Events

Story By: Sara E. Teller
Photos By: David McNair

THE FERNDALE FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH HOSTS A “Community Dinner” the last Wednesday of every month for “anyone who wants to come,” according to Mary Lenaway, a long-time member. “It’s not limited to church members or the needy. Everyone is welcome.”

There is often a large turnout, particularly in the winter months, and volunteers are greatly appreciated. “Typically, during the winter, between the volunteers and the people who come in, we get around 100 people,” Mary explains, adding that “help and donations are always accepted and appreciated.”

There is a sign-up sheet in the church’s social hall for anyone willing to donate their time. Sometimes groups, and sometimes individual church members host the event, according to Mary. “We ask people to sign up for one month, and a core group of volunteers from the Methodist Church and Christ the Good Shepherd Catholic Church are always involved.” She adds, “They come out to run the dishwasher and do various tasks, but we are always looking for new people to head up a group, do the cooking.” The church is specifically looking for volunteers for meals in August and September.

The First United Methodist Church has historically spread awareness of the community dinners online in the Ferndale Forum (ferndale.freeforums.net), on its website, Facebook and other social media sites. Leaders also rely on word of mouth and on literature distributed within the church as well as posted signage and bulletins. When asked how long the church has been hosting the meals, Mary said, “it’s been a while” – several years, she believes.

“Anyone that is interested in volunteering, we will find a position for them,” Mary stresses. “A lot of the time cook crews need help with prep work, clean up, that kind of thing.” Mary has been a member of the church for over a decade. “I raised my children through the church,” she said, speaking of the many she had between her own and those she adopted as a foster parent. She is happy to be involved in the meal planning.

Christ the Good Shepherd Catholic Church teams up with First United Methodist Church – “It’s kind of a church within a church, which is a bit unusual,” Mary says – to host meals offered right around holidays. “They did Halloween last year and the 4th of July this year,” Mary says. “It’s a very festive atmosphere” when the Catholic church hosts, and they often have extras set up such as arcade machines for guests to enjoy.

Residents can rest assured the church will host a monthly meal without interruption. “We have not missed a month since we started,” Mary says, adding that if the last Wednesday of the month falls right before a holiday, an alternate day will be selected, but, “We will not call it off.”

If interested in helping with a Community Dinner, please contact Mary or Larry Lenaway at 248.229.5685. Please keep in mind, those who sign up to head a meal are responsible for purchasing all food and beverages and for the general logistics involved, including seating and flow. For all other inquiries regarding upcoming church activities and how you can help, call the church office at 248.545.4467 and speak with Stacy, the church’s secretary.

No reservations are required to attend the meal. “This is a great opportunity for us to break bread with our neighbors,” declares the church’s site. So, just show up and enjoy some tasty food and good conversation! The social hall is located in the basement of Ferndale First United Methodist Church at 22331 Woodward. The next available dates are August 30, September 27, October 25, and dinners are between 6:00 P.M. and 7:30 P.M.

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By: Jeff Milo, Circulation Specialist

ECLIPSE VIEWING PARTY
The Ferndale Library will be a prime place to experience the big solar eclipse happening on Mon., Aug. 21, where kids and families can join in space and science themed activities, and get a hold of a special pair of glasses to safely observe this cosmic phenomenon. The party will get started at 1:00 P.M., just a bit before the eclipse begins.

There will be space-themed treats from Treat Dreams, celestial themed henna, other fun activities, and viewers on hand so that patrons can see this spectacular event safely. Re-member that the sun’s rays can be damaging to the eyes, so the Fern-dale Library’s supply of special glasses will protect everyone’s eyes as we gaze upward.

MAD HATTER’S TEA PARTY
Hosted by and for the Friends of the Ferndale Library. Current and prospective members of the Friends of the Ferndale Library are invited on August 26 to fall down the rabbit hole into the library court-yard where music, hors d’oeuvres, henna artists, flamingo croquet and lots of surprises await. This Mad Hatter’s themed party features a cash bar with signature craft cocktails by Valentine Vodka and more. This will be a fun and funky celebration of the Ferndale library and the classic Alice in Wonderland novels by author Lewis Carroll.

