Historical Fort Wayne Detroit – Lost to the new Bridge?

   The ancient star fort at Historic Fort Wayne Detroit should be rebuilt to pre 1776 standards and funded as a national landmark of unity for the URBAN-KNIGHTS, SUBURBAN-KNIGHTS and all who love their freedoms – symbolizing the preservation of a free people.

      Do most people in the suburbs living around Detroit worry about their drinking water? Not likely. They just assume it will be there when they need it because they are too busy to be bothered with the details. You can bet if a hostile enemy captured Detroit and turned off their water millions in the suburbs would be faced with recapturing Detroit or dying of thirst. The control of water has always been the life sustaining strategic resource. Ancient legends have been written about the subject; Saint George fighting the Dragon to get control over the water is one of many such stories. The legend of Saint George and the dragon is common to many diverse cultures around the world. It wasn’t that long ago our common ancestors in America had to stand up to another George, King George III. Instead of serving the people, old George thought the people should serve him with a new slave-based militarized roman empire. Old George knew the only way to keep the empire funded was to control the people’s water. In those days there were no cars, rail or air transportation, the water had a strategic importance, it was the only efficient means of transportation and without it people would die. Cities and villages were all located nearby the transportation waterways. If they did not get their shipments of commodities, like salt, the people would not last the winter because salt was used for long term food preservation. “Until modern times it provided the principal way to preserve food … Salt was to the ancient Hebrews, and still is to modern Jews, the symbol of the eternal nature of God’s covenant with Israel … In Christianity, salt is associated not only with longevity and permanence but, by extension, with the truth and wisdom. The Catholic Church dispenses not only holy water but holy salt, Sal Sapientia, the Salt of Wisdom,” said Mark Kurlansky. Old George knew he had to control the water ways, and to do it, forts were built all over Middle America at narrow points along the rivers and lakes. One such place was Detroit that also had the Native-American name Yon-do-ti-ga, Springhill, or Springwells; named after all the natural spring water that flowed from the land. No one could get past the fort’s cannons that were located at the narrowest point of the river. “Detroit’s origins as a French out post make it older than many other cities of eastern North America, despite its inland location,” said Brain Dunningan in Frontier Metropolis. Detroit’s ancient star fort still stands, but after many modifications, it’s has lost its importance and we have lost our common identity born from our common struggle for freedom. The ancient star fort of Historic Fort Wayne Detroit should be rebuilt to pre 1776 standards and be funded as a national landmark of unity for the URBAN-KNIGHTS, SUBURBAN-KNIGHTS, and all who love freedom – symbolizing the preservation of a free people.

     Detroit’s Historic Fort Wayne symbolizes the past, present and future struggle for the Great Lakes. Whoever owned Historical Fort Wayne controlled the gateway to the Great Lakes and western expansion. Many walked all over individual freedom in the name of their empire – French, British, American and Michigan Territorial Governors to name a few. In the book, The Sixty Years War for the Great Lakes, 1754-1814, the author points out the significance of the Great Lakes Wars which looks at all the past conflicts, French-Indian War, Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 as a whole between powers who wished to rule and control the Great Lakes. Some warring parties did not care about individual freedom, just their absolute control. The winner gets to control 6 quadrillion gallons of fresh water; one-fifth of the world’s fresh surface water or more than 94,000 square miles of water larger than the states of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire combined. In the early days the Great Lakes region had many mining operations, Iron, copper, gold, and salt. Today, wealth in commodities’ shipped is estimated to be 162 million net tons of bulk cargo moved on the lakes. This was, in order of volume: iron ore, grain and potash; a fertilizing salt that helps feed the world. The Sixty Years War for the Great Lakes is over but the struggle for freedom and water continues. Approximately 4.2 million people rely on Detroit for their water and individual freedom is still at risk.

