Detroit | Dobel Street | East Side

Long-time commitment

We moved from a rental on Mt. Olivet Street to Dobel Street sometime around 1971, and as I’ve stated in the past, we left for Roseville in the spring of 1976.

So I lived at 8271 Dobel for about five years — two fewer than we’ve worked in the neighborhood to keep Fletcher Field open, cut and clean.

For those of you who know me well — my “it’s time to move on and do something new” tendency — staying at this for so long is out-of-character for me. I like to travel, to move, to see and experience unfamiliar territory.

Our work at the park is important stuff, though, and even if you don’t see me writing about it much anymore, I assure you that I talk about it often. In fact, hardly a day goes by that I don’t end up in a spirited debate about why we in the suburbs should care about what’s happening in the city.

I tell people — often expatriates of Detroit — that we should care because it’s the right thing to do. We’re all God’s children and should be treated that way.

If that doesn’t work, then I tell them the not-so-nice fact that you should care because leaving people in hopelessness will eventually bite you in the ass. Look, it’s human nature to survive, and hopeless people will sometimes do awful things just to get by mentally and physically. That’s right; they’ll rob you, beat you and maybe even kill you.

Give people reasons to hope — a show of compassion, a solid education, the potential for well-paying jobs, a freakin’ way out of often dire conditions — then they’ll be less likely to take from you or harm you.

Anyway, I’m dedicated to another summer at Fletcher Field and invite your spirit, wisdom and sweat to the cause. We’re going to meet sometime in March to talk about how to continue — maybe even expand — this project.

If you’re interested in joining us, please shoot me off an email (, and I’ll add you to the Friends of Fletcher Field distribution list.

For now, try to stay warm — and remember those who simply can’t.