Admission to the Mad Hatter Party is free for current Friends members, and new members can join online for only $20. The Ferndale Area District :Library is located at 222 E. 9 Mile Rd. Please join us for literary fun, meeting fellow book lovers, and dancing under the stars. There will be excellent photo opportunities at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, so wear a hat, any hat, to fit right in among your wonderland Friends.

DIY STREET FAIR
Ferndale’s favorite arts, crafts & music festival is Sept 22-24 and the Library will be open, despite losing one of our parking lots. But we hope to get as many visitors as we can on Saturday the 23rd, because we’re hosting an “Instrument Petting Zoo” for kids, featuring the instructors from local music education nonprofit Girls Rock Detroit.

FIRST STOP FRIDAY
We’ll be ramping our bi-monthly lo-cal music showcase series back up in October. We want to take this opportunity to send out three thank-yous, regarding our best-attended Summer Concert Series ever: to the Friends of the Ferndale Library (for their support), to the bands (for perform-ing) and to all of our patrons (for coming out to enjoy the shows). Very soon, we’ll begin booking bands for First Stop Friday concerts in October, December, February and beyond.

HIGH SCHOOL BOOK CLUB
Youth Services Librarians are planning a book club for high school- age readers. We have a handful of clubs for grade school readers, but a new monthly rotation of book discussions for teens is coming soon.
Stay tuned.

Story by Sara E. Teller
Photos by Bernie LaFramboise

FERNDALE WILL SOON BE HOSTING TWO COMMUNITY-WIDE GARAGE SALES, TO TAKE PLACE ON THE EAST AND WEST SIDES OF WOODWARD. Organizers set up a polling system on the Ferndale Forum Facebook page, asking members to vote on two separate weekends for each side to hold their sales.

The East Side will be on Saturday, June 17th. The West Side opted for Saturday, July 8th. Both will last from 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. with rain days on those Sundays.

“Anyone in the 48220 zip code who wants to participate can plan their own sale at their own property,” said Carey Gufstason of Ferndale’s Glass Action, who helped to coordinate the events. Those who wish to participate can also “encourage neighbors to have a block sale to drive more traffic their way and set up Craigslist ads.” The organizers are asking that anyone who chooses to post an ad list it under the heading “Ferndale Garage Sale (East or West) Side” so the posts are searchable. “The sale won’t be at a building or lot,” Carey clarifies. “Just individual homes that wish to sell.”

“It’s like any other city wide sale,” she says, “You pick a date and do it! Ours is unique only because Woodward splits us in two, and this is a fun way to support and explore each other’s sides of Ferndale.”

The garage sale has received quite a bit of traction on Facebook. “This is really word of mouth via Facebook,” Carey says. “If someone on Academy wants in, they simply plan their sale on the East Side date. When shoppers see on Craigslist that there are 30-plus houses all on one side of Woodward having a sale, for example, they can get around and see more possibly, in a concentrated area this way. Then come back weeks later for the other side.”

Carey says the purpose of the sale is to unite the community of Ferndale in a fun way. “The root is a traditional, city-wide sale. Having two creates a fun, community opportunity. In the end everyone gets new treasures, meets new neighbors and makes a little cash cleaning out your cupboards.

In the last several years online buy/sell/trade pages have really kicked up a lot of off-season selling, and I confess, I got way into it,” Carey says, “But it’s different. It’s usually a ‘porch-pick up’ kind of thing and most times you’re not coming face-to-face. Old time yard sales are a fun way to mix it up with the community.”

