PPNA Happenings

Happenings, history and news of the Prospect Park Neighborhood and Ypsilanti

Archive for July, 2008

A Poem about the Cyclone of 1893

Posted by ppna on July 30, 2008

I thought I’d post another Ypsilanti Poem I found. This one ends well as it compares Ypsilanti to Babylon and warns us to be pure like our sister Ann.

The Original Poems of E.F. Johnstone

The following lines were composed by Mr. Johnstone as he stood gazing on the ruins caused by the cyclone that visited Ypsilanti on the 12th of April 1893

The Cyclone
The mighty wind, the breath of God,
Struck Ypsilanti Yester eve;
It raved and tore
While people swore,
It smashed the glass in house and store,
And left the town to grieve

It struck the “Hawkins” at the rear;
The Opera House demolished quite;
The Cleary College in its wrath
It swept in fragments from its path,
And with a sold, sardonic laugh,
It left it ‘out of sight.’

It struck the ‘Occidental,’ too,
It scattered brick, and sash, and glass;
The inmates stricken were with awe,
And dropped was every lower jaw,
They stared at what they heard and saw,
The crash – the debris mass.

It hit the Carriage Factory “Square,”
It swept the roof adown the street,
It played with lovely maidens’ hair,
It tossed their ringlets in the air,
Hoop-Skirts presented pictures rare,
Exposing pretty feet.

It raved among the lofty trees,
Whose infant foliage kissed the sky,
It tore their branches in its rage,
Which naught but havoc could assuage
It seemed that devils from the ‘cage’
Were celebrating high

It spared the churches and saloons,
But still the people in them trembled,
In one the people praised the Lord,
In one the people whisky poured.
The while the wind in a fury roared
And freighted those assembled.

It passed a whisky shop and smelt
The rank decoctions that it sold,
And with a murmur of disgust
It spread its wings – away it rushed –
And in a moment all was hushed.
This is the story told

Ah! Little Babylon, beware!
Be pure, as in your sister, Ann,
Else God will sweep you through the air
Like devils dancing the Kan-Kan


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Is there an Ypsilanti Community Day in your Future??

Posted by ppna on July 28, 2008

The idea has come up for an Ypsilanti Community Day which will have the sole purpose of getting citizens of the city to interact in a fun and productive way. The scope is broad but that is the intention. Community Day will be run for the people by the people.

Here is how it will work,
Riverside Park/Frog Island will be set up to handle the event with the proper insurance, power, clean-up etc. Community members including citizens, organizations, clubs, and businesses will be asked to submit ideas on how they would like to participate. The organizers of the event will put the like minded folks together to plan and create an ‘area.’ The interested group will be responsible for the activities in their area. This concept is risky since it relies on people to take a proactive role in putting this festival together. Without volunteers and ideas the festival will not prosper but with help from the community the festival will grow and become a natural expression of the citizens of Ypsilanti.

I have taken the role to set up a ‘field day’ for adults and kids. This will be a series of ‘athletic’ competitions with teams comprised of the neighborhood associations. The big attraction will be a Kick-ball game so start gathering your teams now. I am hoping to recruit volunteers to help run the games and to come up with ideas for the games. I plan on seeking out EMU physical education students and athletes. I might also seek help from Ypsilanti Public School teachers that have experience running field days.

Ideas I have for others are a;
“Garden Area” — local pro gardening groups could get together to host home garden competitions (biggest veggie of a type etc.), a perennial exchange, rain barrel demonstrations, talks, etc.

“Green Area” — Ypsi Solar and other groups or businesses who are trying to demonstrate better building ideas, the use of solar, recycling, can get together and put on seminars or have individual tents showcasing their ideas.

“Taste of Ypsilanti” — Local restaurants could set up a section to prepare fairly priced food for festival goers.

“Art Show” — The R.A.C., EMU, WCC, What is that Gallery, etc. could get together to set up an area for any and all Ypsilanti resident artists that would like to show or sell their goods.

“Busker Area” — Local folks with talents like juggling, sword swallowing, accordion players, acoustic folks/bands, whatever you think people would like to see you could do. There would be some organization but there should be room for people to play in a lot of corners of the parks.

