All posts by Kristin

Sailing Log Detroit River – 1970

Today day I am going to share my mother’s boating log. In 1970, when this log was written, my mother Doris Graham Cleage was 46 and taught reading at Duffield Elementary School. Henry was 54 and Deputy Director of Neighborhood Legal Services. They lived in a two family flat on Fairfield, near the University of Detroit. My maternal grandparents lived in the flat downstairs.

In July 1970, they bought a used sailboat. They docked it at the Memorial Park Marina, now called Erma Henderson Marina and no longer in use.

Detroit River from the deck

5/16 Henry sails in heavy seas with former owner Lindquist – Bell Harbor, New Baltimore to Bun (note: not clear) Sailboats, St. Clair Shores.

5/21 Henry and Hugh sailed from Bun (note: not clear) Sailboats, St. Clair Shores, to Memorial Park Marina (Spent 2 hours trying to start motor – found gas was not connected!) – Lonnie and I met – I went to meeting. – Lonnie brought Barbara (his wife) back – all had chicken and wine on boat!

5/23 Henry & Doris out alone – turned wrong way – banged around north end of marina – saved by all – tacked up American Channel – a thousand tacks – I had no gloves – hands in shreds – turned back near water Sutake (note: not clear) tower.

Boat in dock. Jeffersonian apartments behind, Kean apartment to the left. I was able to identify the marina using those buildings.

5/25 Henry, Doris, Hugh out – banged around marina! Doris insisted on staying in river (!) – tacked like mad – disorganized – returned to shore to organize crew – vowed to do better.

(All betimes Henry and Hugh worked on motor – fixed door – began to sand for varnishing – bought blue towels for curtains and pillows.)

5/30 Henry, Doris and Hugh – went out to try to empty head at Mobil at end of channel – water churned to froth by 50,000 cruisers bounced around – came back – no sail.

First mate – Doris Graham Cleage

6/19 Henry, Doris and Lonnie – sailed out jib alone just over edge of lake and back.

6/20 Henry, Doris, Hugh, Ernie – sailed out – dumped – wind died – limped in – saw others wing and wing – they looked like galleons – discovered whisker pole – resolved to use it at earliest opportunity!

6/22 Henry, Doris, Hugh – out into Lake St. Clair – Doris refused rope, when leaving dock, asked where is my pole? – all small ropes still tied, on jib furler, on mainsail – captain tacked back and forth across freighter channel – Hugh almost ran down black pirate boat – had bologna sandwiches, oreos, peaches, milk, coffee, gin – mainsail stops twisted – captain had to straighten out on high seas!

Captain Henry Cleage

6/27 – Hugh, Henry and Doris out to sail – no wind – fathometer broken – Hugh and Henry fixed – good thing because decided to motor about Peche Isle where depths are 1 – 2 ft out to 1,000 ft and 4 – 5 ft a few yards from shore – also 35 ft depths (!) near 405 ones – found nice anchorage on South side – close enough to swim – but no suits – so, ate, laid around and came back.

6/28 Ernie, Hugh, Hugh and Doris at dock to see unlimited hydroplane races – wild – Thelma and Bowman on Board later.

Marina, Belle Isle Bridge, Peche Island, Lake St. Claire, Detroit River, labeled.

6/30 Very hot – 98 degrees – no wind – motored down river to Belle Isle Bridge for first time – lovely cool ride- equally cool docking and undocking – Lonnie, Barbara, Henry and Doris.

7/3 Bought dinghy at Sears – now can anchor and go into Peche – swabbed whole boat first time – also vacuumed second time – now ship-shape and shinning – and thunderstorm after thunderstorm – hard to restrain captain who insists, “Weather does not matter to a seaworthy craft and a skilled captain.” Hear! Hear! and Right on! But I was scared! So we stayed dockside. stowed well away from shallows – sailed to 82 degrees 47′ W at 20 degree angle usually – First Mate sent to galley. – sort of rocky down there altho’ not on deck – fixed sandwiches but couldn’t eat (!) recovered quickly on deck – liverwurst was delicious – turned back – near sunset – wind began to die – started across freighter channel – HUGE BARGE advancing rapidly – Captain made speeches about “right of way” – refused to start motor – barge gave us 5 short blasts (note: Five short and rapid blasts = “Danger signal, I do not understand your intentions”)– Captain capitulated – started motor – ended trip with usual perfect docking.