Carey encourages members of the community to “Invite out-of-city friends and promote in the old-fashion and also new-fangled ways. Take lots of pictures, make ads, make signs. Just be sure they’re in spots that are okay to display them or they’ll be pulled down. The City of Ferndale does not enforce permits to have a garage sale. This is all by individuals willing to put their sales together.”

The garage sales are a great way to promote health and wellness during the summer months, as well. “I always encourage people shopping to bike ride around if the weather permits,” Carey adds, “And, also a great piece of advice to sellers: Don’t hold unpaid goods for buyers, but make an exception for bikers to return for their items post-sale.”

As far as other advice, Carey says, “I like to donate goods after the sale and would ask others to consider it instead of putting it to the street. If you call Purple Heart, Grace Centers or other organizations in advance, they’ll come get your goods sometimes that day or the day after. Imagine if they had trucks and trucks full of goods just from Ferndalians? That would be awesome!”

By Adam O’Connor

JUST BEFORE THE DOG DAYS OF SUMMER REALLY SLAP METRO DETROITERS IN THE FACE, FERNDALE HAS FOUND YET ANOTHER REASON TO CELEBRATE.  AND WHAT DO PEOPLE LOVE MORE THAN GOOD BBQ WHEN THE WEATHER’S NICE?

Well, a few things they love just as much happen to be as good booze, great beer, and outstanding music. Fortunately, the newest Ferndale summer festival provides exactly those things – and more.

Bruise, BBQ & Bourbon – produced by Ferndale’s  own Ultimate Fun Productions and The Social Connection – kicks off it’s inaugural celebration in the summer the weekend of June 16–18. The festival will take place down the main thorough fare of East 9 Mile Road in Downtown Ferndale.

The weekend will feature two stages of continuous music – one acoustic and one main stage – featuring the likes of local and regional acts like George Morris in the Gypsy Chorus, Ryan Delilah and the Miracle Men, the Whiskey Charmers, Dan Tillery, Alise King, Tosha Owens, Tripp N Dixie, AwesomeR, and Flint’s one man band Sweet Willy Tea amongst others.

The event will also feature everyone’s favorite festival foods – definitely focused on BBQ, but also offering up a smattering of other items for those who don’t partake in summertime’s grilled and smoke treats. Local BBQ purveyors Smoke Ring BBQ, Detroit BBQ company, Stonewood Smokehouse and more will be joined by the other great Michigan BBQ slinging champs like Lansing’s The Smoking Pig and Hollands Hogwild BBQ. Some pit masters (such as Smoke Shack) will be coming from so far as Columbus Ohio – and they will undoubtedly be more announced.

An abundance of craft beer will also be present, as well as a varied choice of booze – from smoky bourbons to aged whiskey’s and more. There will even be a Moscow Mule tent featuring every type of Mule variation you’ve heard of – and some you haven’t – such as the Mexican Mule (tequila, ginger beer and lime juice), Gin Gin Mule (gin, ginger beer, lime juice) and Cider Mule (vodka, ginger beer, hard apple cider, and lime juice) and a bunch more! Further, Cocktail Creations is your destination to sample a variety of classic newly-conceived summer cocktails if Moscow Mules aren’t your thing. And finally, if you were hoping for a great selection of bourbons you won’t be disappointed by the offerings on Bourbon Boulevard.

There will be all-ages fun as well, offering games, the kids zone face painting, Michigan’s favorite backyard past time of cornhole and tons of more wholesome and family friendly entertainment for anyone who feels like bringing themselves out to the free event

The event takes place on Friday, June 16 from the hours of 5 pm until Midnight; Saturday, June 17 from Noon until Midnight; and Sunday, June 18 from Noon until 10pm.

Further information and festival updates are available at brewsbbqbourbon.com or by visiting the event’s social media (you can even entered to win a free slab of ribs!).

