Kalamazoo is a small town in Michigan. Certainly not a place where anyone would suddenly expect to find themselves, but this was where I met most of my extended family. The circumstances were not ideal but the significance of the reunion was not diminished.
The neighborhoods are exceptionally beautiful and the community is quite open and welcoming. There are people who have happily worked for the same company their entire life. Now retired, they happily recount tales from their days working for companies located in Kalamazoo.
I recognized a while back that big cities are not the only places where opportunities can be found. Every town, big or small, that cultivates the right environment and the right community has opportunities for the right person. This town is an ideal example of that spirit.
“Massachusetts has been the wheel within New England, and Boston the wheel within Massachusetts.
It has therefore been the source and fountain of the ideas that have moved and made America, and is, in a high and honourable sense, the hub of the New World”
— Foster Barham Zincke
“I love Los Angeles, and I love Hollywood. They’re beautiful. Everybody’s plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic.”
— Andy Warhol
“The missionary comes after the whiskey — I mean he arrives after the whiskey has arrived; next comes the poor immigrant, with ax and hoe and rifle; next, the trader; next…
…All these interests bring the newspaper; the newspaper starts up politics and a railroad; all hands turn to and build a church and a jail— and behold, civilization is established for ever in the land.
But whiskey, you see, was the van-leader in this beneficent work. It always is.”
— Mark Twain
“And it is awful here, there is no other way to say it. But I believe that Detroit is America’s city. It was the vanguard of our way up, just as it is the vanguard of our way down. And one hopes the vanguard of our way up again.
Detroit is Pax Americana. The birthplace of mass production, the automobile, the cement road, the refrigerator, frozen peas, high- paid blue-collar jobs, home ownership and credit on a mass scale. America’s way of life was built here.”
— Charlie LeDuff
“My advice for aspiring writers is go to New York. And if you can’t go to New York, go to the place that represents New York to you, where the standards for writing are high, there are other people who share your dreams, and where you can talk, talk, talk about your interests. Writing books begins in talking about it, like most human projects, and in being close to those who have already done what you propose to do.”
— Walter Kirn