P. S. – at one point in voyage captain to first mate – “Take in the jib.” First Mate to Captain, “How much?” Look of complete disbelief on Captain’s face – he is at loss for words. I thought he wanted me to furl the jib – he meant winch it in tighter. Narrowly missed being keelhauled!

7/9 Note from radio: add 34″ to depths shown on chart #400 Lake St. Clair! What it mean?

Captain Henry

7/10 Nautical catalogs arrived – Capt. was so engrossed he read them all thru dinner! First mate furious.

7/11 Henry, Hugh & Doris out on calm day – captain offered Doris sun glasses instead of rope as we left dock. Cruised happily out into lake – noted strange black, orange white can buoys – navigator almost fainted – we were crossing Grosse Pointe Dumping Grounds – never, never land with completely uncertain depths – naturally we crossed it diagonally – and made it just as the wind gave up – dragged to Peche Isle – anchored Canadian side Henry and Hugh inflated dinghy – Capt took first trip – rain began – brief shower – made it home. – First mate denied daily tot of rum because she dropped boat book in water – luckily it floated,

7/12 Henry and Doris out alone – beautiful sail to end of Belle Isle, – 5-6 mph – really lifted out of water – reaching on SW wind, – suddenly saw huge black cloud looming over Grosse Pointe – First mate screamed, “Take me home NOW!”- Captain said, “Oh, it’s nothing’ the weatherman said today would be nice.” – Then sun went out – thunder rolled- lightening zagged – First mate and captain sprang into action – furled jib – hauled down main – motored madly with seven thousand other fear crazed Sunday sailors down river – made it into dock drenched to skin – as 60 mph gusts of wind made Henry, Warren Hawking and Crawford Smith putting all muscle on boat to attach back lines – she had nosed into dock at tool chest and refused to budge – finally got her tied down – very wet inside and out- home – hot showers – lovely evening followed lovely sail.

7/26 On board – Henry and Doris. Beautiful Sunday. Captain assured first mate on long trip planned. Set out on short sail – ended in Belle River, Ontario – for the night. Fifteen miles of very close reaching in five hours – and three hours covered same distance Monday morning – docking was cool – sleep was good after young folks finally left park at 1:30 a.m. – our first overnight trip.

Belle River

8/1 Brisk winds -choppy waves – tough, Captain – rough sail! – scuppers awash – First mate developed weak trembles – Captain cool!

8/2 On board, Hugh, Henry and Doris. Same weather as 8/1 – rough – but no scuppers (note: an opening in the side walls of a vessel, allows water to drain instead of pooling ) awash this time – good trip.

8/6 Out to Lake St. Clair – Henry and Doris – fussed! – back to dock!

Location of Riverside Marina in Ontario, Canada. Erma Henderson Marina = Memorial Park Marina

8/7 Out again. Henry and Doris. No fuss – anchored off Riverside, Canada.

Doris and Henry’s brother Hugh.

8/8 Hugh, Henry and Doris out in choppy St. Clair to Belle River – much fighting waves – found Belle River jammed with boats – docked cooly – tied with many a rope.

8/9 Awoke Sunday to brisk wind over starboard stern – very heavy seas- warped her around cooly at dock – rolled madly as soon as we left breakwater – white caps – 2-4 feet rolling waves – made 4-5 mph on jib, alone until wind died at Peche Isle – waves rolled under all the way – captain did masterful job of keeping course and running directly in front of large swells which increased our speed 1 mph when they passed under us – sort of a roller coasted ride home – with accent on the roll! Good trip!