By Jeff Milo

What better way to get to know a band than in a cozy, domestic setting like a front porch? Michael Benghiat and Gary Graff’s vision of more than two dozen Ferndale homes hosting a diverse lineup of more than 30 regional bands is coming to life on Saturday, June 24. This six-hour suburban music festival is called The Front Porch, and it doubles as a prototype, or pilot program, for what could turn into a regular television show (of the same name). The concept has been pitched to Detroit Public Television (DPTV, Detroit’s PBS affiliate) already, and could be shopped to other media outlets as well.

Benghiat, head of Front Porch Productions and founder/CEO of Optimum Marketing, has been a lifelong music fan. He has vast experience in event-planning, marketing and communications in the global entertainment industry, most notably with Olympia Entertainment. Graff, meanwhile, is a venerated local music journalist who’s byline and features regularly appear in The Oakland Press. When they went to the Ferndale City Council and special events committee to present their idea for an afternoon’s worth of outdoor musical performances situated upon Ferndalian front porches for a strolling audience of neighbors, families and music lovers, the response was more than enthusiastic!

“We thought it’d be really cool to be a part of this because we’ve played many stages, but never a front porch,” said Carrie Shepard, singer/guitarist of local country/rock quartet The Whiskey Charmers. “Plus, Ferndale is just a town that really supports live music. Hanging out on a front porch, playing some of our songs in such a relaxed setting, it’s bound to result in a cool, unique vibe!”

“I think it definitely compliments the overall vibe that is ‘Fabulous Ferndale,’” said Joshua James, the multi-genre-specialist and leader of string-band/Dixie-jazz outfit The Ashton Neighborhood Pleasure Club. “We’re a very connected neighborhood; residents really embody that motto of ‘Good neighbors,’ and I think something like (The Front Porch) could be the perfect catalyst to strengthen the community. Having been to Jackson Square in New Orleans where everyone is out playing music, I can say that having something like a porch concert is going to be a lot of fun.“

Something similar to the schema of Benghiat and Graff’s citywide concert has been achieved in other markets, with great success and an expectedly enthusiastic response from residents. Various Porch Fests are featured in up to 50 communities around the country, but Benghiat’s idea is to develop this into a TV show where he and Graff can travel to several cities all around Michigan where they can film vibrant, music-packed portraits of that area’s local artists, interviewing bands on front porches and filming live performances. DPTV loved Benghiat’s idea, but they requested a pilot episode first, before they decide on whether or not they’d like to produce a full season of episodes.

That makes Ferndale’s June 24 Front Porch Show the possible precursor to a future television show. Benghiat arranged for a film crew to capture each performance and prepare a feature-length package to DPTV and other channels of distribution. After that, fingers are crossed! Benghiat hopes to know by mid-Autumn whether or not The Front Porch can start stepping it up!

Meanwhile, mark your calendars for June 24! And get your maps out! North of Marshall, east of Central, South of Maplehurst and west of Livernois! You’re going to find up to 25 houses in that square of sidestreets hosting 35+ local bands, including The Luddites, The Codgers, The Corktown Popes, Brother Hallow, and many more!

For more information, visit facebook.com/pg/frontporchmi

By Sara E. Teller
Photo by Bernie Laframboise

All Together Now! consists of a group of activists who joined together to create a website where organizations from all over Southeastern Michigan can collectively post their events. According to the site, All Together Now! is “a growing group of complex people from diverse backgrounds and many walks of life who find ourselves inspired to promote social and economic equality, to encourage healing for ourselves, for our neighbors, for humanity, and for the planet.”

The group was founded by a few volunteer Ferndale residents in the days following the 2016 presidential election. Current members include Sean Mason, who believes we “cannot allow the voices of bigotry and hatred to be the loudest voices in the room,” Jeannie “Bean” McCarthy, who “has a vision that mutual respect, equity, justice, and compassion can bring us together,” Jacob Bolton, who is “passionate about building power for people who are disenfranchised,” Adam Shissler, Rebecca Phoenix and Amy Sawicki.