Historical Fort Wayne, the ancient star fort, is a symbol of the past struggles that carry the lessons learned about maintaining and keeping freedom over ruthless leadership that cares about nothing but its own power and who has proven more than capable of inhumane enslavement of people. These forts can still be found all over the world. Fort Ticonderoga in New York and Fort San Marcos in Saint Augustine Florida are two examples of ancient forts that are national landmark and have national funding, Historical Fort Wayne does not. Some of the forts were part of the slave trade while some were part of the fur trade but all were used to exercise power. On an old map of New France, which only covered the Great Lakes region, there were over twenty eight French forts in the early 1700s. This does not include British or American forts. “The Detroit of the Sixty Year’ War is entirely foreign to us today, having been swept away first by disaster, as the town burned in 1805, and then by relentless nineteen-century growth that removed any landmarks beyond the post-fire street plan and whatever archaeological fragments remain,” said Brain Leigh Dunnigan. While touring Historical Fort Wayne, I noticed many layers of time. The outer walls were redone during the civil war; the basic outer foot print matches the Revolutionary War forts, Trumbull and Griswold across the Detroit River at the Thames. The gunpowder magazine appeared to be ancient, and the 1796 head stone of Peter Audrain was at the fort too. Peter worked for several occupying powers, one of which was American General Anthony Wayne in 1796. The fort was named in Wayne’s honor after the victory of the battle of fallen timbers in 1794 in old Michigan Territory, now called Maumee Ohio. In the era of the Sixty Year War, Historical Fort Wayne was outside the city limits of Detroit. It was located in Springwells Township, and it probably was not part of the 1805 fire. Springwells started being annexed by Detroit starting in 1849, before merging with Detroit in1924, and then the township ceased to exist. Some suggest Historical Fort Wayne did not exist at its present location, however, looking at the oldest maps you will discover a nearby area marked ship yards that were near the present location of the fort. “The Great Lakes region is seldom included in scholarly analysis of the American Revolutionary War. The handful of existing studies focus almost exclusively on land operations, such as George Rogers Clark’s famous exploits within Illinois Country. Meanwhile, navy activity on the Great Lakes during the war is continually overlooked,’ said Stephen Al-Hakim. During the Sixty Year War you can bet there were a lot of troops nearby to guard the ships at or near Historical Fort Wayne.

There is no disputing Detroit was the center of all of the Wars between 1754 and 1814 and while the territory switched hands, so did freedom. “Sleep not longer, O Choctaws and Chickasaws, in false security and delusive hopes,” said Chief Tecumseh in 1811. In her book, Memories, Sister Claudette Marie Muhammad outlines her family tree being connected with Choctaws, Cherokee and Black Foot Indians. “Eugene Rixner was a Creole of Black, Indian, Chinese and White heritage … He was a Buffalo Soldier,” said Claudette. Depending on the decade, slaves that wanted to keep their freedom were either going north of the Detroit River to Canada or South to Detroit depending on the politics of slavery at the time. In 1709 New France outlawed slavery which was an early magnet to people that wanted land and freedom, but after the French and Indian war in 1760, folks were under British rule, and slavery was enforced. After the American Revolution, most of New France, called the Northwest Territory or Michigan, was free. “The North West ordinance forbids slavery after 1787 but land turned over by the British on July 11, 1796, meaning Detroit, had a selective interpretation of slavery,” said Gene Allen Smith Historian from Texas Christian University. American and the British offered freedom to those who would fight during the American Revolution. “Over 25,000 black troops served the Continental Army (5,000) and the British Army (20,000) on the promise of freedom and a better life ahead. ‘No regiment is to be seen in which there are not Negroes in abundance and among them are able bodied, strong and brave fellows,’ Brown 1867… I believe that, with the exception of the black church, no institution has had a more profound and progressive impact on black Americans than the military,” said Robert Morris. Lt. Gen. Julius W. Becton Jr., USA (Ret.) in the same book pointed out, “Black Faces of War shows you some of these men and women, a tiny number compared to the hundreds of thousands that served proudly since America fought to be fee.” The National Archives released a special collection of documents from the 1790 census listing thousands of free black heads of families. The War Department also released a list of black servicemen that served during the Revolutionary war – reference 73-600311 and 73-600195 at the Library of Congress. After the revolution Canada was slowly ending slavery. “The old Northwest territory offered a refuse for slaves fleeing from Upper Canada … Canada started prohibiting slavery in 1793 but the provision did not apply to everyone. The institution was being slowly phased out. Michigan held out the prospects of immediate freedom to slaves in Canada,” said smith. Later, under Judge Augustus Woodward, selective enforcement started with the Dennison case which forced some freedom seeking slaves from the south into Canada during the days of the Underground Railroad.

