That’s the last line from Mitch Albom in his piece titled ‘The Courage of Detroit’ published by Sports Illustrated Wednesday January 7, 2009. The “bonus” article is also a cover page leader headline and after you read it you’ll see why. Click on over and see, or sit tight and see if I can motivate you as I think Mitch has some thoughts that would be useful for we regular folks.

Mitch Albom By John F. Martin, AP

Mitch Albom By John F. Martin, AP

First off, Mitch Albom is the author of nine books, including the newest, ‘For One More Day’, published 9/26/06. His first novel, “The Five People You Meet in Heaven”, (9/03) is the most successful U.S. hardback first novel ever and has to date sold over 8 million copies worldwide “Tuesdays With Morrie,” (1997) his chronicle of time spent with a beloved but dying college professor, spent four years on the NY Times bestsellers list and is now the most successful memoir ever published. Both books were eventually turned into popular TV films. Source-

Charlie Rose, the famed interviewer on PBS had Mitch on Friday January 9, 2009 for about 20 minutes. At this writing the link is to a page where I expect sometime today that the flash video will become available for viewing.

Mitch is one fine writer with a truly gifted sense of choosing the story and telling it.

The article at Sports Illustrated starts off in a dreary place with hope as drill practice. Only then he shows us some inner truths of people in Detroit that support the hope, remind us this is a working town, and a family town. Where lots of us, given the choice, would choose to be if not so driven by economic concerns. Maybe it’s the polite courteous and genuine nature of people who work with their hands – making things that others will see, touch and use in their lives.

Detroit was a capital, of industry, of the arsenal of democracy, and of late, the rust belt. Detroit has a grand history, a magnet for the nation’s hard working people, the world’s center of manufacturing knowhow, over 100 years of growth followed by decline. It’s not over yet. I agree with Mitch – the region gets way too much dirt thrown its way.

The big automakers sold what we bought. To see them abused by politicians for a few billion when they had just given over $700 Billion to the least trustworthy people who make well, nothing, makes one wonder about the brain power of the press and politicians. In the end the president had to buy them some time – a Republican saving a democratic stronghold. Amazing.

Enough. We’re not gum on the bottom of America’s shoe. We’re not grime to be wiped off with a towel. Detroit and Michigan are part of the backbone of this country, the manufacturing spine, the heart of the middle class — heck, we invented the middle class, we invented the idea that a factory worker can put in 40 hours a week and actually buy a house and send a kid to college. What? You have a problem with that? You think only lawyers and hedge-fund kings deserve to live decently?

Mitch reminds us that what is happening there could happen where any of us live. The point that an economy existing on services – outsourcing its crafts, building and manufacturing has little grounds to be on top of the world’s economic pyramid.

There is a great deal in the Sports Illustrated piece and the Charlie Rose interview that offers some powerful insight into the American Condition. Whether you find agreement isn’t the task, rather it’s that one’s horizons to think about economic condition of the world’s economic engine is something we might do well to have in mind.

“To hell with Depression. We’re gonna have a good year.” I’m applauding too! Thanks to Sports Illustrated for asking and to Mitch for writing. Its great food for thought.


1 Comment so far

  1. Matt in NC on January 14, 2009 11:24 AM

    Aw the hell with it. Let’s buy a new car.

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