The group has no political affiliation and posts are from a variety of local organizations. “Some of these groups are dedicated to improving regional transit while others focus on sheltering the homeless. Some work to stand against Trump. Each of these organizations represents a beacon of hope, offering opportunities to see you’re not in this alone. Offering opportunities to build a path forward,” the site states.

“These events are directed towards building hope and unity, peace, compassion, and inclusivity as well as resistance and revolution,” says member Adam Shissler. “We hope it will be treated as a menu from which a person can choose the events that most fit their schedule and their interest. We don’t endorse a particular political party.”

Those choosing to post are simply asked to abide by the following guidelines:
1) Work to deeply listen to others;
2) Engage the world…for the greater good of the community;
3) Attempt to be truthful;
4) Avoid gossip and harmful speech;
5) Seek common ground and points of agreement; and
6) Work to heal relationships.

The purpose of All Together Now!’s page is to “build bridges between the islands of hope that exist all around us, often in obscurity,” Adam says. “We wish to help them grow.” All Together Now! connects activist organizations and individuals to build community and increase its impact. “We are completely funded by the founding members of the organization. We have no outside funding,” Adam explains. “Many of us didn’t know how to get involved, where to turn to make a difference. We thought we could help make that easier for others in the future.”

The group is currently hoping to increase the viewership of the site, find organizations with which to partner and local people who may want to be directly involved with the operation of the website. “We intend to host a meeting located in Ferndale within the next month, the date and location are to be determined,” Adam explains. “We hope to partner with a few other organizations, also to be determined. We wish to reach out to like-minded individuals and organizations and find ways we can work together. All are invited. We need help with outreach,” according to Adam, “And with the operation of the website.”

Residents of Ferndale and surrounding communities are encouraged to contact the group at alltogethernowcontact@gmail.com to get involved.  All Together Now!’s mission is clear: “If we pull together…if we stand together…in this moment and the next…gently, we can change the world. All together now.”

Organizations can easily post events by visiting atnmi.org, and individuals can also subscribe to All Together Now’s! newsletter.

By Jeff Milo, Circulation Specialist

SUMMER READING KICKS OFF JUNE 24 AT GARBUTT PARK! The Ferndale Area District Library registered its highest amount of young participants for its annual Summer Reading series last year, and we’re looking to break the record again on June 24 at Garbutt Park with the “Flight of Fancy” Kickoff Party.

Summer Reading programming throughout the upcoming months at your public library can assure that young minds are raring to go when September comes around. Keeping the reading wheels turning for all grades promises beneficial momentum for academic achievement in the next school year.

The Ferndale Library’s Youth Services Librarians embraced this year’s national theme of “Build A Better World” and coordinated two full month’s worth of fun events, activities, games, crafts, and more, for kids of all ages. Registration is required, and sign-up begins on June 24th at 2:00 P.M., during the “Flight of Fancy” Kickoff Party, where kids can build their own kites, practice flying and jump in various bounce houses and obstacle courses.

Young readers will “build” their reading skills with a take-home activity pamphlet, logging their reading time. They can explore an interactive map illustration in this pamphlet, where they’ll be able to check off other activities like visiting a local museum, or attending exciting library programs like the “Brick Builders Club!” Accumulated time spent reading brings them the chance to win prizes from FADL’s Summer Reading sponsors or other treats like ice cream, a free book, or a fidget widget!

Summer Reading culminates with a Pool Party at the Oak Park Pool on Saturday, August 5. Kids can sign-up at the library at any point during the summer, but mark your calendars for June 24!

Ferndale Library Hires New Director: Our Library Board of Directors has selected Jenny Marr as our new Director. She began her employment here in Ferndale on June 5th, concluding her previous positions as Director of the Morrill Public Library in Hiawatha, Kansas. Ms. Marr is an East Lansing native who earned her MLIS degree from Wayne State University.She began her library career at Grace A. Dow Memorial Library, in Midland, Michigan

“I am thrilled and humbled to be given this opportunity,” said Marr. “Ferndale is a diverse and vibrant community and the library is deeply rooted in it. I look forward to working with the amazing staff and Library Board to develop library services that are innovative and responsive to local challenges. I think it’s easy to see how much Ferndale residents care about their community and I’m grateful to be invited to join it.”