Depending on who was ruling Detroit, French-Indian, British, Military, American or Michigan Governors, forts seem to come and go in the history books. At least during different times in history the fort’s name and location would change but one thing that is certain, the story is local and powerful, making the ancient star fort at Historic Fort Wayne – historic and a symbolic reminder. It is a story of a people trying to live through chaos and dysfunctional leadership. It is a story of all peoples. It is the story of the URBAN-KNIGHTS and the SUBURBAN-KNIGHTS of Detroit, when tested they will fight for their freedoms. “America! America! God mend thine every flaw, Confirm thy soul in self control, Thy Liberty in law,” said Francis Campbell State President of Michigan Society Daughters of the American Revolution January 14th, 1930. There was a time when the people of Detroit celebrated events at Detroit’s forts. In 1896 Michigan’s Governor John T. Rich issued a proclamation to the people of the State of Michigan on June 24th, 1896. Saying for many years after the cessation of active hostilities between Great Britain and the United States in the Revolutionary War, the British refused to carry out the terms of the peace and surrender to the Americans the territory they had won, and it was not until the 11th of July, 1796, at Detroit, that the British flag finally ceased to float over any part of the country whose independence had been acknowledged thirteen years before. It is proposed to recognize the centennial of the evacuation of Detroit by the British, by a celebration at Detroit on the 11th day of next July. The British would go on to plot another siege of Detroit in the War of 1812. There were over thirty major battle sites in and around the great lakes. Two battles have names tied to the Detroit area, the battle at Fort Wayne in Indiana and the battle of Fort Dearborn in Chicago. According to history books, both were not local battles yet we have military facilities with the same names in the Detroit area. All the ruling powers dreamed of controlling the Great Lakes, and because they wanted western expansion, the War of 1812 was the end of freedom for many in the Michigan and the Northwest Territory. The ancestors of the URBAN-KNIGHTS and the SUBURBAN-KNIGHTS would go on to be trained to fight in the civil war with many battles in the south and in the state of Illinois.

Many historians and scholars will disagree with my view that Historic Fort Wayne should be a national landmark. They write history with an eye towards the future. Some use history to shape public opinion towards the future they want to create which appears to be dividing the URBAN-KNIGHTS from the SUBURBAN-KNIGHTS. “Several generations of historians held that the conquests of George Rogers Clark, (in 1778), saved Michigan and the Northwest for the United States. But a careful study of the peace negotiations has led the foremost authority on the subject and many other writers in recent years to deny that such was the case,” said Willis Frederick Dunbar. I have seen enough to see a repeated pattern that might cause a problem over a long period of time. I call it scholarly-drift, or creep. They religiously believe their original source material in the archives is without error and whoever has the best argument wins. I noticed that most of the public funds are spent on funding the arguments, but almost nothing is invested on validation through archeological efforts. Historic Fort Wayne is an easy test. Take a sample from the large stone in the gun powder magazine and see if hard science can yield a scientific date. Detroit Police divers have found many ancient cannons in the Detroit River that appear to be 16th or 17th century. On October 8th, 2011, the Detroit police diving unit discovered another old cannon. It was twenty feet off the Cobo Hall River Walk and it was covered with mussels.

As long as scholars get paid, they will continue to argue over Historical Fort Wayne. It is my view they get paid to disagree and argue over tiny details that drive the history books. I think government actions or inactions speak louder than expert opinion on historical archives. The City of Detroit gets almost no funding to support Historical Fort Wayne and if they had money from an outside source they still cannot do much because everything they want to do must be approved by the State of Michigan in Lansing and the Federal Department of Interior located in Nebraska. So, If Historical Fort Wayne is not what I believe it to be, then why is the state and federal governments guarding it? Even if we agree to disagree, Historical Fort Wayne is symbolic and should be funded as a national landmark for the URBAN-KNIGHTS and the SUBURBAN-KNIGHTS, and all who want to keep their freedoms will come to find out the rest of their story.

