In her own words: A poem by Hazel B. Thompson

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Downtown Detroit 1918

Downtown Detroit 1918

We arrived in the BIG City,

Detroit. It was early in the summer of 1918.

Excitement, the big city, a street-car ride,

Suitcases, boxes, three children, a bird,

1920-30 Blanche with birdcage_0001

The bird they carried with them from Manistee to Detroit

Our dog had been crated,

He’d be coming soon.

We were pushed and pulled in the big city manner.

Father asked for directions.

Father paid the fare.

Mother juggled the bird cage and,

Frantically hung onto us.

How well I remember the orange and yellow flowers

On her big black straw hat,

Her “Sunday” pocket-book with the fringe,

Her “once crisp” white shirt-waist and

Long black skirt – it touched the ankles of

Her black laced shoes.

We were damp, and limp, and tired

But THIS was a big city, Detroit.

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  1. Michaeleen McKinley Laney says

    I so enjoyed seeing all the pictures from the past. Brought back memories of seeing our extended families.

  2. Michelle Grenier says

    I was just looking for some historic photos of Manistee and came across this incredible tribute to your family’s history. What a treasure. I was absolutely transported by every verse written by Hazel Thompson.

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