Book Clubs: Consider joining one of our many book clubs! We have specialized book clubs for kids in different grade levels, as well as themed clubs for adults, like Science Fiction and the Race & Culture Book Club. Visit our website for more information: http://ferndalepubliclibrary.org

By Jeannie Davis

WE SENIORS RECENTLY HOSTED A CATERED LUNCHEON honoring our members who were 80-years-old and over. It was a lovely affair, with cloth tablecloths, porcelain dinnerware, and real silverware. The room was decorated beautifully and everyone was happy. Our mayor, Dave Coulter, graciously spoke and brought gifts for each attendee. He had done his homework, and spoke about the things happening in the world in 1937, when our honorees were born. He spoke about how these happenings had brought hardships to people, and how in many instances, their characters had been forged by living in those times.

This got me to thinking about what myself and others in our ‘70s and ‘80s had indeed seen firsthand, and not through the condensed, sanitized nightly news. I am positive that while the Mayor was speaking, almost everyone in that room had fastened on a memory, and for a moment was reliving an incident, or fact of life from those previous times. Perhaps it was their mother saving bacon grease for frying, or tin cans for the war effort. Maybe, it was walking down their street, and seeing little banners with stars hanging in their neighbor’s windows.

Maybe they were reliving that glorious day when it was official and the war was over! I know, I was remembering my twin teenage aunts excitedly dressing to go downtown to join in the celebration. Grandma had given her permission and bless-ing. As a 5-year-old, I could only watch wide-eyed as they primped, combed, fluffed their hair, and drew eyebrow pencil lines down the backs of their legs to simulate nylon stockings. Grandma let me stay up, and we shared a glass of coca cola (I suspect that hers had more than coke), and we sat on either side of her old cabinet radio and listened to the reports of joyous merrymaking going on throughout Detroit. The air fairly crackled with excitement!

As I listened to the mayor, I reflected on the amount of memories and stories which were in that room. Each person had their own library of stories and pictures tucked away waiting to be drawn out from time to time, and each time invoking a fresh emotion. Much like my chuckle, remembering my aunts preparing to go out and participate in history. The number of stories our seniors hold must be staggering. They seldom speak of them, because, the occasion rarely calls for a trip down memory lane, and yet they are there, waiting to be told, waiting to allow the teller to relive that moment in time, hoping to impress the listener that they too had had interesting lives.

I know these are truly unusual times, with extraordinary things happening daily, and yet, look back: A world war, an atom bomb dropped not once, but twice, a president assassinated, and another impeached. This was pretty heady stuff.

I guess my message here is to you younger folks. Ask seniors about the wars they lived through, ask about President Kennedy, ask what daily life was like in the ‘40s and ‘50s. From the somber and serious, to the totally frivolous. From war to hula hoops. (By the way, for a while, I demonstrated hula hoops in the front window of Kresges at Eastland Mall!) You will be enchanted, and your senior will, for a time, feel relevant. I know, I have encouraged these stories from time to time during one-on-one conversations with some of my people. Believe me, it was eye-opening.

I remember Greg Pawlica and myself, listening avidly as our friend Elsie recounted her experience on a bus during the 1943 race riots. She was terrified as an angry mob stopped the bus she was on, and rocked it back and forth. Wow! Elsie is dead now, but her story is still go-ing. I have told several people, as I am sure Greg has. This could be how we keep those times and those people alive.

Listen, and retell.

Jeannie Davis 248-541-5888

Photo by Dawn Henry

Very few people these days worry about nuclear war destroying the world, Dr. Strangelove-style. And the US’ unending war in Afghanistan and America’s military actions around the globe seem part of the wallpaper—there in the background, but not affecting anyone in the homeland other than that very small number doing the fighting.