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Works Cited

Angell, Jas. B. Rich, John. T. The Centennial Celebration of the Evacuation of Detroit by the British Report of the Proceedings, with addresses of Col. H. M. Duffield, Senator J. C. Burrows, and President Jas. B. Angell. Detroit, Michigan.1896. Print.
Al-Hakim, Stephen. “Little Navy on the Great Lakes” Revolutionary Detroit Portraits in Political and Cultural Change 1760-1805, Published by Detroit Historical Society, 2010. Print.
Clarkson, Sidney W. Historical Record of the Michigan Daughters of the American Revolution 1893-1930 Michigan Historical Record Printed by Adrian College Press. 1930. Print.
Conway, James. Jamroz, David F. Images of America Detroit’s Historic Fort Wayne Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, SC. 2007. Print.
Dunbar, Willis Frederick. Michigan: A History of the Wolverine State, William B. Eerdmans, Pub. Co., Grand Rapids, MI, 1965. Print.
Dunnigan, Brian Leigh. Frontier Metropolis Picturing Early Detroit, 1701-1838, published with the assistance of the Wilkinson Foundation and the Ambassador Bridge Wayne State University Press, Detroit, Michigan. 2001. Print.
Farmer, Silas. History of Detroit and Wayne County and Early Michigan A Chronological Cyclopedia of the Past and Present by the City Historiographer “native here and to the manner born”, Published by Silas Farmer & Company. Detroit, Michigan.1890. Print.
Hurwitz, Jerry. “Fort Griswold: The Revolution’s Alamo” Patriots of the American Rev. Vol.4-5,Pub. by Ertel Pub., (2011): 34-44. Print.
Kurlansky, Mark. Salt A World History Penguin Books, 2002. Print.
Lossing, Benson J. The Pictorial Field-Book of the War of 1812 Reprint, Firebird Press a division of Pelican Publishing, 1868. Print.
Morris, Robert V. Black Faces of War A Legacy of Honor From The American Revolution to Today, Zenith Press MBI Publishing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2011. Print.
Muhammad, Marie Claudette Memories Published by FCI, Printed in the United States of America. 2006. Print.
Newman, Debra L. List of Free Black Heads of Families in the First Census of the United States 1790 National Archives Records Service General Services Administration Library of Congress Catalog No.73-600195, Washington D.C, 1973. Print.
Newman, Debra L. List of Black Servicemen Compiled From the War Department Collection of Revolutionary War Records. National Archives Records Service General Services Administration Library of Congress Catalog No.73-600311, Wa. D.C., 1973. Print.
Poling, Jim Sr. Tecumseh Shoot Star, Crouching Panther, Dunbar Press Toronto, Ontario Canada, 2009. Print.
Skaggs, David Curtis. Nelson, Larry L. Dunnigan, Leigh Brian. The Sixty Years’ War for the Great Lakes, 1754-1814, Michigan State University Press, Lansing, Michigan, 2001. Print.
Smith, Gene. Quotes from his presentation at Detroit Historical Museum Event – After Tippecanoe the Old Northwest
in the War of 1812 on Nov. 8, 2011, Professor Smith of Texas Christian University presented “African Americans in the War of 1812”

PTSD: Self discovery – memory and resentment awareness

The American Psychiatric Association added PTSD to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders nosologic classification scheme in 1980. For soldiers’ returning from war, or victims of battle, it has always been a trauma to overcome by any form of healing that appears to work – including avoidance, memory suppression and self-medication. Ernest Hemingway was an American author and journalist, (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961) and a victim of World War I battle trauma. He learned to coup with battle trauma through his writing and journalism career but needed something more (Henry M. Seiden, 2012). Just before his suicide and death, he was being treated for a depressive mental disorder – suggesting avoidance, memory suppression, life-time writing therapy and electroconvulsive therapy does not reconcile the internal conflict between the conscious and subconscious, creating the deep battle within which was the real cognitive dissonance – hidden internal conflict (Jack Cole, 2004).

View from President Reagan Library - the spot he watched the sunset on horseback.

View from President Reagan Library – the spot he watched the sunset on horseback.

In a recent study, it was reported that most veterans with new PTSD diagnoses who initiated VA PTSD specialty care did not receive minimally adequate specialty treatment, calling for another study to find out why the veterans dropped out of treatment (Mary W. Lu, M.D., 2011). Doctor Jonathan Shay, a clinical psychiatrist that has worked with Veterans struggling with mental problems since 1987 identified the issue of a moral injury, created by the authorities (Jonathan Shay, 2009). When a veteran returns home with mental injuries, and is dealing with PTSD or other mental disorders, he is faced with trusting the authorities again and if not addressed it creates a trap of coping but never completely healing. For those under treatment, guilt is the conscious element (Keri Alayne Roberts, 1999) but the subconscious resentment of the authorities and the nation goes untreated, potentially locking out a complete recovery and builds into other disorders like drug addiction.

