Ferndale/Pleasant Ridge City Guide 2023


That’s the premise behind EGO, an Electric Guitar Orchestra I am launching for the community this summer. I hope to retire next year after 19 years as publisher of Ferndale Friends, and I need new ways to make a nuisance of myself around Ferndale. EGO should be splendid mischief!

Playing music is good for our mind, body and soul. Music unites humanity in spite of our bitter political and cultural divides. Pythagoras, Kepler, Newton, Galileo and other great minds have been intrigued by the mathematical mysteries of music. There is also, of course, much magic in it beyond the realm of science. Music is possibly the great bridge between science and our souls. There is something very special about music and our society is enriched every time one of us picks up an instrument.

It’s also incredibly fun! Won’t you please come join our band? We want YOU in EGO! Neither talent nor much time are required. We want everyone, young and old, and if you need a guitar we’ll try to to get one for you. We need at least 30 players but 60 is way better and there is always room for one more.

You do NOT have to know how to read music. Even if you are a complete beginner, in 20 minutes we’ll have you plucking the easy parts to Verdi’s Grand March or Bach’s Air on the G String. You can do this. We also have challenging parts for more advanced players.

There’s no commitment. This is about having fun. Show up as often as you like. We will rehearse in a Ferndale park twice a month using little battery- powered amps, and perform every couple of months.

It helps to start with the music of geniuses, and we’ll be playing some of the most beautiful and beloved music of the last 400 years. You already know most of these compelling melodies.

Electric guitars produce incredibly delicious overtones and harmonics, which is another reason EGO should sound pretty awesome even with beginners. And the battery-powered amps today include all manner of wonderful effects: Reverb and echo, phase-shifters, flanging and chorus, effects, etc. Imagine that delicious sound multiplied by 60 or more. It might just be extraordinary.

What You Need:

  • Electric guitar ($50-$100 at garage sales. We will try to get one for you if needed, and we are not turning you down if all you have is an acoustic.)
  • Small, battery-powered amp. $100-$200
  • Tuner $35-$40
  • Folding chair and music stand

Go see Andy at Pursell Lutherie (248-439-0700, 23430 Woodward) or Dana at Berkley Music (248-543-3900, 3039 W 12 Mile) to get a special EGO deal, and support our local music stores at the same time.

You Will Be Provided With:

  • A binder with all of the parts in easy-to-read tablature (photo right)
  • MP3 recordings of all the parts separately and complete as a group.
  • A coach to help you get started.


So glad to have you aboard! Drop me an email, and I will get you started: steffie@ferndalefriends.net.

Do you have a guitar you can donate?

We’re not looking for your ‘57 sunburst Les Paul! It just has to be playable. We will put new strings on it and try to do any needed minor repairs. You can make someone very happy by giving them a chance to participate! Please write me at steffie@ferndalefriends.net.


While the bond will ensure every classroom in the District is updated, the most significant investment is the construction of a brand-new, state-of-the-art Ferndale Lower Elementary School. The District is pleased to report the progress on the building and has plans to welcome students in the Fall of 2024.

The new Ferndale Lower Elementary at 90,000 square feet will be 50 percent larger than the current building and will expand classroom sizes while integrating high-efficiency heating, cooling and advanced classroom technology for every student. The design also features exterior spaces for outdoor learning and has incorporated some nostalgic elements from the existing school building.

CONSTRUCTION WILL CONTINUE THROUGH 2023, AND YOU CAN TAKE A VIRTUAL “FLY-THROUGH” OF THE BUILDING and outdoor spaces right now at www.FerndaleSchools.org/bond. While small modifications may be made during construction, this video will give you a great look at what to expect from the new Ferndale Lower Elementary.

To learn more about all of the bond projects please visit our Ferndale Schools web page where we update the community on all of our bond projects as they are completed www.ferndaleschools.org/bondprojects.

To all of our neighbors, thank you for your steadfast commitment to ensuring our students have the optimal learning environment. Your investment in their future will be the bedrock of our lifelong-learning community for generations to come.

By Jill Hurst
Photo by David McNair

“Pay Attention. Be Astonished. Tell About It.”


Ten years ago we fell backwards off a ladder in New York City and landed in Ferndale. When we staggered to our feet and looked around, we weren’t quite sure what to make of it.