“Kid Zone” — Volunteers would be asked to set up kid friendly activities including face-painting, balloon animals, story times, fire-safety course, etc. If you or your group works with kids you could volunteer.

As you can see the possibilities are endless but we will need individuals, groups, and businesses to take the lead to make this event happen.

So far this event is in the very early development stages but I’d like to get reaction from people who would be willing to participate. We will attempt to make this an annual event which will happen sometime in September.

Posted in Local Events / clubs | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Ward 3 candidate Forum Now Set

Posted by ppna on July 25, 2008

Rod Johnson and Pete Murdock will be meeting Tuesday July 29th from 7-8:30pm at the Frog Island Park Amphitheater to answer questions from Ward 3 voters. (rain location is set for the Corner Brewery)

The candidates will be fielding questions from the audience then given equal time to respond. Please prepare questions to ask.

Remember the Primary is Tuesday August 5th.

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Did Mark Maynard Keep Drew Barrymore out of Ypsilanti?

Posted by ppna on July 21, 2008

At this past weekends Shadow Art Fair Mark was selling ‘keep Drew Barrymore out of Ypsilanti’ posters and I think it might have worked.

I just received an email from the folks running the casting call for Drew Barrymore’s new movie and it said filming will take place in DETROIT.

I’m not sure how I can legally sue Mr. Maynard for the extra gas money it is going to cost me but I’m certainly going to check into it.

Posted in Ypsilanti General | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Shadow Art Fair

Posted by ppna on July 21, 2008

I’m not certain why the folks that run the Shadow Art Fair here in Ypsilanti decided to dramatically decrease their admission fee from 5cents to 2cents because I think people would have paid the extra to get in. For your 2cents you received a days worth of live entertainment in the beer garden of the Corner Brewery plus you were given the chance to purchase interesting and unique art which included all kinds of things including T-shirts, Zines, Buttons, Dishware, Tiles, Robots and much much more.

There is really a lot of good stuff to be had at the Shadow art fair but you have to be willing to take a chance. I feel for the zine writers because zines don’t really sell themselves so as a patron you just have to buy one on good faith that what you find inside will be worth the couple of bucks you paid. I bought 2 zines at the fair and was pleased with both of them and I plan on ‘blind purchasing’ more at the next shadow art fair.

Make sure you thank those involved in the Shadow Art Fair and help them keep it going.

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A Poem about early Ypsilanti

Posted by ppna on July 17, 2008

Here is a Poem written by William Lambie sometime around 1883 — You can read his complete collection here, thanks to Google Books. There is a lot of local history within these poems so you might want to read the whole book.

Ypsilanti on the Huron

In the youthful days of long ago
We sung to see the Huron flow
By the clear and rippling river
Through Ypsilanti flowing ever.
Sweeping along banks bright and green,
In sylvan shade and sunny gleam
Where lovers row the bonnie boats
That o’er the placid water floats,
Or hoisting up the tiny sail
They glide on with scented gale

Round the flowery meadows winding
Deubel’s corn and good wheat grinding
Driving all the wheels and bands
Tumbling o’er the deep mill dams
Then foaming down in white cascades
And murmuring in the woodland shades.
Runnin the Mayor’s belts and cranks
And sawing Fomor’s logs in planks,
Barnes and Cornwell’s paper mills
Many a purse and pocket fills;
Giving work to the great and small,
Where the bright booming waters fall.
Straw and rags with steam and vapor,
Rolled out in sheets of clean white paper.
And rolls of paper by the mile
For printing in the best of style,
The notes and credit good and strong
the city paying every bond.

Citizens wealthy and refined
Generous, able, true and kind,
A few are close with well-filled pockets,
Grasping tight like Worden’s sockets;

Where houses, schools and stately towers
Gleam through the green wood maple bowers,
The churches built on solid rocks
The churches sound and orthodox;
Bible truth with instruction clear,
To every one who comes to hear,
And city schools with learning free
Where all can take a high degree
Good teachers, books and tax combined
To elevate the youthful mind.

The Normal halls, and model school
To fill the vacant noddle full,
The Sentinel sounds his bugle call
First editor among them all
When hostile parties cross the line
He makes the fur fly every time.
Our commercial gives the news,
Politics, Poems and Reviews,
Good Paper, printed cheap and clean,
By logic and the power of steam.