Using Mythological stories from Homer, Doctor Shay experienced veterans helping veterans in Self-help group’s, and he believes it is the royal road to recovery, but warned of some groups degenerating into criminal gangs. In a follow up study on the Mythological approach, From Memory through Myth to Meaning, some of the comments from the PTSD patients suggest Homer does not resolve the authority resentment conflict in the subconscious (Paul G. Solomon, 2005).

Mythology is an adult version of a Fairy Tales and good positive stories are used by many mothers to help a child that is troubled, it aids in the process of building a schema or healthy psyche – a subconscious world view connecting the external world to the internal. The Ego is the conscious mind and the hero of a tale may serve as the restorer of the healthy, conscious and subconscious situation. In India, even today, people who suffer mentally often visit the shaman, priest, or wise man in order to overcome mental trouble through the narration of fairy tales (Carina Coulacoglou, 2000).

For some returning veterans with PTSD, the war battlefield and the western approach to life have merged becoming the new battlefield and the medical, political and economic authorities may be viewed as the enemy and cannot be trusted, leaving the soldiers’ subconscious trapped in an internal battlefield conflict with a wounded psyche that he built as a child with mom’s help which may have many ties to the right hemisphere image processing functions that remembers the truth and is aware the false memories in the left hemisphere (Michael Gazzaniga, 1998).

To help the veteran recover from the false memory trap, a mythological hero is needed that can be trusted, a hero-soldier that he can identify with that will help walk him off the battlefield mindset and resolve the cognitive dissonance, both consciously and subconsciously, dealing with resentment induced by the authorities now telling him he is sick for doing his duty and going to war but what the soldier fears internally is a sick western cultural battlefield ruled by the authorities out to try to kill him again.

To turn to mythology to find the correct war hero is not easy. Any great ancient story has two possible fates, it becomes a religion and the original tale has exploded in a complex system of philosophy, or the ancient tale is not understood by the western scholars and destroyed by reinterpretation of the original meaning. Since our soldiers with PTSD are trapped in a western cultural battlefield, we should introduce an ancient mythological soldier story of Arjuna (The Bhagavad Gita – Easwaran), from the East, limiting the modern Vedic metaphysical complexities of over selling Yoga and meditation (Patrick Pomfrey, 2002). The mythical soldier, Arjuna has the same issues, troubled by war, trouble with authorize figures, and an authority he trusts comes to explain another way of seeing the external and internal conflict. Experiencing a simplified version of the ancient myth of Arjuna, the PTSD patients may begin to unlock the internal resentment by walking with Arjuna on his struggle. Rather than follow the Vedic philosophers’ into mysticism, repairing the connection with a normal healthy earth view is in order and the Tao Te Ching might provide a healing world view before dealing with the complexities of the western way of life – the western perpetual battlefield. The goal is to show the conscious and subconscious there is a way out of the battlefield and there is internal peace connecting to the simple, reconnecting to earth.

Theory and Hypothesis

Many returning veterans are trapped in an internal conflict because of a false memory trap tied to resenting the western cultural authorities that are trying to help thereby extending the battle for the rest of their lives. If a mythological hero story is introduced that they identify with, they may discover the memory trap and remove the authority resentment lock. Exposure to the simple version of Arjuna and the Tao Te Ching, should remove the western cultural resentment lock and help healing by opening the door for more veterans to trust the medical authorities and attend more PTSD follow up visits.

NOTE: This class project was born from my own struggle and experience but my struggle is nothing compared to yours, some PTSD battles are handed down from generation to generation. If your mind is in critical judgement mode, first get help to relax. Remember, Everything you think you know is half true and try to realize when you were a child you did not know words, stories, education or war that divides and destroys – the only truth you experienced is when you looked up and saw two giants, a mother and a father that loves you and then the fun began discovering the earth – school came and the fun faded with the spin of stories from scholars – and they like to argue to keep the battle going. Free Arjuna story: http://www.gita-society.com/pdf/thirdall-Roman-expl.pdf or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=je7Rm10krBI In my experience, Yoga and meditation can be distracting when you are clearing the trauma. The trauma I went through was a battle to destroy my life, and hi-jack my mind – using anything in an attempt to turn me into a rampaging weapon but I turned and fought, having to face many fears, over come lies and delusions, and I had to face many deaths based in a delusional world of fear and resentment – locking me into horror after horror for many years. The arjuna dialog in the gita gave me insight,(a life line) a new reference point and the realization to fight the internal fight being waged for control of my mind. My choice? Suffer or fight to rebuild my will, by discharging the lies/untruth, and rebuilding control one day at a time – and the battle continues not to give back any gains by learning the game and continuing to move forward connected to the real world and not a false one generated by operatives in the media.