One thing we liked from the beginning was the sunrise over the rail-yard at the end of our street. The rail yard runs parallel to Fair Park, which was a tiny, sad pocket of debris and graffiti when we moved here. In a gentle show of thoughtful progress, as opposed to thoughtless change, Fair Park has been freshened up over the years. Pine trees, a small art installation. Talk of a wildflower garden. It is a place of short meditative walks and friendly meet-ups. We have enjoyed watching Fair Park take a breath and own its unique place in town.

We were a little ragged back then, just like the park. There were those who looked at us with wary disdain because we are – eeeks – renters! And, yikes, look at the graffiti of bumper stickers on the back of our (paid-for) VW Passat station wagon.

Anyway, we learned to enjoy the raised eyebrows, partly because we found a small group of kind folks who took us in, gave us shelter. The landlady who had nothing to gain from renting to us, but said “I like everything about it,” the friend who sent me to my job at Bubble & Bark, which served as a haven and sanctuary for my entire family for almost nine of the past ten years. A sanctuary with dogs and pie.

WHILE BUBBLE PROVIDED SHELTER AND DAILY RITUALS, my other job with Ferndale Friends gave me a reason to walk the streets and fulfilled my need to become acquainted with every person and visitor in this town. I loved each meeting, I agonized over the writing and gained new respect for postal workers and paper delivery folks during my brief time as a “hurler.”

Bubble and Bark closed last Fall and Ferndale Friends publisher Stephanie Loveless hopes to retire after this year. Big changes. I will carry both in my heart and soul forever. I wrote about Bubble and Bark for this issue, but wanted someone who has known Steffie longer and worked more closely with her to share thoughts. I turned to my dear friend and former FF editor Jeff Lilly for this.

Jeff said, “Stephanie Loveless has always been committed to the ideals of small journalism – its importance in covering the local stories, the everyday stories, the quirky and challenging stories that larger news outlets ignore, the counterculture, the controversies, and the upcoming people, places, and things that are woefully under-represented. It’s one thing to be aware, to read and consume. It’s something else entirely to produce, with limited time and resources, beating bushes for leads, for revenue and advertisers, for supplies. Then there’s the problem of distribution! But on foot, or by bike, she made it happen. It’s an all-day, everyday, thankless sort of job, but Steffie has risen to the challenge, lived and breathed it, from the days of Jam Rag to Ferndale Friends, so many years of toil and trouble to create her uniquely strange brew. She’s enlightened her community, and for that we owe her many thanks.”

Thank you, Steffie and Sue. Yes, yes, I’m late. I keep looking for that e-mail “Hurst, you’re killing me!”. Okay. Hitting send.

By Kevin Rodney


…an unrelenting, unfettered drive to cost-effectively product fruit-and-vegetables organically, flavorfully enhanced, nutritive, immediately accessed, economical.

Additionally, urban residents, particularly those on tight budgets, gain knowledge and a sense of self sufficiency when they dive into farming and growing edible food.

Here in the Midwest, we have four distinct seasons: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer. Outdoor food-growing is done mid-May through Mid-September at best, an inevitable drawback if one relies on farming as a food need.

Tomatoes: Early Girls, Beefsteaks, Romas, Heirlooms…tomatoes are the most common, popular, prolific garden food that amateur growers produce all over The United States. Homegrown, thoughtfully grown tomatoes generally abound in flavor, and they are fresh and delightful. They differ radically from store-bought (even high-income gourmet retailers) in that way. Said retail businesses feature tomatoes, none of which have any taste or flavor at all.

One can become very fond – hooked, so to speak – on the amazing high-quality of homegrown produce. In some, depression may surge at seasons end when a farmer realizes that he or she can count on ten fingers those that remain. When they realize that they won’t taste another Roma again until the following spring/summer and the next crop comes in. Some will dearly long for that day when a tomato is once again, great with the eggs and hash browns. Some will never buy another tomato until they seasonally plant their own.

AN EARLY AMERICAN (1917) WRITER NAMED O’HENRY WROTE A POIGNANT SHORT STORY entitled The Last Leaf. The setting is Greenwich Village in New York City. Plagued by a serious pneumonia epidemic, and many fight for life.