END OF LOG

Jilo fast asleep on our sailboat while Henry and Hugh babysit”

The only thing I remember about this visit of my daughter and myself to the boat is that we didn’t go out on the river because Jilo was too little for a life jacket. She was about a year old.

Not long after, they sold the boat. Henry had pictured solitary days of sailing, stopping here and there to enjoy the peace and quiet. Unfortunately there were always many other boats out there.

sepia saturday boats
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Links

Marine Chart of the area covered in the Log.

Train Journal – 2001

In 2001 I drove from Idlewild, Michigan down to Atlanta and across to Oceanside California with my oldest daughter and her two toddlers. I took a train up to Seattle to visit my second daughter and then took the train back to Michigan. This is an account of that last part of the trip from my journal.

Train ride through the Rockies. Photo by Kristin Cleage

Thursday June 28

leaving Seattle. Sat around with Ife and Mike waiting for 3:30 to leave for the train station. Ate leftover chili for breakfast. Watched a “thriller.” We went up on the roof for the first time and took photos of park, skyline and water. Sun got so bright we went down. Mike went and got water and tooth paste for me. Ife was nervous all day in case I missed the train. Took cab to station. Mariners game.

At the train station a girl with her mother was across from us. She was watching us. We were watching her.

Sleeper is small. – two seats, table window. Makes into lower and upper bunk. Much comfier than couch! Bathroom down hall and down stairs. Dinner – salmon, wild rice, potato, apple juice, apple crisp, veggies.

Scenery – very different on western half of Cascades, lush, green, moss and ferns, much dryer and more barren on East side. Fruit tree area on barren side. Trees must be irrigated. Food supply for U.S. long term NOT looking good! Puget sound – people clamming? Tide out. Water, water. Beautiful. This land is your land, this land is my land.

June 29, Friday

Woke up in Montana. Isolated cabins on the sides of wooded mountains. Mountain, rushing streams, line of parked cars in the middle of no where, a deer on the side of the tracks, pine trees, poplar or is it aspen? “Big Sky” low clods.

The Chinese American steward had a laugh this morning with the Irish woman across the aisle. He’d thought she’d be Chinese. Robert E. Lee wasn’t Chinese,” she pointed out, a bit peevishly. I woke around 7:30 (6:30 Seattle time) Yawn. Could have slept longer.

Mountains and feather pines. So close together. The highway right below. A stream leads up up up the mountains to a meadow. “I knew the mountains would make you well.”

Breakfast of yogurt parfait.

On closer view what appears to be meadow may be bushes. At least that’s what the one we passed was. Going through open covered tunnels? Bridges? Better then the dark holes.

Rock is gray, slate like layers, dirt was mauve this morning. Began taking photos. Why didn’t I do that all along??? what a waste Oh well. Jilo and Ife have both expressed an interest in cross country travel.

Down the corridor a couple discuss their vacations and train trips. The rocks do look like the earths bones. Are we lower or higher? Trees are smaller, fewer, more grass. Gods golf course out there?

Montana high plains. Rutted dirt roads come out of fields to the track. Several piles of dumped household trash. Irrigation. Houses, small alone. A man with orange flags. Clouds so low I could reach out the window and touch them.

Sage brush again everywhere.

June 30,2001 Saturday

We’re in the Minniapolis/St. Paul station. Midway on the N/S axis of earth.

Arrived in Chicago. Walking from the train to the waiting room passed a man hollaring a train was leaving for Grand Rapids! Asked and found it was my train. Got loaded on.

Four teachers returning from a conference in Grand Rapids. Two white and two black. Back and forth about conference.

Family of Grandma, two grown daughters and three or four kids (little) got on. The kids were tired. One little girl broke out crying, she wanted to put her pjs on right then. After awhile they put them on her. Brother fell asleep.

Almost got stuck in the bathroom. Couldn’t figure how to get it unlocked at first. When train stopped, everyone moved to the exit but the train wasn’t really ready to unload us. I sat back down and another lady sat down too. She had come on the same train I had but just from Minnesota. She was going to visit her grandkids.

