What is it about this city that has captured the imagination of so many people around the world? Or, better still, what is about this city that generates so much stubborn pride in the people connected to it? I think the two are linked through a singular thread. You see this city stands for something. It stands as a testament or a symbol of the blue collar work ethic. More than taking pride in our ethnic and cultural roots, Detroiters seem to take pride in their working class upbringing. We all understand that this is a working class community that changed the world. Through all of our conflict this working class bond unities us, like a family- albeit a dysfunctional one, at times. The working class in Detroit makes things- powerful and beautiful things.
I am the son of an autoworker; more than that I am the son of an autoworker who also held a second job running a small business pouring concrete. From an early age I learned the deep and intrinsic pride is being able to see the result of your labor at the end of the day. These days I am a middle- aged, middle- man making a living shuffling papers. I like my job, but it does not hold my imagination. How could it? Ask me at the end of the day if I did a good job and all I can do is shrug my shoulders and say, “I guess so.” But ask me if I did a good job 30 years ago and I will take you by a house with a driveway or porch still rock solid in place and I will tell you, “You bet I did a good job.” You can see this passion for making things throughout the city. It still defines us. You hear it our music and you and see it in one the most active creative communities in the country. It is our history and our future.