In particular, a young girl lies very sick in her small apartment. She clings to life, down with crippling pneumonia. Her main focus is an alley wall outside the bedroom window.

The wall is laden with leaves growing on a vine. It is frigid in New York that night. There is an incessant, sub-zero howling wind through the alley.

As the sick child watches leaves randomly blowing away, she hears a knock on her door. Her visitor is an old man who lives in the building. He is a struggling artist, a painter who barely makes rent. He and the girl are friends. He checks in with her.

His goal has always been to paint his masterpiece while still alive..

He fears for the sick girl. She watches leaves blow copiously off the alley vine. Sadly, she develops the idea that if the last leaf blows away overnight, her will to live will fade. That she will die. The old artist tries, but cannot cheer her up and bids her goodnight.

In the morning, the girl joyously sees that her last leaf has hung on over the brutal night. She is reinvigorated, and inspired, her will to live is much stronger.

Unbeknownst to her, the old artist is found frozen to death in the alley. While the last leaf blew away hours before, he painted its likeness on the alley wall. While it cost him his life, he has truly created his masterpiece.
The spirit of the sick girl is manifested in this writer.

The morose melancholy that plagues a committed urban farmer when the last tomatoes are gone lingers over the dark, foreboding winter.

By Mary Meldrum


Rochelle Robinson is the owner of this vibrant business, and she has a lot to say about her industry.

Robinson started beauty work about the age of nine. She became licensed at 16. To say that she is qualified is an understatement.

“I decided that it was my calling.”

Even though she didn’t get paid in her childhood, she learned most of what she does on her own. She has been licensed as a chromatologist and makeup artist. All the other services came out of necessity and need.

A NEW SERVICE SHE OFFERS is Bemer therapy, which is a device that opens the vascular system and allows the body to heal itself. Natural healing is a big focus for Rochelle and she institutes it every chance she gets.

Rochelle works with people with hair loss, such as people who have had chemo or other drugs, or whatever the reason they have lost their hair.

She used to work with the Look-Good Feel-Better program, working with the patients at Henry Ford and Sinai Grace hospitals. That used to be a free service, but the program has been discontinued. Cosmetic companies used to donate cosmetics to patients and volunteers like Rochelle would teach them in the early ‘20s before the pandemic.

Rochelle also has a history of working as a volunteer at Gilda’s Place in Royal Oak.

PERMANENT MAKEUP IS A COSMETIC TATTOO PROCESS. Once you have it done, it will be there forever but it fades and get lighter, and you can have a touch-up done. Rochelle has had two touch-ups done on her eyebrows in the 17 years that she has had them. It’s a relatively expensive service. After you have it done, you have to take care of it the right way so that it lasts. It doesn’t cover up the gray and requires maintenance. The technician should explain to the client how to take care of it.

Rochelle does custom blending as well. She has an extensive background in color, skin care, and as a makeup artist. She got involved with custom blending for women of color who cannot find the proper shade of foundation. She has been custom blending for about 20 years and uses a water-based foundation because it is lightweight and as close to nothing as you can get.

Jameel Cosmetics offers a wide variety of services, and whatever the client needs Rochelle is prepared to serve them. As an artist, Rochelle is very diligent about making the client happy with their choices and her work.

“What I want most is a happy customer.” She proclaims.

Aqua detox is a process of putting your feet in water with an electrical array, it opens the pores and releases toxins into the water.

NUTRITION IS A BIG PART OF HUMAN HEALTH ISSUES. Your body needs the proper blood flow, the right chemicals, and nutrients. Especially for people who have hair loss and other obvious issues. She will ask her clients about their diets and life habits to see if she can pinpoint the root of their problems.

Many of her clients have been coming to her for several years.

“I have people that I have become affiliated with who are almost like family.”

What Rochelle wants everyone to know is this:

“If I can’t help you, I will be honest with you and not waste your time. The goal is to see you satisfied as a customer.”

www.jameelmakeup.com | 313-863-1930 | Walk-ins welcome
Ferndale Professional Bldg, 641 W 9 Mile Ste E, at Livernois

By Ryan E. Ennis


The free events occur on the first and middle Sunday of the month, from 2:00 until 4:30 P.M. These occasions treat the patrons to light refreshments, and sometimes are accompanied by live music
and poetry readings.

