organizations

once again showing how important a library is to a community

“inside every seed is the potential for an incredible harvest.”

-farrah gray

 

whimsy’s on its way.

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note to this townie and his car

who’ve made so many smile:

Shout out to the person driving the smart car that looks like a little tykes cozy coupe! 

Everyone loves it and it brings all of the smiles and laughs every time you are spotted! 🙂

 

“whimsy doesn’t care if you are the driver or the passenger; all that matters is that you are on your way.”

-bob goff

wonderland.

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stopping by this amazing wonderland of a store

 was like stepping right into willie wonka’s factory

all joy and color

 sweets of every kind and shape and size

old favorites, new delightful unusual treats

happiest place in town

nothing was impossible.

 

 “Mr. Willy Wonka can make marshmallows that taste of violets, and rich caramels that change color every ten seconds as you suck them, and little feathery sweets that melt away deliciously the moment you put them between your lips. He can make chewing-gum that never loses its taste, and sugar balloons that you can blow up to enormous sizes before you pop them with a pin and gobble them up. And, by a most secret method, he can make lovely blue birds’ eggs with black spots on them, and when you put one of these in your mouth, it gradually gets smaller and smaller until suddenly there is nothing left except a tiny little dark red sugary baby bird sitting on the tip of your tongue.”

-Roald Dahl, ‘Charlie And The Chocolate Factory’.