Once grounded to earth again, some may choose selfless service, others may choose a more risky path and go on their own mystical journey – I choose to stay here to help because my heart is here with the living.

Tao Te Ching – Healing The Mind

Some in Academia confuses knowledge with knowing,
Most everyone applauds the memorization of the 10,000 trivia.
Beware! These schooled addictions are not just myths-
They are a form of mental illness.

Any fragment of the mind, divorced from heart, spirit,
humanity
, and from the primal reality of the universe is an
abomination of the Great Integrity (connection).

Let us prepare for the Great Integrity by cleaning ourselves
of all these cobwebs of cluttered fragments that paralyze the mind.
In this way we will function as our own holistic physicians.

Ann Arbor Art Gallery – Created for the Creative

The Gallery Project in Ann Arbor

The Gallery Project in Ann Arbor

By Chuck Denton

For artists, Gloria Pritschet and Rocco DePietro, the Gallery Project in Ann Arbor is about living and loving art. It is their passion to spread hope, vision and cultural enlightenment to their visitors, while providing a venue for contemporary artists that are culturally engaged, courageously independent and thought provoking.

The gallery presents 9 themed exhibits annually showing up to 30 different artists from around the country. There is no charge to the visitors or the exhibiting artists. The gallery is not selling works of art. It is funded through donations which gives the gallery and artists the creative freedom to reflect culture in art. The only requirement, the artists must provide works of art that fit with the theme.

“Every 6 weeks we invite up to 30 artists whose voice speaks strongly to the theme and we look at every unsolicited submission without charge which is always a surprise,” said Pritschet, artist and collaborator of The Gallery Project.

The show, as outlined in the exhibition statement, is about the “Spatial Shift” taking place in America’s over-digitalized, flat screen culture – much being lost in the accelerated digital translation. The theme was to reunite the physical and digital-dimensional with the basic human experience through the five senses. Selecting works of art to help show the cultural spatial shift is the key to a good show.

Dana Depew, exhibiting artists from Cleveland, has found the spatial shift in his works. He noticed the old mom and pop stores were going out of business and the old neon sign technology was being scrapped as the old culture fades away.

Gloria Pritschet

“They were taking the old neon signs down and scraping them out for the metal. I decided to buy the old signs and retool them into art,” said Depew.

Depew’s salvaged neon sign now glows in a multi-colored statement, “Greed is Good.” The art is provoking the viewer to see beyond the surface, and into the spatial shift that each new technology creates.

The idea of the “city” was presented by the spatial shift of Christopher McNamara, artist and Lecturer at the University of Michigan. Using old and new visual technologies, he contrasts the shift of old town Detroit to the rising mega-cities in Asia.

“Detroit has become a popular setting for numerous film projects. Currently the city and its “pleasurable” ruins have drawn a number of contemporary artists,” said McNamara.

His art takes the spatial shift into an interesting direction. All that is new in Asia is digitally projected in color on a big visual screen acting as a backdrop to old town Middle-America. The old town replica buildings are mounted with very small video screens, projecting old images from the early days of black and white video.

The Gallery’s mission is to be thought provoking. Just about anything goes if it fits with the theme.

“What makes the gallery unique is that we take on themes that are percolating in the minds of artists and the public as well. We strongly believe that artists need opportunities to contribute to the great issues of the day,” said DePietro, artist and collaborator of The Gallery Project.

In the past 7 years the gallery exhibited over 1700 different artists. During one of the previous exhibits, the gallery displayed a working beehive with live bees.

“It was real nice hive in the back. It was under glass and real cool…I took my kids over to see it,” said Jamie Agnew, 53, resident of Ann Arbor.

The next exhibit, “Spirit as Nature”, will open June 7. The Gallery is located at 215 S 4th Ave. Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104. For visiting hours contact the Gallery Project directly at 734-997-7012, or go to thegalleryproject.com.