Coordinating the exhibitions are 30 members of a cooperative of art lovers and the art-minded who all pitch in to run the gallery. They are all shareholders and pay dues. Ensuring the space is adequately staffed, each member works two days per month. During their work shifts, they welcome visitors and guide them on tours around the space. They also offer information about the displays between the bi-monthly shows, when the exhibiting artists are not available.

The gallery embraces a variety of artistic forms — such as drawings, paintings, printmaking, ceramics, pastel artistry, and wood sculptures. The variations in the forms attract visitors from many surrounding communities who have an array of artistic interests.

ON EXHIBITION IN MAY WERE THE SOME OF THE WORKS of the artist Suzanne Allen, who is also a member of the Lawrence Street Gallery cooperative and a Ferndale resident. For over 30 years, Allen taught college English courses. When she retired, she became inspired to create works of art. Her pieces encompass acrylics, water media paintings, monoprints, collagraphs, and assemblages. In creating her pieces, she employs materials from nature and history, such as newsprints, maps, seashells, textiles, and seeds. To contact Allen or learn more about her works, visit the website suzanneallenart.com.

In June, the gallery will showcase the works of local artist Glenn “Fuzzy” Corey. His productions follow the belief that most drawings and paintings are in keeping with the trends of “expression” and “reference” in the past and present century. Not only do his drawings contain expressive elements, they are often crafted purposefully to jog the beholders’ memories to periods in history and to traditions or scenes depicted in mythology. As he plans and sketches, he goes about his work in a way that honors the past artistic movements by producing fresh approaches to drawings while maintaining a high level of detail in them. In that manner, his pieces aim to elicit a sense of amazement with new renditions for the modern eye. To learn more about Corey and see some of his works, check out the website glennfuzzycorey.com.

When Corey’s show wraps up, the next in July will be the gallery’s annual Summer Invitational. In planning this event, the gallery members ask their favorite artists and artist friends to enter some of their best pieces. Typically, there are as many as 50 artists who eagerly take part. For the public, it provides a regular occasion to see the vast amount of creativity available in the Metro Detroit area and beyond. With July often being Michigan’s hottest month, visitors can enjoy an air-conditioned break from the outside heat when they step inside the gallery and spend the afternoon perusing the artwork.

FOLLOWING THE ANNUAL SUMMER INVITATIONAL EVENT IS THE SHOWING of Jeri Magid’s paintings in August. A resident of Huntington Woods, she studied art at Michigan State University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree. She is a member of the Birmingham-Bloomfield Art Center and the Birmingham Society of Women Painters. With both experimental and deliberate color mixtures, she makes her abstract art using brushstrokes that range from spontaneous to intentional. Her end results, she hopes, will stir her audience’s imagination and lead the individuals to personal interpretations of what they observe on the canvases.

In September, the gallery will promote the works of Sherry Adams Foster, a painter and printmaker. At the age of 34, she attended her first art class at Dondero High School in Royal Oak. Finding a new niche, she branched out by enrolling in additional art courses and workshops throughout the state. She is a Signature member of the Michigan Watercolor Society. While many artists seek to represent human challenges and high levels of emotions through their works, Foster’s paintings and printmaking strive to elicit feelings of happiness by capturing peaceful lights, colors, and other delightful details in our world. More information about Foster and her art can be found at sherryfosterartworks.com.

After Sherry Adams Foster’s exhibition, the gallery will host an artist competition in October with the theme of “animals.” All local artists are welcome to apply to enter their works related to the theme, and all forms of media are accepted.

IN NOVEMBER, THE MUSICIAN AND VISUAL ARTIST CHRIS MOORE will present his unique creations. While still a teenager, he began his music career as the original drummer for the punk band Negative Approach. Around the same time, he design- ed flyers for the band and wrote lyrics. In recent years, he has been incorporating his lyrics into the experimental artworks he creates, and thus furnishing a visual and literary feast for his patrons’ senses.

The final event of 2023, in December, is called “Think Small.” To be approved for the showing, the artists’ media types intended for submission must be 12 inches or smaller.

