Here’s one of my favorite excerpts from Charlie LeDuff’s new book, Detroit: An American Autopsy:
“My wife and I loaded up the baby in the SUV and drove to my aunt’s funeral in a rural corner of Oakland County, where the land rolls like a ship on the swells. A boat, a house, a lake, a foreclosure sign.
“Jesus, it’s Whitey McWhiteville out here,” my wife said distractedly, noticing a white-faced lawn jockey. My woman is a white girl who grew up in Detroit – not the suburbs – which makes her a special kind of white person. …
The funeral for my aunt was weird in the fact that it wasn’t weird. It was normal. It was white. It started on time. Everyone wore a tie and jacket. Aunt Marilyn, my father’s sister, had raised the ultimate American family. A husband of forty-nine years, seven children, twenty-two grandchildren or something like that. No divorce. No death by misadventure. Catholic to the point of evangelical. Her progeny lining up single file to each place a rose in a vase. It was simply odd in its normalcy, its clean-scrubbed sweetness. Who were these people? Where was their bitterness? Their bit? Their whiskers? They couldn’t possibly belong to me. …”
Note: Happy Birthday, 313Chris.