Prospecting for Michigan Gold


By Chuck Denton

When you drive down Packard Street, west of Carpenter Road, you might see a young man waving a large sign that says, “WE BUY GOLD”. Despite today’s big city economy, there is still gold miners mining for gold but instead of panning or digging they are prospecting for clients as they drive by the store front on Packard Street in Ann Arbor.

“This business thrives when the economy is down and it suffers when the economy is up,” said Roger Rynd, 22, manager of the Ann Arbor Coin and Jewelry Exchange on Packard.

The economic down shift has driven the raw cost of gold way up which has driven consumers away from buying gold jewelry and this shift has impacted the artisans that make custom handcrafted gold jewelry.

“At $1631.00 a Troy ounce very few are buying gold jewelry,” Rynd said “ we purchase gold coins and jewelry from our clients and send the items to our refiner to be processed.”

This is not like discovering a gold mine and getting rich, we are purchasing old gold items at market prices and making enough money on the deal to stay in business but buyer beware is the practice here.

Before we buy the gold, we test to see what karat the gold is by using a chemical acid test and before our clients get their money there identification is verified and they are finger printed. All the details on the deal are entered in at leadsonline.com and sent to multiple local government authorities for review; caution is practiced at every step, Rynd stressed.

Before we buy the gold, we test to see what karat the gold is by using a chemical acid test and before our clients get their money there identification is verified and they are finger printed. All the details on the deal are entered in at leadsonline.com and sent to multiple local government authorities for review. A key part of the job is judging the clients that walk in the door. If their name pops up on leadsonline as a risk, we won’t buy, Rynd stressed

“I had people tell me they stole the gold and I turned them away ,” Rynd said. “We have given back about $50,000 to law enforcement, and never recovered a dime.” One client came in asking for help to remove his gold tooth and was told no. He came back two hours later with the gold, minus the tooth.

Before any profit is made on the deal, the store per Michigan law, must wait nine business days before sending the items to the refiner for processing and it takes up to eleven days before the store gets paid.

“If the price of gold drops $100 in a week we lose money,” Rynd said.
If the store violates the rules and sends the items in early, the State of Michigan can revoke the stores Precious Metals and Gems Dealers licenses.

“I think we have about three years before the economy shifts and prices fall,” Rynd said.

But the unexpected Packard Street construction project is impacting the gold prospecting business now

By chuckdenton

Spring Break for those who ride

Spring break is a time to relax, unwind have fun, and if you can afford it, go south to one of the many warm beaches but some take advantage of spring break to make money, catch up on homework, and do some riding.

Tyler Foote, 22, Student at Washtenaw Community College, (WCC) graphic design major, found the best  way to spend his time on spring break, while enjoying horses and making money.

“I work as outside labor on a farm in Saline,” Foote said.

Since horses are special to Tyler, he gets paid to do what he enjoys, working with horses on the farm. He rides when he gets the time between work and his study of Graphic Design and Communications. Over spring break he did spend some time at the night clubs but had to get up the next mourning and go to work.

This year, Tyler will have more time to ride because he plans on graduating after the winter semester.

He hopes to find freelance or full time work in graphic design in the spring.

Foote stressed for people considering graphic design, WCC offers a good program but there is more to it than just learning the latest graphic design software tools, you also need to develop visualization skills.

“Get the visualization of the idea in your head before you start,” Foote said.

By chuckdenton

Social Media..uh?

Social Media is here to stay, but where is it going? Better yet, where are you going? If you want to be a social climber and be in every click in cyber-face then this new hyper-information age is for you.

I would recommend removing your bed and all furniture from your room of rest. Strip the walls of everything, you don’t want any distractions in your new reality where rest is not an option. You will need a high speed wheel chair with extended batteries.

No need to go to the bathroom, just carry a large waste trap attached to your new reality chair but keep your hands on the joy stick at all times because you don’t want to miss anything coming in from cyber-face.

Now, line the walls with high definition flat screen displays, or better yet, use the old heavy jumbo TVs that draw lots of power that way you will have the room temperature on high. You can get a good sweat going while you power stir your wheel chair to each display, trying to keep up with cyber-face reality.

If you get hungry you can request a pizza delivery from one of the cyber-face social media channels. You will have to figure out which social media service will deliver and which one will haul your waste.