Selected art pieces for the upcoming shows will be available to view online and purchase by visiting lawrencestreetgallery.com. Updates about the forth- coming events will also be posted on the same site.

If you are a local artist and interested in joining the cooperative to help with the exhibits, you can check out the Membership Information section on the web site, and then download an application and send a completed one to the email address Laurawhost@gmail.com.

As a gallery member, in addition to receiving a guarantee of eight linear feet of wall space to display your own artistic achievements for sale, you are able to “participate in the decision-making and experience the running of the gallery, and learn more of the business side of being an artist,” as stated on the establishment’s home page.

22620 Woodward Avenue || 248-544-0394
Open Weds.-Sat. from Noon until 5:00 P.M. and Sun. from 1:00 P.M. until 5:00 P.M.

By Rose Carver


This is the Center of Enlightenment (CoE), a haven for those seeking an alternative place of worship. While its congregation is made up of people from various religious backgrounds, they are unified by their Spiritualist beliefs, including the ability to communicate with the dead.

Lisa Argo, the newly appointed associate Minister at the CoE, welcomes with open arms all who are interested. She notes that the number of attendees tends to vary week-to-week and season-to-season. “We have such a variety of people who belong here. Some have Catholic backgrounds, others have Buddhist or Taoist backgrounds,” she explained.

THE COE REFERS TO DEATH AS “TRANSITIONING” and believes that select individuals, known as mediums, can receive messages from those who have passed on. Argo claims to be one of these select few and she has two “angel guides” named Joan; one of whom walked with Jesus while the other is the famous Joan of Arc. It’s no surprise that Joan of Arc is celebrated at the CoE since she was persecuted for claiming to have direct communication with the voice of God.

According to Argo, she has always had medium abilities and was communicating with angels and spirits from beyond for as long as she can remember. However, this was not always readily believed, similar to how Spiritualism faced accusations of being a fraudulent practice.

The origins of Spiritualism can be traced back to the 19th century, a time of great social and technological change, when people were eager to explore new ways of understanding the world around them. The movement gained momentum in the United States and Europe, with the advent of spiritualist séances and the popularity of mediums who claimed to communicate with the dead.

ARGO FOUND THE COE LATER IN LIFE, AFTER A CANCER SCARE. A friend recommended it, and she has been a devotee ever since. “We don’t just talk about Spiritualism, we also talk about the spirituality of life,” Argo explained, emphasizing that their services are not always about death. “Part of our services include jokes and laughter as it raises our vibrations.”

Argo wears many hats at the CoE. She serves on the board of directors as their Public Relations Director, works on several committees, and is also the facilitator of the Center of Enlightenments’ women’s group, Women of Enlightenment, which meets on the second Friday of each month. The CoE may be small in size, but its impact on the lives of its congregation members is immeasurable.

2724 Goodrich St, Ferndale, MI 48220
Phone: (248) 582-0380

By Jenn Goeddeke


Petts originally came from a salon background in Birmingham: “I wanted to create a unique experience for all and especially to make everyone feel relaxed and comfortable.” As the name suggests, Flip Salon has an entertaining, vintage-themed vibe with music playing in the background to enhance the friendly ambiance.

The salon offers many beauty services including hair, makeup/skin, massage, and typically nails too (a new nail tech is coming soon). Check their website for updates and pricing.

The staff at Flip are experienced professionals, who work with all ages and any hair type and styling needs. Whether you’re considering a hip or “edgy” new hairstyle or simply a trim, the Flip stylists will welcome you!

Walk-in appointments for hair styling are available, plus there is a Wi-Fi connection, and wheelchair access if needed.

Flip carries a diverse array of skin and hair care products, including the all-natural ‘Davines’, plus ‘Cult & King’ selections. The current product giveaway on offer is proving to be popular: buy two items and get one free.

PETTS SAID SHE CONSTANTLY DRAWS INSPIRATION from her stylists, and that they are “super-talented, investing considerable time into each client’s appointment.”

A special shout-out goes to her masseuse- Jane Andrews, who Petts described as, “truly amazing and intuitive.” Andrews combines different types of massage techniques, depending on the client. She is available by appointment only. Additionally, two of the salon’s stylists – Adrienne and Levon – are both established local artists.

