January 2011: I am preparing for my first real visit to Detroit, the city of my birth. I am a Californian, where I have been since age one when my parents packed me into a car to seek fame and fortune in LA. It is strange to be defined by something unknown but when asked if I am a "native" Californian, I answer, "No, I was born in Detroit." It seems time to investigate what that means. So I have come "home" on my birthday to photograph Detroit.

This blog is part of an accompanying journal about the project.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother in Detroit

My friend and fellow photographer, Aline Smithson, asked us to send in a photograph of our mothers to celebrate today, Mother's Day 2011, on her terrific LENSCRATCH blog.

Immersed in my magazine creation, I could only think of this photograph of my mother. I am guessing is from December 1944, only a couple of months after her marriage to my father and her move to Detroit to be with him. The notation looks like it is 1944/45 but I am assuming it was '44 since she looks quite thin and if it were December of '45, I would almost be born and she would be looking very pregnant.

She is wearing my favorite pin, a '40s Alfred Philippe Trifari Jelly Belly Frog, that she gave me decades ago and that I wear to this day.

The window from which she is looking out is not the Pinehurst home. Possibly the address at 3444 Second Avenue? She looks delighted to be in Detroit.

When it comes down to it, Mother's Day reminds us that we are full of hope and thoughts about the future and how we accomplish that to which we aspire. For what is the birth of a child, if not a moment of dreams? The concept of "rebirth" speaks to renewal and a fresh new life. Detroit is in this stage.

I am looking forward to returning there at the end of this coming week.

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