The Band of Hope, by speech and tunes,
Trying to close the rum saloons,
With bolts and bars and iron bands,
As long as the Republic stands
Ex-Mayor the bravest man in town
To put the liquor traffic down,
Through the town long trains are going
ringing bells and whistles blowing,
Rushing under banks and ridges,
Rolling o’er the iron bridges,
Trailing thier smokey banner high
Far up along the azure sky.
Here farmers come to buy and sell,
Where honest traders treat them well.
May Ypsilanti grander grow
While roses blow, and rivers flow,
Health and wealth and peace securing,
In happy homes beside the Huron.

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A little to much freedom of information??

Posted by ppna on July 17, 2008

Today I came across this site FundRace.Huffingtonpost.com It is a searchable list of people and their political contributions. You can search by zip code and even name. The results give you a map with the name, amount of contribution, beneficiary of the contribution, address, and occupation of the donor.

Have fun with it


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Break Ins near the PPNA

Posted by ppna on July 16, 2008

Yesterday I received a call from a friend asking me to check on his Mom’s house on Carver Street. She had been out of town and someone had broken in. I was the closest friend they had available to secure the house.

When I arrived there were 5 officers combing over the house. Two Ypsilanti Crime Scene Investigators, two Ann Arbor detectives and one Ypsilanti Patrol officer. It turns out the A2 police had found personal information that belonged to my friend’s mom at a house they were investigating in Ann Arbor so they called the Ypsilanti Police to contact her and to check the house. This was the 2nd break in on Carver street this week so if you live around Prospect Park make sure you are looking after things. Both houses were broken into while the owners were away on vacation. The police are thinking that there may be someone on a lawn care crew that is watching houses while he/she is working. One of the scary things is that the crooks left all electronics they were only looking for personal information and rummaged through just about everything they even drank a Pepsi while doing so.

Just a week ago another friend on Pearl street had been broken into while he was on vacation (Look out Pearl street the police said there have been a string of break ins over there). After not knowing anyone that has been broken into for my entire life, two in a week is a little weird. The Ypsi officer assured me that there aren’t any more break ins than usual.

Secure your house and watch your neighbors houses when they are on vacation.

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PPNA Block Party

Posted by ppna on July 16, 2008

i just wanted everyone to know that we had a great time at the PPNA block party.  I couldn’t believe how much work there was to setting it up but I was happy with the turnout and plenty pleased that those neighbors that showed up seemed to have a good time.   I have a firm grasp on what is needed for next year and how to delegate the duties so next year will be easier except I intend to grow the party each year.

We accomplished the goal of getting a lot of neighborhood kids to show up and getting neighbors to interact.  I built several carnival games for the kids to play and play they did.   Cafe Luwak and Gordon’s Five and Dime came through with some fabulous prizes and I want to thank them for their generosity and for their businesses.     Every kid walked away happy.     A couple of other highlights for the kids were a fantastic interactive story time and some of the best face painting ever.     I’d like to thank Mary and Marlena for helping out with those things and of course thank all the neighbors that helped run the games.

For the adults the Corner Brewery generously donated a keg of beer which was empty by the time the neighbors went home.   We were also graced by the band Hullabaloo which played an extremely entertaining show and I think brought people out of the woodwork.

A nice group of our local politicians were on hand as well including the Mayor, Brian Robb, Pete Murdock, Rod Johnson, and my favorite of all Alma Wheeler Smith.   I’m certain a lot of the neighbors didn’t know their local politicians so it was great that they came out to answer questions and enjoy the party.   I did have a heated talk with Brian Robb about us taking the South Side of Forest away from HESNA and bringing those people into the PPNA.

I’m very happy I live in a neighborhood which has such great neighbors who have such a great time together.

Thanks to all that attended and to the businesses that supported us now please get out and support those businesses.


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Lack of posts

Posted by ppna on July 16, 2008

Sorry readers,

The summer has caught up with me so I haven’t been spending as much time behind the PC.  My garden and my pond are much happier for it.  That being said and a the city council primaries coming up I promise to start posting more regularly.


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