However, if you drive by the heart of Ferndale at Nine Mile Road and Woodward, Mondays at 4:30-5:30 P.M., you’ll get a reminder of the ongoing conflicts and the persistent threat of nuclear destruction. Standing on the southwest corner, picket signs aloft, is a group that has brought their message of peace to passersby for the last 628 Mondays.

Beginning in 2003, the loosely-organized peace advocates echo part of the Postal Service credo — “Neither snow nor rain. . .” – showing up undaunted by weather conditions or even by a dust-up with the Ferndale police in 2008. As they did back then, the most prominent signs say, “Honk for Peace,” which is met with an unending response as cars drive by. It was those signs and the horn-honking that got the group in trouble when the police decided that the cacophony of horns created a disturbance and made some arrests. Eventually, it was all settled amicably and peace was made on the corner although the signs and the response continue.

I asked one of the stalwarts, Helen Weber, a board member of Peace Action of Michigan, whose office is on Nine Mile Rd., whether she ever gets discouraged since usually only a handful people take part each week. “Oh, no,” says Weber, who served a term on the Ferndale city council, “because there’s always such an enthusiastic reaction from drivers honking their horns in response to our signs.”

How can you describe people who brave the elements and, at times, scorn for their Cassandra-like warnings? They would shy away from heroes. Maybe just “the Nine Mile Peace People,” as they’ve been called.
But there are people who were strategically located at the center of nuclear decisions that saved the world, that maybe deserve a heroic depiction.

One must be extended to an obscure Soviet duty officer, Col. Stanislav Petrov, who, when working at a Russian early warning station, on September 27, 1983, received signals that the US had launched ICBMs at his country. He had seconds to decide whether it was a satellite glitch or real and launch the Soviet arsenal in response. Fortunately, he made the correct decision (we had not launched missiles, and thus no cause to retaliate).

Six weeks later, in the midst of US-NATO war games on Russia’s border, right after President Reagan had ramped up his anti-Soviet rhetoric and unveiled his Star Wars missile defense system that would have given the US nuclear superiority, another crisis unfolded.

The Russians, always terrified of US intentions, believed the games were the real thing—a preparation for a first strike at the Soviet Union. All Soviet and Eastern European bases were put on full alert, which could have led to a confrontation if the US had followed suit. US Lt. General Leonard Perroots, an intelligence chief at the American Air Force base in Germany, saw the elevated Soviet military alert but, rather than respond in kind, decided to err on the side of caution and defused what could have led to a nuclear confrontation. And, can we say, hail to Vasili Arkhipov, a Soviet submarine commander during the 1982 Cuban missile crisis who refused to give the okay for a nuclear strike against the US when a unanimous decision of three officers was necessary. Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., an advisor to President John Kennedy’s administration wrote, “This was not only the most dangerous moment of the Cold War. It was the most dangerous moment in human history.”

So, whew, right? Courageous men saved the world. But all of our lives were on a razor’s edge, any one of which could have gone the other way. Not good.

And, what do we face today?

Trump falsely denounces the US having “fallen behind on nuclear weapons capacity,” and commits his administration to achieving “nuclear superiority,” a policy which will result in a new arms race. Add that to his call for a$56 billion dollar increase in war spending, and the situation seems very frightening.
But, the darling of the liberals, Barack Obama, proposed a $30 billion increase and a $1 trillion modernization of US nuclear forces.

As with so many other issues facing us, it is increasingly upon us, we the people, to demand an end to war and the outrageous expenditures being spent in preparation for one. And, that is partly done every Monday in downtown Ferndale.

Helen Weber says, “There is a reminder needed that a lot of work has to be done together for a better world.”
Sometimes she has been out on the corner by herself. Don’t let that happen.

See you on Nine Mile this Monday? Peace out.