Jim was waiting at the station with the van full of groceries when I got there. It was very hot and muggy. It sprinkled a little on the way, but no real rain. We cooked and ate when we got home.

I was glad to be home, but not this particular house and location.

Surprise Gifts

We moved to Atlanta in September of 1972. I was about 2 months pregnant. with my second daughter. Jim had been talking about moving south and my sister lived in Atlanta so that is where we went. We moved into a two family house not too far from my sister’s house.

I worked at the Institute of the Black World (IBW). Part of the statement of purpose of IBW read: “The Institute of the Black World is a gathering of black intellectuals who are convinced that the gifts of their minds are meant to be fully used in the service of the black community. It is therefore an experiment with scholarship in the context of struggle.” 

I, however, was hired to do clerical work and was not a member of the intellectual staff. I typed, organized a small library, ran off the IBW newsletter on their  table top printing press, helped with mailings and sometimes transcribed tapes. The in-house staff was small, less than ten people.  When the Watergate Hearings started, we worked around the conference table as often as possible to enable us to watch the hearings on TV.  Sometimes educational meetings were called when interesting people came to town. They talked to us about the struggle in their part of the world.

While I worked my two year old daughter Jilo attended the Martin Luther King Jr. Preschool. It was several blocks from IBW and had an afro-centric curriculum. Ruth, a fellow employee at IBW, drove by our house on her way to work. She picked us up each morning.  From work I walked Jilo to school.  After several days of crying when I dropped her off, my daughter settled in and seemed to enjoy the program.

One evening when I thought I was going to dinner at friends. When my co-workers yelled “Surprise!” and it turned out to be a baby shower! Some of the gifts I received were:

Orange bib
baby carrier Leah & Stanley
Diaper bag – Karen & AB
Sheets,pad – Shirley
$30 – Bill
Lotion set – Cheryl
Baby sak set – Ferrell
Baby sak set – Ruth
Nightgowns Pat & Sharon
Baby gift set – Louise
Blanket, clothes, plus – Pearl and Michael
Green sleep suit – Myrdal
Baby clothes – Carolyn & Terri

Me opening gifts at my baby shower

Three days before the birth, it felt like it was time to stop working. I mostly slept  those three days. Ife was delivered at Holy Family Hospital, with Dr. Borders in attendance. It was a natural birth and Jim was there.  All went well. Ife was a big baby and fussier than Jilo had been. She went to sleep best when Stevie Wonder was singing “You Are the Sunshine of My Life”.

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Related Links

Ife’s Birth
2600 Cascade Road SW
Babies In Buggies

Mug Shot, Surveillance And a Warning

Mug shot James Williams 1972

IN 1972 James Edward Williams was arrested for driving without a license in Detroit, in March of 1972.  This mugshot was included in his ‘red file’ which included local police files and FBI information from the 1970s.  He was regularly arrested for driving without a license or minor traffic infractions in those days.  Although he didn’t spend time in jail, there would be bail and fines to pay.  Don’t ask why he didn’t keep up with his license considering he kept getting stopped. Some 50 years later, he just shakes his head when asked.

Below is a record of the police surveillance of James Williams on October 29, 1971. It happened about a year before the mugshot above was taken.

N?M = Negro Male. Most names are blacked out.

At 10:33, J. Williams and that could be my name blocked out as we went to my apartment in Brewster Projects and didn’t exit. I didn’t know they were following us, sitting down there in the parking lot in the fog, watching and waiting.

Why would they go to all this trouble. Because he was a black activist. Here is a letter sent to the Atlanta police department in 1972 as we were relocating from Detroit to Atlanta.

We got this information by sending for my husband’s Red Squad File. You can find more information at the link below.

Red Squad File Reveals Rabid Radical?

“Editor’s Note: For more than 30 years (1944-1974), the Detroit Police Red Squad, a secret arm of the Detroit Police Department, was tracking citizens to “root out” and “expose” subversives. Their targets were political activists, Vietnam War opponents, Black nationalists, labor unionists, civil liberties advocates and many others engaged in social, cultural and other dissent activities.

