Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
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Online Since 1999
||Last Time I Saw Motown....
The Last Time I Saw
going to Detroit, Motor City, Motown, for a columnist's conference there. I
haven't been to Detroit in many years, since before all the bad things that
happened there with the automobile industry's decline and urban decay. The city
is supposed to be making a comeback. I'll find out and let you know.
My memories of Detroit are pretty dim at this point. My visit was a long time
ago, when my kids were toddlers. Mostly I remember the big Interstates with five
lanes of traffic in one direction and getting lost after missing our exit. I
don't know how anyone found their way around with just a map in those days, but
we finally turned around and found our way back to the right destination. That
could happen anywhere, of course, not just in Detroit.
Later, we wanted to go to the Henry Ford museum on the other side of the city
from where we were. After our little misadventure on the Interstate, we decided
to cut through town using city streets. Big mistake. We wound around through
some of the worse ghettos I have ever seen. It took forever, but we finally did
actually arrive and tour the museum, which was full of remarkable antique cars
and almost worth the effort to get there.
We were visiting relatives and Uncle Bob decided to show us around. He, of
course, showed us the nicer part of the city, big old Victorian mansions with
beautiful red petunias planted in front. I was so impressed by the flowers that I planted red petunias in front of my house for years afterwards. There is more
than one side to Detroit and probably more than one side to its story as well.
Uncle Bob wanted us to go on a fishing trip with him to the northern peninsula
of Michigan and stay in his camper. About all I remember of that little
adventure is that it was cold, rainy and miserable. The guys waded out into the lake to fish for salmon and the women stayed in the camper with the kids. I
should have stayed at home, but I didn't realize how bad the conditions would
be. So much for salmon fishing.
After leaving Detroit, we decided to go to Niagara Falls which is only a short
drive if you cut through Canada. We actually made it okay without getting lost
or arrested by immigration authorities. The falls were gorgeous and very impressive. Everyone should go there at least once in a lifetime.
There were also other attractions besides the falls, like shops with duty-free
imported china and beautiful English-style formal gardens. We decided to take a
tour on a tour bus. When it came to a petting zoo, we got off the bus to let the
children see the animals. Another big mistake. The animals were aggressive and
the goats thought my purse was a feedbag. My pre-school son decided to chase
after a goose and ran into a muddy area where the mud was over the tops of his
By the time I got him cleaned up in the restroom, we had missed the last tour
bus back and were stranded. We didn't know that, however, and waited and waited
for the bus. Finally, we called the bus company. They sent a special bus to pick
us up, but we had to wait another hour for them to come. From that I learned to
never leave a tour and go off on your own, regardless of what they say about
catching the next bus.
I don't remember much else about that trip. As I said, it was a long time ago
when I was younger and less travel savvy. The best part of Detroit was probably
the museum. It is still there, but not on the agenda for the conference.
Hopefully, I can avoid goats, mud, salmon-fishing, and driving around in the
ghetto this time. I most certainly will not leave a tour bus and strike out on
Copyright 2011 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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