Don’t worry about real relationships, you won’t have time to notice her perfume, once you are assimilated into cyber-face reality race – where you have 22,000 friends and no Emmys.

Below is a list of over 100 social media providers I found at the Windsor Star website – more than a single human being can keep up with. As of Feb. 18, 2012, their site received 17,407 tweets, 1107 followings, 5383 followers, 5449 face-likes, 478 face-talking about and 48 were here.

It looks like the old Canadian print newspaper is doing its best to get their face out into cyber-face reality race – tweeting with the rest of the cyber birds for their market share of gray-matter found between the ears of the smart phone users – where gray-matter retention rate is 0.01% of a collective moment. Soon mental health will have new diagnostic labels for  some smart phone users who have attention dysfunctional disorder. They seem to be in their own smart phone reality show and not present in class.

I get the idea of media in social-media – it has its utility. On the other hand, I worry we are losing our humanity in the cyber-face translation race.

Newspapers – The good old days when the world waited at my door step.

By chuckdenton
Aside

By Chuck Denton

Ann Arbor – In the early days the Web was more of an afterthought and not viewed as the main news delivery system by the print news.  Today that view has changed and now the Web is the primary delivery system for the news.

“Definitely the biggest most profound change in the nearly twenty years that I have worked full time at newspapers has been just the acceleration of Web content. It has changed everything we do,” said Bryce Miller, 42, sports editor for the Des Moines Register.

Bryce Miller,42, sports editor with the Des Moines Register - Previewing sports database tool

Smart phones can handle most of the news content from the Web news sites, including video and audio.  This change is driving the priority of being Web first and it has changed the internal news process. Even 30-years veteran reporters understand that people are getting their news from the Web. Now Web news is the first step and no longer an afterthought.

The shift to the Web has opened up more competition to very specialized niche players that focus on local specialty content, like high school football. “It is a different kind of competition…it is hard to compete with niche sites,” Miller said.  To help the Register compete with the niche Web sites the sports news team started six aggregate and niche Web sites with a data twist, leveraging the historical strengths of their sports news archive.

99 Counties Iowa sports database tool

Hawkcentral is a separate aggregate website dedicated to just Iowa sports. The cycloneinsider is a niche sites within the main Des Moines Register Web site that provide the latest news on college sports. To enhance their competitive position the news sports team has set up visual databases, 99 Counties – a high school championship tracking tool and Where the players are – a recruiting database tracking tool, that allow the readers to do custom searches by county, player, year and more. The sports news team has taken advantage of the historical depth of the Des Moines Register by providing data, video and photos that go back to 1906.

Where the player are database

Des Moines Register is providing a higher value added Web news product and in the process news reporting has changed into an accelerated multistage process to feed the Web. The Web team wants good up to date coverage fast and the print team wants more depth that is well written with lots of quotes. Corporate is trying to figure out how to compete while looking for a new profitable business model and the frontline reporters are trying to keep up with the new demands being driven by the up to the minute competition from the World Wide Web.

The sports news game has changed

By chuckdenton

Hello world!

Brian Todd, Freep’s Master Web Editor and Photoshop Guru traveled to Washtenaw Community College today to enlighten Elisha Anderson’s students with a few inside tips in the art of online Web News Editing.

In Brian’s presentation it was clear the days of building Freep’s own Web content has been replaced with a corporate wide Content Management System that streamlines the process of delivering news.

The news systematization trades layout, design, creativity and flexibility for automation, standardization and commercialization which reduces the need for a large local staff thereby reducing the local network feeding the news gathering process. In the good old days, the people had a sense of family and a sense of empowerment. Today with the rise of the machine and spreadsheet management from 500-hundred miles away the heart of the city is on life support.

Brian made Photoshop look easy when walking through mashing up photos. Mash up seems to be a new term in the Web culture. It is short for pulling two or more things together in web design. In Photo Journalism, if a photographer modifies photos, he is messed up and fired. :) I wonder if the old timers in print layout call it mash up too?

On some news outlets, we hear a steady stream of how bad the public schools are in Detroit. I guess Brian went to the underground school of Detroit and with a lawman in the family no one was going to mash up Brain’s education. I thought CMA was Country Music Association but in Detroit it is a high school called Communication and Media Arts where Brain didn’t mash around and after graduation got a good job with the Free Press.

By chuckdenton