Restoration at Woodward and Baltimore in Detroit


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  1. #1

    Default Paging Gazhekwe, Kathleen, Bobi, Mikefminch, et al. Tponetom

    Just for the fun of it!

    Detroit Emanations, Tponetom.

    I am in a favorable position of invulnerability. I cannot be accused or imprisoned or otherwise punished for any of my posts or opinions.

    My defense being, I am either too aged, senile, suffering from Alzheimer’s and CRS, or just plain hopelessly addled. ! And if anyone challenges those peculiarities, who really cares? In addition to that attitude, I can only say that ‘sticks and stones may break my bones’ as long as they do not get stuck in my urinary tract.

    That being said, I just love this forum and, especially, the people I have encountered.

    So, back to the title of this essay. In our kitchen in Detroit, during the Thirties, there was an embroidery hanging on the wall. It said, “Everything I am or ever hope to be, I will owe to my darling mother.” I have to think about that for a minute or two, because:
    Ma smoked cigarettes. She played poker. She went to the Hazel Park Race Track to bet on the horses with her sisters. She hosted a coffee clutch every morning in her bath robe and her hair in curlers, for the National Bank’s field agents. They were the people who gave my Dad the work that let us survive. (Their only option was to go some where else and PAY for the coffee.) But, most important, Ma was always home on every school day of the year, waiting for me, to teach me how to play poker, pinochle, euchre, cribbage and ‘goodness’ will not reveal the other things.

    I almost forgot. Ma played the Numbers Racket Game, just like a million other Detroiters. Nearly every neighborhood store owner was an agent or ‘bag man’ for the game.

    Just pick 3 numbers from 0 to 9. (Like 467 or 359.) The payoff was 600 to 1. Most of the bets placed were for one penny, which would win you 6 dollars. If you bet one dollar, the prize would be 600 dollars. That would buy you a new automobile in the Thirties!.

    The odds against you were 1000 to one. (The State Lotto’s do not pay anywhere near that much, percentage wise.)

    Those are my first adolescent remembrances, emanating from Detroit.

    P. S. I have a story about the Detroit Race Course, circa 1965. It is heartbreaking from the standpoint of 'greed.'

  2. #2


    Great story tponetom. Keep em' coming.

  3. #3


    My Grandmother (who lived in a house my grandfather built with his buddies over near McNichols and Greenfield) used to send my half-Uncle (that is to say, my father's much older half-brother) to the store to play some numbers for her.

  4. #4


    So good to hear from you, Tom! I am sure you inherited your Mom's confidence and joy in life. The embroidered sampler makes me wonder what her mother was like

  5. #5


    Hi Tom!! Glad you stopped by!!

    Your post about your mother reminds me of my dad's mother's family here in Detroit as he was growing up! There was a lot of gambling (weekly poker games in the basement, betting at the track) and my dad ran with a fast crowd (his parents were divorced and he was an only child). Surprising at how tough he was on us skipping school, no staying up late, no running around with unsavory types. He turned out to be a pretty good father.

  6. #6


    Good to hear from you, Tom!
    May I share excerpts from your posts on facebook? Shall I credit tponetom?
    I hope to see your comments here at each login.

  7. #7


    A wee bit late, but bless you Tom.

  8. #8


    Sounds like dear old mom did every right wrong thing. I'll bet she was really proud of you.

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