Pett emphasized that the best part of her job is, “meeting new people all the time, and helping others feel good about themselves.” She added, “There have been a lot of changes over the last few years in the salon business, in general. I feel like Flip has been consistent throughout in giving our clients the best experience possible when they come here. I am very grateful to have a team of people and a unique space to make that happen!”

Flip has new stylists on board, Gary and Janine, both with years of experience. And Tonie is the new nail specialist. She is highly skilled and specializes in pedicures.

PETTS PARTICIPATES IN VARIOUS LOCAL FUNDRAISERS, including the Locks of Love charity events. In the past, (pre-Covid19) Flip has hosted some art shows and held art openings.

Petts remains proud to offer a full-service salon, offering nails, brows, hair and massage all under the same roof, with a receptionist to makes things easy for the client.

Petts concluded with a smile that it’s good to see a few newer businesses open up in Ferndale, such as Olive’s Bloombox on 9 Mile, and Quix Chocolate on Troy St.

Flip Salon is located at 251 W.9 Mile Rd., Ferndale. Call them at: 248.544.1400.
Email inquiries can be sent to: jeremy@flipsaloninc.com.
Visit their website: www.flipsaloninc.com.
Open hours: Sun, Mon, Closed; Tues, 9am-2pm; Weds, Thurs, 10am-9pm; Fri, 9am-6pm; Sat, 9am-5pm.
Flip Salon is currently hiring – contact Irene Petts for application details.

By Jill Hurst


But he had his head under the hood of a red Corvette the day I met up with him at S & J Auto, his repair shop in Hazel Park. As a non-driver, my curiosity about cars ends with “what color is it?” but my time with Johnny gave me a little window into the romance people have with cars.

Over a late lunch (best onion rings I’ve ever had) at House of Shamrocks in Hazel Park, Johnny talked about the business, his family of amazing women and his lifelong passion for driving. He was born in Tucson, Arizona. His family moved to Michigan when he was young.

RAISED IN HAZEL PARK, he (like a lot of other boys back in the day) was driving way before he was legal. At age 13, Detroit Dragway was the setting for the beginning of his life as a professional drag racer. He was hooked, traveling the country during the spring-to-fall racing season, often with first wife Sherrie and their two daughters.

He spoke fondly of life on the road, special events like July’s “Night Under Fire” and the end of season “Halloween Classics” which just happened to coincide with his birthday.

Has the racing world changed much over the years? Well, there are a lot more women driving these days. Johnny: “I’ll tell you what. They’re damn good, too.”

Johnny knows his cars. He went to Lincoln Tech in Indianapolis for an applied science degree in automotive service management and a masters in automotive and diesel truck technology. He would love to see more kids get into auto mechanics. He laughs, “Kids are in no hurry to get a driver’s license these days, much less a mechanic’s license.”

HE TALKS ABOUT ALL OF THE GREAT JOBS HE HAD AS A KID, including “the coolest one” at Vette Shop East in Roseville. His dad told him “you’re only as good as your word and your credit” and he carried that with him going into the business of auto repair.

The key to success? Good work and good relationships. Word of mouth keeps a business going. And a great staff.

At S & J, Bob, Sam and Anthony keep things rolling, making it possible for Johnny to work on his own projects. He laughs. “I can leave and things get done.”

One of his projects right now includes working on a 36 Chevy. And then there’s the Dream Cruise. This August he’ll probably be driving a 98 Camaro or a 57 Chevy. He’ll also be enjoying the annual BBQ with wife Cheryl, friends and family in the parking lot behind his old friends Lou and Gus’ law firm at 12 and Woodward.

JOHNNY CERVANTES FOUND WHAT HE LOVED DOING AT A YOUNG AGE and made a life for himself. There have been ups and downs, of course, but he’s happy. He loves looking back, and forward. His dream is to build a car and get back on the race track. “I want to feel it one more time.” But no matter what the next chapter, Johnny Cervantes is a happy guy. “I’ve got no complaints”. He smiles. “It’s been a blast.”

S & J Auto Service is located at 311 W. 9 Mile Rd in Hazel Park. 248-439-9119. Open Mon-Fri 8-5, Sat 8-12. Closed Sundays.