Names of approximately 1.5 million people and organizations who either lived in or visited Detroit appear in secret files kept by the Detroit Police Department’s Red Squad. The Detroit files were also made available to the Michigan State Police and much of the Red Squad’s surveillance was coordinated with federal agencies, other state and local agencies and private organizations.

The Red Squad files are now being released to the public as a result of court orders issued in a lawsuit begun in 1974 by plaintiffs who argued that they were subjects of illegal political surveillance.

The case was finally resolved on April 23, 1990, when the Detroit City Council agreed to a $750,000 settlement which would cover costs to notify and deliver copies of retrievable information to those individuals and organizations who were under surveillance.”

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Related Posts

Red Squad: Political Surveillance

Mugshots 3-17-72 A former post using the mug shot for a Sepia Saturday prompt.

W is for Wilkins Street About living in Brewster Projects

“G” is for Grand River Avenue About the Black Conscience Library

A Turkey Mystery

"Christmas Turkey"
Me, my mother, my sister Pearl gazing at the turkey about 1962.

The question is, why is the turkey on the table in the pan?? And it’s already been carved.

Detroit Free Press- Monday – Dec 24, 1962
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Other Christmas Posts

Christmas – My mother 1962
Buying Gifts for Christmas
The Christmas Tree Was Always Real
We ate more turkey

Hugh Opaquing

My uncle Hugh Cleage at Cleage Printers.

The last time we met my uncle Hugh Cleage, he was farming during WW2 as a conscientious objector. By 1950 Hugh and Henry were back in Detroit. Hugh was working as a postal clerk at the post office. He continued there until he and Henry went into the printing business in 1956. They bought a press with the help of their brother Dr. Louis Cleage and opened the shop in the building behind the doctor’s office on McGraw on the old West side of Detroit They continued until after the 1967 Detroit riot when many of the grocery stores they printed for went out of business. Hugh continued to teach printing to members of the Shrine of the Black Madonna for a few years until his mother fell and broke her hip and he became her full time caregiver.

Opaquing/Making Book
Cleage Printers

Purebreds and Conscientious Objectors
Q – Quiet Hugh Clarence Cleage
Hugh Cleage Wrapped Up
Hugh Cleage Skiing
A boy and his dog – Hugh Cleage
Skating Champions, Hugh, Gladys and Anna Cleage – 1940s
The Cleage Photographers
Hugh Fishing At the Meadows
Summer of 1962 in a sound car – the 3 + 1 Campaign
Tennis in the Alley

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More on Jennie V Turner

Jennie holding Daisy and Fannie 1991 after Howard’s death.

After posting about my great grandmother Jennie Virginia Allan Turner a few days ago, Kathy of Porch Swings, Fireflies, and Jelly Jars blog, read my post and found an item announcing my great grandparents marriage in Huntsville Gazette on GenealogyBank. I first thought there must be a mistake because my great grandparents were married in Montgomery, but she sent me a copy of the item and it was my great grandparents wedding announcement! The newspaper was The Huntsville Gazette, a black paper published in Huntsville.

I found another article that also mentioned my great grandmother, her sister Annie and brother Doc. I happy to find other names that I recognized from later on when they were parents and their children were young adults. Below is part of the 1886 article, my great grandparents marriage license and the item about their marriage. I will publish the first part of this very long article later.

… And now it remains for us passing in silence much that is deserving of mention which the limits of this letter forbid to touch briefly on sociallife at the Capital City. The order of the pleasant topic is most appropriate falling like desert, last. For what does life offer nobler than the cultivation of the social virtues, the pure pleasures enjoyed by the association of “social friends attuned to happy unison of soul”

And it is a distinction and an honor for Montgomery to lead the State in this matter. From this taste for social life have spring such sociates as “The Merry Twelve Club.” The Literary Assembly, and like organizations, worthy of emulation by our society lovers everywhere.

