We knew two men, one Black, one white, both in their 60s, who had never left the county and never wanted to leave. Both had the funds and ability to leave; they just could find no reason to visit anywhere else. I could never wrap my mind around this no matter how hard I tried. To them, Ann Arbor wasn't the center of the universe, it was the universe. I tried to understand how they had no interest in the outside world, but I couldn't.
We had mixed emotions about the city. It is a beautiful, tree filled city. The town and gown metaphor is appropriate. Perhaps that is why our emotions were mixed. We weren't used to being identified with only one group, and we refused to be restricted. There were speed bumps along the way but we survived.
Memories of Ann Arbor include the many conferences and seminars we developed, consulting trips, dinners, luncheons, more meetings, and learning to golf. We were active in clubs and fraternal organizations, served on charity boards and mentored many students. I shouldn't forget Hash Bash.
In early April the campus is flooded with thousands of pot smokers who smoke in broad daylight. The atmosphere is festive for Ann Arbor is know for being tolerant of pot.
In spring, the blooming forsythia, crabapple, and redbud trees encircle the city and you are dazzled by the beauty.
In summer the town feels deserted. The students are gone and you enjoy the empty spaces even though you know visitors will flood the city for the Art Fairs, a group of five award-winning art fairs that take place annually, the Summer Festival, and the Blues Festival.
Over 500,000 visitors attend the Art Fairs each year, which always take place during the third full week of July, running from Wednesday through Saturday. Many locals leave the city because it is so crowded. In addition to art exhibits, the fairs also feature music performances and children's activities.
In a twinkling students return and the city comes to life again. Soon, all too soon, the leaves begin to change.
Cold winds and drifting snow are on the way. Hurry, hurry, spring.
and grow old wanting to get back to.
~John Ed Pearce