Hey, it’s Jer.

My mom was in her 20s in the 1960s, and Motown — be it Marvin Gaye, Tammi Terrell, Stevie Wonder or you name it — that was the music she’d have on the radio in the Detroit flower shop where she worked.

When she had me years later, those same songs were installed in my heart as lullabies.

This week we lost a Motown legend in Mary Wilson, a founding member of The Supremes.

So we spent an episode of the podcast focusing on the news itself, how Mary Wilson made us feel and her impact.

To help do that, I share parts of a candid conversation with her recorded by retired label executive Joe Smith in 1987.

I also spoke with the knowledgeable music historian and DJ Dan Austin. He is a founder of the Motor City Soul Club and the turntables he and his friends spin help keep the music alive for all generations to dance to with their Soul Stomp events at the Marble Bar.

He put together a playlist of B-sides and rarities on Spotify here you might want to check out if the only songs you know are “Baby Love” and “You Can’t Hurry Love.”

Have a listen in Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/remembering-mary-wilson-of-the-supremes/id1220563942?i=1000508510420

Listen on the website | Audio only

Looking for a last minute Valentine’s Day gift? Want to support something cool on Belle Isle?

One of things about flowers as they are traditionally given is they go away. I mean, if you’re really good, you can keep them going for over a week.

And that’s it.

But this way of giving your favorite plants will be around not just for your love, but everyone else who loves Belle Isle.

This isn’t sponsored by them or anything, but saw that the Oudolf Garden is now offering plants to sponsor that’ll support the ongoing maintenance of what’s going in over there by the Nancy Brown Peace Carillon.

Despite COVID-19 and some adjustment due to flooding issues, they’re continuing to make progress.

It’s on track to open this summer and any time you see one of your kind of flower you’ll know your love had a hand in it.

Here’s a link to the thing.

Along Jefferson from I-375 to the Grosse Pointe border, one of the organizations that’s undoubtedly making an impact is Jefferson East Inc., or JEI.

It’s not just with flashy projects, but in very personal ways such as helping Detroiters stay in their homes.

The nonprofit covers five neighborhoods with more than 18 square miles of land area and 42,000 people. That’s bigger than many suburbs.

As someone who knows this area decently well, I also know lots of people write off the east side.

At first glance, parts of it have been some of the hardest hit in Detroit.

But whether it’s the beautiful houses of Indian village or Jefferson Chalmers; the canals, the economic development that has slowly but surely been firing up, and of course, the proximity to one of our region’s most important resources, the Detroit river — I wouldn’t sleep on it.

So here’s my conversation is with Josh Elling of Jefferson East on what’s happening with their new community HQ and more.

Listen on Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/jefferson-easts-new-community-hq-w-josh-elling/id1220563942?i=1000508372140

Listen on the website | Audio only

Michigan Central Depot in Corktown is starting to look like itself again.

Tens of thousands of square feet of decorative plaster that is being re-created, merging what’s been left after years of abandonment with new work that’s faithful to the original.

Having been in this station a couple of times since restoration work began, it’s amazing what they’ve been able to do.

To get into the details, I talked with Austin Giesey of Christman-Brinker.

Have a listen in Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/michigan-central-restoration-update-plus-4-things-to/id1220563942?i=1000507623516

Listen on the website | Audio only

That’s all for now. Until next time, take care of each other and I’ll see you around Detroit.


p.s. - Three groups to thank who make this podcast and newsletter possible.

First, our members on Patreon. Without you we couldn’t have made it through 2020. Local media that’s locally owned requires local funding to succeed, and it’s our members that make it so we don’t have to do clickbait to keep eyeballs. We can produce and write for those who want to push Detroit’s conversation forward.

And a couple of partial underwriters for 2021 (we won’t do this at the bottom of every note, but seriously we’re thankful):

Fusion Marketing. Thanks John! If you need signs for your business for COVID-19 compliance, large format printing, websites, etc. go check them out.

And Frugal on the Fly. They have a thing throughout the afternoon of the 21st you might want to check out if you want to get out of the house outdoors and socially distanced. The proceeds of this particular one go to support homeless outreach. Thanks Erica!

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