Mr. and Mrs. J M C Logan courteously renewed, our opportunity to witness and enjoy the grace and elegance of a Montgomery sociacle by one of these charming events at their cozy residence Friday evening. The beauty of the city was fittingly represented by the lovely belles of society, Misses Venus Hardaway, Lillian E. Brewster, Jennie V. and Annie Allen: the “gallantry” by Dr. C N Dorsette, Prof Dorset,, and Messrs Doc Allen, Percy Beckwith and Wille Tate; Birmingham was represented by her young merchant prince Mr. Jno H Binford and Huntsville by David Hall Esq. and “Ye Editor” of the GAZETTE. From the unique leaflet of a card bearing the name of each honored quest in the bold, handsome hand of the host coupled with the tiniest and prettiest of bouquets which graced the plate of each guest every thing was in exquisite taste and exquisitely enjoyed. But to expect less from the distinguished host and hostess (by the by formerly a Huntsville belle) would be to detract from their reputation.

Our stay in Montgomery was made more than comfortable more than welcome under the hospitable roof

***

Miss Jennie V Allen and Mr Howard Turner, of Lowndes county, were married on the 9th. Miss Jennie was among the most charming young ladies of our social gatherings and will be sadly missed now that she has married and settled down elsewhere to grace another circle.

“Montgomery Capital Chit Chat,” Huntsville Gazette: Huntsville, AL. Saturday 25, June 1837. p. 2

Plymouth Congregational Church Christmas Bazaar 1937

Plymouth Congregational Church

Plymouth Congregational Church was the church that my mother’s family attended. Her father, my grandfather Mershell C. Graham was one of the founders. Later my Cleages were also active in the youth group with my father being the youth leader.

What was happening with my family in 1937? My mother Doris Graham (age 14) and her sister Mary Vee (age 17) both attended Eastern high school. My father Albert B. Cleage, attended attended Wayne State University.

Although none of my family members were mentioned in the article, I’m sure my grandparents were participants with their church groups and that the family attended.

Bazaar Sponsored At Plymouth Church A Great Success

The Detroit Tribune – Dec 11, 1937

The bazaar recently held at Plymouth Congregational Church was a huge success. There were seven booths which were all beautifully decorated in red and green. Color(ed) lights were strung in front of the booths making them very effective. The Sunday School had two sections — the Fish Pond and the Candy Booth. There was a very cute sign hanging in front of the Candy Booth which read “Ye Candy Shoppe.” The sign was made by Lewis Graham. The Crusaders Club had the smock and apron booth, and this looked like a flower garden with it’s beautiful different colored smocks and aprons and the variety of styles. The Go-Getters Club handled the linens which was also very lovely. The Men’s Club operated the Country Store that had everything in it from cider to cookies. The Meridian’s Club took care of all baked goods and Oh such cakes and pies. They really made one’s mouth water. Last but not least was the Fortune-telling Booth which was sponsored by the Junior League. Miss Caroline Plummer and Miss Berney Watkins took charge.

Dinner was served both nights. The first night the menu included spaghetti and wieners and plenty of soft drinks. The second night the menu included a delicious turkey dinner. Both dinners were served by the ladies of the Missionary Union.

On Friday night Mrs. Le Claire Knox’s dancing class entertained. These numbers were enjoyed by all because these little girls can certainly dance.

On the whole the bazaar was enjoyed by all who attended.

Other Posts about Plymouth

From Montgomery to Detroit – Founding a New Congregational Church
From Montgomery to Detroit, A Congregational Church – COG Our Ancestors Places of Worship
P – PLYMOUTH Congregational Church – 1928
Cradle Roll Certificate Plymouth Congregational Church 1921
Plymouth Congregational Church

Other Posts about 1937

1937 Christmas Festivities
Looking Over the Fence 1937
Going Out – 1937
The Cleage Sisters at Home about 1937- Wordless Wednesday
The Cleages in the 1930s
The Grahams in the 1930s
Mary Virginia Graham – Social Reporter
The Social Sixteen